Unisys Nudges ES7000/Datacenter Higher on TPC-C Benchmark

Unisys Corp. posted another industry-standard benchmark this week in itspatient campaign to prove its CMP server loaded with 32 Intel Xeons and Windowscan scale to handle the largest loads.

The UnisysES/7000 is an Intel-based server that offers mainframe-like features such aspartitioning and modular I/O. Unisys positions it as a way to consolidate severalservers onto a single box, or a scalable database server, competing with Unixservers.

Unisys achieveda sixth-place result on the closely watched Transaction ProcessingPerformance Council's OLTP benchmark, the TPC-C, in the category ofraw performance for a non-clustered system.

The $3.5 millionconfiguration, which won't be available until March 10, with a 32-processorUnisys ES7000 database server as the anchor logged 165,000 transactions perminute on the benchmark (tpmC).

The result is a17 percent performance improvement over Unisys' first TPC-C benchmark run ofits ES7000 server from two months ago.

Pete Samson,vice president and general manager of Unisys technology sales development,attributes the self-improvement to better tuning of the software, faster diskdrives and more I/O. Unisys ran the test using SQL Server 2000 EnterpriseEdition and Windows Datacenter Server Limited Edition, an SMP-tuned version ofMicrosoft's highest end server operating system based on fully supported betacode from Windows .NET Datacenter Server.

The TPC-Cbenchmark was the playground where Microsoft ran up the scalability numberswith Windows 2000 by using dozens of servers in performance clusters -- whatMicrosoft called its scale-out approach.

Microsoft andpartners IBM and Compaq flooded the TPC-C benchmark with so many high numbersthat the benchmarking organization created separate clustered and non-clusteredresults lists. The companies have not brought forward many customers using theclustered approach, but they continue to publish clustered benchmarksoccasionally.

Bob O'Brien,group product manager in the Windows .NET Server Solution Group, says theWindows .NET server family will be about scale-up -- the approach of using asingle large system with a lot of headroom. The Windows .NET servers go intoBeta 3 testing this month.

"The mostimportant thing about [the Unisys] scale-up number is the price performance. Ifyou were to sort that top 10 list by price performance, the Unisys/Microsoftresult would be No. 1. The No. 2 position would be held by us and Unisys on theformer benchmark from September," O'Brien says.

TheUnisys/Microsoft cost per transaction of $21.33 is about two-thirds to half thecost of most of the systems above it on the list.

On rawperformance, however, Microsoft and Unisys need about a 40 percent performanceboost to catch up with the main pack on the Top 10 list and would have tonearly triple their result to reach the leader, a $12 million configurationfrom Fujitsu.

Although the duoappears maxed out, using the maximum 64 GB RAM in the system and the topavailable Intel Pentium III Xeon 900 MHz for all 32 server processors, don'tcount them out.

Unisys similarlypushed the ES7000/Datacenter combo slowly up in performance on SAP's benchmarkuntil it had the best number.

"We're notdone," Unisys' Samson vows. – ScottBekker