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back to article IBM boasts of Power-AIX win at E-Trade Korea

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; …

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Anonymous Coward

Seems underspecced

Looking at the performance gain over the old Sun kit that was many years old, then 16% gain is not exactly wonderous. The actualy transactions per second (aka financial transactions) is only just over the 250 mark; Which even with the extra accountancy level of transaction processing would still in many respects seem a low number.

I can only hope they have the ability to scale up the current system to accomodate any growth they may have, but I would have to ask if they actualy needed to upgrade there system if this is the level of gain they are getting and I suspect it is mostly due to the factors of the current system hardware having expended its book life and support costs would start to scale up. So in that respect I'd have to ask was the old Sun system over-specced initialy as thats the only sain way to look at this beyond IBM selling a repacement system that is the best part of a decade more modern and yet is only 16% better than what you already have.

Even looking that they only run this kit for 5 years and they were close to capacity with the old system - then they will have issues or are expecting alot less growth.

What would be interesting is a look at HP and Oracle's UNIX sales for the same period and matching up the gain IBM has made from them and seeing if the market is growing or shrinking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems underspecced

> What would be interesting is a look at HP and Oracle's UNIX sales for the same period

They've probably both been hit, Oracle's war on HP is hurting both of them, they've really pissed off a lot of major customers, particularly in that part of the world, to the extent they are refusing to shop with them.

IBM are the natural winners of this situation.

I wonder how long it will be before Oracle's share holder realise how much this childish fight is hurting their pockets and decide on a corporate lynching.

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WTF?

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.

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Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

A strategic platform selection and migration process does not require, nor is there any reason, to provide increased solution performance.

Those not familiar with this type of effort may scratch and wonder why do it... but the reasons for a replacement is not usually performance...

Oracle has taken a nosedive in market capitalization in the RISC system space, as has HP (especially since Itanium was pronounced dead by both Microsoft and Oracle). IBM Power systems are the only player that is growing market share in this space.

The comment in the article about a Linux cluster shows a lot of ignorance. There are many, many reasons why a Linux cluster may not work for this customers application, and there is the aspect of additional stability, reliability, vertical scalability, and flexibility that IBM Power systems can provide.

My view on this industry (one in which I make a living) is that when Sun was purchased by Oracle, the SPARC platform stopped its drive to be a general-purpose compute environment, and started focusing only on Oracle applications. In most every way, they are behind IBM hardware, and behind AIX and even RedHat capabilities in the OS. The last couple of bright spots seem to to only be DTRACE and ZFS, both of which will only appeal to a small number of business customers.

Cheers!

David - (certified in Oracle SPARC/Solaris, IBM Power/AIX, and RedHat Linux)

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Gimp

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

Well, if they are replacing SUN equipment from 2005, with POWER 780's, then we are most likely talking E25K machines and E6900 . Now they will most certainly also have been able to utilize these newer machines better than the old, so that the actual RL capacity might be anywhere from 50%-200% higher. And if installed capacity is only 16% more then we might be talking capacity that corresponds to 20-40 E25K's depending on how filled up the machines are/were.

Which kind of means that the savings in artificial Datacenter cost, would most likely pay for the new hardware and then some over the next 5 years.

Having old hardware standing around beyond it's expected lifetime is expensive.

// Jesper

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Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

@David 14

"...In most every way, [Oracle] are behind IBM hardware, and behind AIX and even RedHat capabilities in the OS. The last couple of bright spots seem to to only be DTRACE and ZFS, both of which will only appeal to a small number of business customers...."

Same old. You have just been fooled by IBM marketing and IBM FUD. Oracle is not behind IBM hardware. Let me dispel the IBM FUD for you. First, Oracle holds several world performance records, thus Oracle hardware is not slow, in fact it fastest in the world in some benches.

IBM mocked Niagara cpus, stating that the future was a 1-2 core cpu, running at 7GHz or faster. Because "databases runs best on strong cores. Thus, having many slower cores was just too dumb. Sun realized that GHz race was leading nowhere, and instead switched to many cores. Back at that time, 8 cores was crazy. POWER6 ran at 5GHz, and had two cores. After IBMs rant about how Niagara was bad, it was expected that POWER7 would have 1-2 cores, running at 7GHz or faster. Well, look at POWER7 today. Clock speed has been significantly lowered, and IBM has followed the many core race instead. Just like Niagara pionereed. That is just too dumb of IBM. When Sun/Oracle does something, it is bad, but when IBM copies several years later, it is the best thing sinced sliced bread.

Have you heard about the "worlds fastest cpu IBM z196"? Well, as I have proved with links to Mainframe experts, the cpu is slower than a decent x86 cpu. So how can a Mainframe sporting 24 slow z196 cpus, replace 1.500 x86 servers? It is just classical IBM marketing and FUD.

Solaris is far ahead of AIX. The most innovative OS today, is Solaris. Everybody is copying or porting DTrace, ZFS, Zones, Crossbow, etc. Have you heard about IBM Probevue? That is a DTrace copy. Have you heard about AIX WPAR? It is a copy of Solaris Zones. Sure, IBM did lot of innovation like LPARs (that Solaris has copied), but that was decades ago. And IBM does not have anything like ZFS, that protects your data on disk against data corruption. Development pace of AIX has slowed down, nothing innovative comes from AIX anymore. IBM is shifting resources to Linux.

