IBM boasts of Power-AIX win at E-Trade Korea
Ellison loses another Sparc/Solaris shop
Big Blue is bragging once again about its ability to unseat its Unix-racket competitors from customer accounts after a big win at online stock trading company E-Trade Korea.
E-Trade Korea is a big Sparc/Solaris shop, and was established a dozen years ago as a joint venture between the US-based online brokerage of the same name; Japanese telco, finance, and media conglomerate SoftBank; and South Korean LG Investment & Securities. In 2008, the online brokerage was acquired by a private-equity group that includes LS Networks, another South Korean conglomerate.
The online brokerage, which is located in Seoul, has 200,000 customers, who use the Sparc/Solaris systems to look at account information, get stock quotes, access bulletin boards, and do other things that online traders like to do. Online trading is big in Korea, with about 40 per cent of the trades done on the Korea Stock Exchange (KSE, established in 1953) and the Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (KOSDAQ, established in 1996) being done by shareholders online.
IBM was not at liberty to disclose how much and what kind of Sun iron was running at E-Trade Korea, but the platforms supporting its trading systems were last upgraded in 2005 and were based on Sun Enterprise machines of various makes and models running the Solaris Unix variant.
Whatever Sun iron was installed at E-Trade Korea, it must have been a lot of machinery, based on what IBM is replacing it with. Sources at IBM tell El Reg that the new E-Trade Korea trading system, which will be installed by July, is comprised of two Power 740s (two-socket machines) two Power 770s (eight-socket machines), and six Power 780s (which come with eight or sixteen sockets, depending on the model).
The new trading platform will run AIX and will be able to settle 970,000 financial transactions per hour – 16 per cent more than the current Sparc/Solaris cluster. Presumably, E-Trade Korea has plenty of unactivated cores in the various Power Systems iron and will be able to boost capacity and performance as need be and on the fly in future years.
E-Trade Korea also has plans to expand into private banking aimed at the middle class in South Korea, and will run applications for this business on the new systems.
IBM did not supply a value for the E-Trade Korea contract, but assuming heavy configurations of the servers outlined above and that the machines are lightly configured with disk and heavy on the memory and processor cores, you're talking about something on the order of $5m to $7m at list price just for the servers.
It is not clear if E-Trade Korea was an Oracle database customer – which seems likely – and it is similarly not known if there was a database switch. Considering the grief moving from Oracle to DB2 would entail, it would seem reasonable that moving hardware platforms and operating systems would be enough. For all we know, E-Trade Korea is already using DB2 or Sybase databases, both of which are available on the Sparc/Solaris platform.
The wonder, of course, is why E-Trade Korea did not jump to a Linux cluster as so many stock exchanges themselves have been doing for their trading systems. In fact, you would think that E-Trade Korea would be a poster child for Exadata database clusters and Exalogic application servers. Or one of those Sparc SuperClusters based on the Sparc T4 processor. Whatever the reason, IBM is surely grateful – several million dollars grateful.
IBM has been on a roll in the Unix server racket, even as that business itself is contracting under the pressure from Linux and Windows systems based on x86 iron. In going over Big Blue's fourth quarter results for 2011, CFO Mark Loughridge bragged that IBM did over 350 competitive replacements, generating about $350m in revenues, with its Power-based systems. For all of 2011, IBM did over 1,000 displacements of its Unix competitors – about 60 per cent from Hewlett-Packard, and most of the remainder from Oracle – and generated over $1bn in revenues from these takeouts.
Given those averages, the deal at E-Trade Korea is relatively large. ®
sinking ships and unfaithful rodents
Yet another Sun shop looking for alternatives to Oracle, no matter the cost. Lets be honest, a 16% improvement on five year old kit is not an 'investment', it is desperation. I don't think this is one IBM should boast about, but it is one that the Oracle board should be looking at and saying wtf is going wrong.
Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....
>>This is merely a way to sell the procs with broken cores.
>>It is not a feature. You'd think that since IBM owns the fab they could do a better job.
