Last week, IBM published a new TPC-C benchmark result on the IBM System x3650 M4. What makes this result interesting is that the workload is virtualized – an industry first. What is more, IBM is the first x86 server vendor to crack 1 million transactions per minute (tpmC), virtualized.
Traditionally, workloads such as database, OLTP, analytics, and ERP did not make good candidates for virtualizing, perhaps due to concerns about performance. The IBM Linux Technology Center saw an opportunity to shed new light on this position.
The team built a configuration on the x3650 M4, running the integrated KVM virtualization technology found in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, with two Intel Xeon E5-2690 processors. The TPC-C benchmark, which involves multiple transaction types and a complex database, represents on line processing OLTP produced by a demanding, business critical workload.
If we compare the x3650 M4 virtualized result (1) with a comparable Flex System x240 non-virtualized result (2), we see the following:
- Performance that is 88% of the “bare metal” equivalent -- 1,320,082 tpmC vs 1,503,544 tpmC (TPC-C transactions per minute). An informal VMware study showed that virtualized performance approached 85% of non-virtualized – we did better than that!
- An improved price/performance of 3.2% -- 0.51 USD/tpmC versus 0.53 USD/tpmC
What this means is that for your database workloads, you get improved computing resource management and greater overall utilization of your systems thereby minimizing your costs.
I also note that the x3650 M4 TPC-C price/performance ratio of $0.51/tpmC is the lowest price/performance ratio ever achieved by IBM. This is a great indication of the value of the x3650 M4 for this type of workload.
IBM System x3650 M4 is a powerful two-socket, 2U rack server optimized for virtualization, thanks to its balanced strengths in memory density, high performance, and uptime. The x3650 M4 offers a flexible, scalable design and simple upgrade path to 16 drives (HDD or SSD), up to six PCIe Gen 3 slots, and 24 DIMM sockets. Combining balanced performance and flexibility, the x3650 M4 is a great choice for businesses that run compute-intensive database applications.
For more information about the x3650 M4, see the IBM Redbooks Product Guide.
(1) The x3650 M4 server reached 1,320,082 tpmC (transactions per minute C) at $ 0.51 USD/tpmC, using DB2 9.7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 and Kernel based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. Its configuration included two Intel Xeon E5-2690 processors at 2.9 GHz with 20 MB L3 cache per processor (2 chips/16 cores/32 threads), and 768 GB of memory. The IBM memory option used is the Netlist 32 GB HyperCloud HCDIMMs. Result as of 2/25/2013.
(2) The IBM Flex System x240 achieved 1,503,544 tpmC (transactions per minute C) at $ 0.53 USD / tpmC. The IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node achieved this tpmC result using DB2 9.7 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 in a configuration with two Intel Xeon E5-2690 processors at 2.9GHz with 20MB L3 cache per processor (2 processors/16 cores/32 threads), and 768GB of memory. The IBM memory option used in the benchmark is Samsung's Green DDR3 32GB LRDIMM. Result as of 4/11/2012.
TPC, TPC Benchmark, TPC-C and tpmC are trademarks of the Transaction Processing Performance Council.
David Watts is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on many areas related to IBM Flex System, IBM BladeCenter and IBM System x. Follow David on Twitter at @DavidAtRedbooks.