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Pleased HPE clutches two hot Java server cups – but oh dear MultiJVM

Fell at third x86 benchmark hurdle

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fastest x86 Java server of them all? HPE leads in two categories but lags far behind in another.

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) says: "The SPECjbb2015 benchmark has been developed from the ground up to measure performance based on the latest Java application features. It is relevant to all audiences who are interested in Java server performance."

HPE says it is an enhanced Java server benchmark that supports virtualised hosts, adds stricter performance validation, and specifies faster response times for a more accurate assessment of total capacity in a variety of real-world deployments.

There are three SPECjbb2015 categories, all measuring max-JOPS and critical-JOPS:

  • Composite
  • MultiJVM
  • Distributed

Results may only be compared within the same category. So that gives us three categories, each with two measures, meaning six scores to look at.

In the Composite category only two Fujitsu SPARC and 13 HPE ProLiant (x86) server results are listed.

Fujitsu and Oracle SPARC and IBM Power servers are present in the MultiJVM category, along with Cisco UCS, Dell PowerEdge, HPE Integrity (Itanium), ProLiant and Synergy x86, Huawei, Inspur, Lenovo, Sugon and Quanta x86 servers.

The Distributed category also has a somewhat limited vendor list: HPE ProLiant and Synergy, Lenovo plus an Oracle SPARC system.

HPE results

HPE says it is number one in six sub-categories in the three benchmark categories above. These sub-categories are not separately listed by SPEC. So we have:

  • Composite
    • Synergy 680 Gen9 and ProLiant DL580 Gen9 tied for #1 in 4P max-JOPS
    • Synergy 680 Gen9 won #1 position in 4P critical-JOPS
  • MultiJVM
    • Synergy 680 Gen9 Compute Module and ProLiant DL580 Gen9 Server tied for #1 in 4P max-JOPS
    • Synergy 680 Gen9 achieved #1 in 4P critical-JOPS
  • Distributed
    • Synergy 680 Gen9 won #1 in both 4P max-JOPS and 4P critical-JOPS
    • Synergy 680 Gen9 defeated Lenovo System x3850 X6 using same Xeon E7-8894 processors

What can we say about these wins?

The top-scoring SPARC box (1 x 12-core SPARC M12-2S) achieved 52,659 max-JOPS in the Composite category. HPE's ProLiant DL580 Gen9 with 4 x Xeon E7-8894 v4 CPUs scored 186,337 max-JOPS as did its Synergy 680 Gen 9 (with essentially the same server engine). Take that SPARC.

In the MultiJVM category the Synergy and ProLiant servers, each with 4 CPUs, scored 224,892 max-JOPS, which is peanuts overall in that category:

Which probably explains why HPE invented its own 4P sub-category in which it is number 1.

In the Distributed category HPE is also using this 4P sub-category idea, implying it's not number 1 overall. We checked, again, and found one Synergy box scored 227,634 max-JOPS and a different one scored 142,026 critical-JOPS.

But no other system had a higher critical-JOPS or max-JOPS rating so HPE is number 1 overall. The Lenovo System x3850 X6 scored a maximum of 224,892 max-JOPS and 132,111 critical-JOPS.

All in all, with Intel's Skylake SP plus allied chipset about to flood the server market – witness Dell EMC's PowerEdge 14G pre-announcement – these benchmark results are going to get kicked into the long grass of history. ®

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