Also, IBM AIX just recently had problems to scale to P795 and handle as few as 32 cpus. IBM had to rewrite AIX for it to handle those few cpus. In a three years, Oracle will release a 16.384 thread Solaris server with 64TB RAM. IBM has no chance to catch up on that massive scalability. That many threads sounds sick now, but 8-cores sounded sick back then.

And maybe you missed it, but IBM is going to kill off AIX. I am not making this up, it comes straight from IBM themselves:

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/application-development/2003/01/29/ibm-linux-will-replace-aix-2129537/

"The day is approaching when Linux is likely to replace IBM's version of Unix, the company's top software executive said, an indication that the upstart operating system's stature is rising within Big Blue."

Let us face it.

-POWER6 was several times faster than x86, and costed 5-10x more

-POWER7 is 10% faster than x86 and costs only 3x more

-POWER8 will have a hard time catching up on x86 perfomance wise, which means IBM needs to lower prices further. Thus, POWER will be low margin business. IBM only does high margin business, which means POWER will be killed off, too.

Thus, AIX and POWER will be killed off. So I advice you to not really buy the IBM marketing and FUD right off.

HP-UX has a dark future. AIX will be killed. Left is Solaris, and it also runs on x86. And it is open. Thus, only Linux and Solaris will be left. I suggest you shift from AIX to Linux in your future studies.

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Pint

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

Do you have some kind of special cut and paste buffer for this rant ?

It's the same and the same and the same and the same and the same and the same again and again.. and it doesn't really change over the years.

// Jesper (beer cause it's friday)

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Mushroom

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

pure BS.

Do you cut and paste this crap you keep spewing?

Power7 is a chip that can be 4,6 or 8 cores depending on the performance customers want.

We just bought some 780's with 6 core chips so we would have the right balance of high performance cores and density per footprint.

Power7 has the ability to run 1,2 or 4 threads per core on the fly depending on the applications thread vs. multi-thread requirements. Last time I checked the T chips still only ran one thread at a time and keeps on relying on thread swapping in supporting 8 "simultaneous" threads down from 16 which did not work well.

Oracle has announced their future will not have any SPARC64 chips.

Oracle has a roadmap with M-class systems which are really T-class and Sun engineers have not been able to build a >4 socket system since 2004. I am willing to bet their M system will have the same terrible interconnect as the X4800. Oracle is not only glueless they are clueless.

I would say Larry would get out of hardware all together but he is a stubborn little man.

Tata for now........off to the spa.

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Facepalm

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

geez Allison, are your pants on fire, or are you sitting in a pool of water when you write this stuff?

"Power7 is a chip that can be 4,6 or 8 cores depending on the performance customers want" -- 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.

"Power7 has the ability to run 1,2 or 4 threads per core on the fly depending" -- 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.

"thread swapping in supporting 8 "simultaneous" threads down from 16 which did not work well." -- Did not work well? It works for the applications it's intended for. That's like saying that a single 4-Core Power7 does not work well, when you use it for a high throughput application. Just plain silly. As far as the "simultaneous" threads argument. 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.

"Oracle has a roadmap with M-class systems which are really T-class and Sun engineers have not been able to build a >4 socket system since 2004." -- Um, the roadmaps we've all seen clearly show the M-Series going to a different chip than the T-Series, and to at least 16 sockets. You merely spout FUD, but cannot substantiate any of it.

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.

"I am willing to bet their M system will have the same terrible interconnect as the X4800." -- I'll that that bet! The X4800 is X86. M-Series is SPARC. X4800 only goes up to 8-Sockets, while the M-Series, shown on the roadmap, shows at least 16-sockets.

"Oracle is not only glueless they are clueless." -- You've been told before, but glueless is actually a good thing in many respects, especially in serviceability, and had relatively little affect on performance. Of course, since IBM does not have an entereprise OS they can put on their comparable systems, they/you would see glueless as a bad thing (Linux does not have the RAS features to take advantage of the serviceability benefits).

"I would say Larry would get out of hardware all together but he is a stubborn little man." -- I haven't met Larry, so I'm not sure of his stature. I agree, however, that he is stubborn. He will not give up easily on high-end HW, like HP apparently is (now that's FUD!)

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.

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Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

What does "- I'll that that bet! " mean?

Glueless is only a good thing if you have enough interconnects. the x4800 only has 4 interconnects so in order for chip 2 to talk to chip 6 it needs to interrupt and talk thru chip 4.

Thats why IBM has had a glue chip for 5 generations and why HP finally got back into the 8 socket race with a glue chip in the DL980.

The future m-class is a modified T chip and everyone knows it, the question is not how many sockets Oracle might try to patch together but how the interconnect will work.

After all its not just about the brain but the body that its in.

tata for now.......my ride is here

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Headmaster

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.

