back to article TPC adds power suckage to benchmarks

If server makers are already anxious about how big their iron is, they'll now also need to start worrying about how cool they are. The Transaction Processing Council is a consortium of server, operating system, and database software makers that steers the development, running, auditing, and reporting of a suite of online …

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Death of hard drives...

For a benchmark aimed at testing servers and databases, TPC-C has increasingly been a test of major supplier's abilities to marshall huge farms of disk drives as TPC-C has a wholly untypical balance of server versus I/O resource usage. Until recently we have see (at the top end) vendors employing upwards of 10,000 enterprise disk drives. For this reason the storage hardware costs have tended to dwarf the server costs at the top end. That's very probably true of power consumption too - some of those storage configs must have been consuming close to a quarter of a megawatt.

The most remarkable thing about the current top-end TPC-C benchmark (from SUN) is that it included a vast amount of flash memory. Of the total database server and storage hardware costs (discounted) of about $10m two-thirds was down to the flash modules (about 80% was storage hardware in general). That was supplemented by a few hundred slow, 1TB driuves.

In contrast IBM's TPC-C (second on the list) had almost 11,000 15K drives - imagine the power consumption of that lot.

More attention to power per unit throughput is surely going mean that these mega-farms of spinning disks will be replaced in top-end TPC-C benchmarks with either full SSD or hybrid storage arrangements (as SUN have done). Reputedly the SUN configuration used less than 25% of the power of the IBM benchmark,

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Anonymous Coward

so....

Let me get this right.

Because the E test was accurate and couldn't be gamed, the server manufacturers won't use it.

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Hmm.

Well, looking at http://tpc.org/tpce/results/tpce_perf_results.asp it would appear TPC-E favours x86 - where's Sun T-series or IBM Power? If IBM passes on TPC-E when POWER7 gear hits the streets then I'll elevate my intuition to theory. :-)

The one thing Sun did with TPC-C is forever change the storage foot print used by the vendors. IBM will probably want to deliver a smack down to Oracle with POWER7 and DB2 pureScale but clearly can't afford to do so with >10000 disk spindles. Surely the smack down will leverage IBM SSD kit.

The one thing I really like about TPC-C (say what you will about its applicability in the real world or its simplicity) is that it truly is a real full system stress. That is to say, there are reads *and* writes and unlike SPEC you need disk drives. And apparently to keep up with the I/O bandwidth of large PCIe slot machines with high counts of 8Gb FC cards you need an unreasonable number of disk drives (unreasonable for the real world anyhow).

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