Actually IMHO you are both right. Sure less enabled cores is a way to use the chips with fewer working cores. But as many cores a possible in a machine isn't always the goal. Our standard POWER machine, is a 48 core 2TB 770-MMB. Simply cause we have found that for our usage, 64 POWER7 cores for 2TB RAM are to many cores. So again IMHO you are both right.
>>Very misleading. IBM shops must change the thread count based upon the load,
>>and the system does not adjust to the load in a dynamic way (Like SPARC T4 does).
>>This means you cannot have a mixed workload in one instance.
That is not correct BILL, in fact you are 100% off the mark here IMHO.
AIX and the Hypervisor actually utilizes something called 'processor folding' where virtual processors are folded together, hence in a kind of standby state, when they aren't needed. If you have ever watched a monitoring tool of a AIX machine with processor folding enabled, you'll see AIX and the Hyperviser acting together and compressing the load together on fewer processors. Hence it's far less static than other processors.
IMHO AIX+POWERVM+POWER are to be quite honest years in front of Solaris+SPARC. You have to remember where the T4 is the first 'Simultanious multithreading' enabled SPARC processor, IBM have been shipping processors with their SMT version for 8 years now. And it is tightly integrated into both AIX and the virtualization layer. Come on.. you know I'm right if you think about it.
>>Oracle has 16 threads running simultaneously on T3 and 8 Running Simultaneously on T4.
>>The "switching" you speak of is to handle cache misses on each core
>>(which believe it or not, even IBM has a lot of!)
>>I think even Kebabart could explain this to you if you are confused.
You are wrong, with regards to simultanious on the T3. It is what is known as fine grained multithreading, but the T4 does AFAIK use simultaneous multithreading. I must say I haven't tried out the T4 yet, although when I wrote our standard buying catalogue. I put the T4 in as the SPARC standard machine, that we have to use. I hope we can put off investing in larger SPARC's until the roadmap for those is more clear. I don't wanna do forklift upgrades if I don't have to.
Now I have to admit that I personally didn't like the T1-T2-T3, concept but T4, although not in the same league as Xeons and POWER when it comes to throughput, is a pretty good CPU.
>>I do understand a little why Oracle not reselling SPARC64 confuses you,
>>as you come from IBM, where rewrites/recompiles of code between different
>>versions of SW/HW is common, but Oracle/Sun have kept binary compatibility
>>for decades. They've promised to do this moving forward as well.
Sorry I think it's you who is fudding here BILL. Both Solris and AIX are IMHO 'the good guys' when it comes to binary compatibility, and following the UNIX standards. But the difference between T[1-3] and the rest of the SPARC processors are huge. Not in binary compatibility, but in how you have to use them. And I know for a fact that we have advised several clients against using T[1-3] based hardware and put them on Mseries up to now, cause it was cheaper to buy more expensive Mseries iron, rather than retuning their applications.
>>Of course, since IBM does not have an entereprise OS they can put on their comparable systems..
Both Solaris and AIX are enterprise OS'es, claiming anything else is .. well.. not serious.
>>I'm really impressed with the rate of innovation in SPARC since Oracle took over.
>>IBM should be very concerned. I don't think they will be able to keep up in the medium
>>to long run at this rate of change. Of course, Oracle has kept all of their SPARC promises so far, but it will be interesting to see if they can keep them moving forward.
I don't think you are right. First of alle Oracle is getting hammered, try to google for some marked share numbers, like this link (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS22998411). Sure their business is growing, but it's way way below the marked. So come on...
Larry is turning the Oracle+SUN businesses into pre Gershner IBM, a business that only sells you a complete stack of their own stuff, at a price that is set not as a % profit, but rather as what they can get away with charging you. The percentage of Oracle clients that hate Oracle is increasing rapidly, and Oracle is increasingly standing alone. IBM HW sales rep will now bend backwards to push DB2 or Sybase(sap), where they used to don't care about what you ran on their kit. And HP is in an outright war with Oracle.
And as a guy who soon has his been with UNIX for 25 years, and who grew up on Solaris on SPARC as one of 2 platforms, I am sad seeing Larry perverting SUN.
I feel bad for shops that buy into AIX. I know people that work there. It is crazy outsourced and quality has taken a nosedive. They say that most of their time is spent correcting their peers in Bangalore and management just doesn't care.