// Jesper

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Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

"...It's the same and the same and the same and the same and the same and the same again and again.. and it doesn't really change over the years...."

Maybe you should ask yourself WHY am I posting this? Why do you think? Is it because of the IBM people posting the same FUD again and again and again and again all the time? And it does not really change over the years.

As I have said many times, when IBM supporters stop posting their false FUD, then I will stop posting my replies. And besides, my replies are always backed up by credible links. Whereas the well known FUDer Allison Park does not show any links.

But when I post links where IBM itself says that AIX is going to be killed off, that link must be considered as credible.

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Happy

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

@Allison Park

What "BS"? What "crap?

Do you deny my IBM links, where IBM executives talk about killing off AIX? Those links are not crap nor BS. I am not making up things, that you like to do. I post credible links. Links that go to IBM executives must be considered more credible than your made up FUD with no links.

Regarding your details, you are wrong as usual. For instance, if you want POWER7 to increase performance, you can switch on some feature (single thread at higher clock speed? or something similar), but to do that, you need to reboot the POWER7 server. So there is no choosing "on the fly". :o)

And still, it is true that Intel is 10% slower than POWER7 in some benches. But that was for the old Westmere-EX. The new Ivy Bridge and next year Haswell will be much faster. So, do you really think it is "BS" and "Crap" that x86 will not catch up very soon? And then IBM has to lower the prices of POWER8 even more than the 3x the POWER7 cost today. Maybe you dont see it, but POWER is doomed. And coincidentally, AIX is doomed too, confirmed by IBM itself.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4285/westmereex-intels-flagship-benchmarked

No more POWER and no more AIX.

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Headmaster

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

Kebbabert.....

"Do you deny my IBM links, where IBM executives talk about killing off AIX? Those links are not crap nor BS. I am not making up things, that you like to do. I post credible links. Links that go to IBM executives must be considered more credible than your made up FUD with no links."

That exec i Steve Mills, he is actually the president of IBM's hardware and software division, if he really wanted to kill off AIX, why haven't he done it ?

Ohhh.. perhaps cause IBM last year had a ... 46% of the UNIX marked. And a stunning 53% in Q4.

Sooooo..yes... the evidence is there.. IBM is getting out of the UNIX marked. *CACKLE*

"Regarding your details, you are wrong as usual. For instance, if you want POWER7 to increase performance, you can switch on some feature (single thread at higher clock speed? or something similar), but to do that, you need to reboot the POWER7 server. So there is no choosing "on the fly". :o)"

Perhaps you need to try just to kind of research what you are talking about.. you are talking about Turbocore mode, where you disable half the Processor cores on a chip and then run the remaining at a higher clock, with more cache per core.

What Alison is talking about is threading....

// Jesper

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Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

"...if he really wanted to kill off AIX, why haven't he done it ?..."

It's not "he" alone. Several IBM execs talk about killing off AIX in the future. Not one guy. They talk about "multi-decade time frame" and "it will not happen soon". They also say the "future is clear". IBM is betting more and more on Linux.

Do you expect POWER8 to be 50% faster than POWER7? That is not enough to keep Intel at bay. All of us can see it, x86 _will_ catch up and surpass POWER. But that will take another 5 years of rapid development. Then IBM will struggle a bit, lower prices etc, before succumbing to x86. After another 5 years of struggle and diminishing margins, IBM will kill off AIX and POWER.

Thus, nothing in the IBM links I post here, contradicts reality. And then the IBM FUDers can sit on your antique AIX POWER6 and POWER7, while the rest of the world has moved on to x86 and Linux / Solaris / FreeBSD. And there was much rejoicing. But I doubt the IBM fud will stop then, it will only shift focus...

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Trollface

Re: Performance increase is not goal of a replacement....

Keb... that story is now... more than 9 years old.

Next you'll claim that IBM will stop selling computers cause, they believe that we only need one machine per continent.... based upon an old quote by a IBM top exec.

You are simply making a fool of yourself, I am sorry, there is really no other way of expressing it.

POWER/AIX is most likely a more strategic platform for IBM than their mainframe business is.

It most likely generates more overall revenue for IBM than Mainframe does.

Why start til talk about POWER8 when we obvious haven't even seen POWER7+ yet. According to sources on the net it'll feature up to 4 chips per socket, which will give POWER servers the ability to .. more or less annihilate the competition.

And before you dismiss POWER7+, then remember that last time that IBM did a MCM based system for their 'ordinary' machines, was on the p560Q, back in 2006 which actually held it's grounds up until POWER7 was introduced. It's seldom that you see a system that holds it's grounds in so many years.

// Jesper

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Happy

"..about 60 per cent from Hewlett-Packard..."

So Larry's boot to the Itanic's nuts is benefitting IBM then?

Let's hear it for the Law of Unintended Consequences.

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Not in enterprise but...

I really wonder if Oracle's needless removal of Sun brand and making BOFH crew mad by picking on Java users etc. has something to do with IBM massive switches..

I can't think of Oracle as enterprise hardware brand. I can't even say Oracle Java, I keep looking for Sun microsystems and remember it is Oracle Java now.

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The blues

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.

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