IBM Breaks Performance Records with 256-Core Unix Server

Paul Lilly

For the inevitable comedian who thinks he's being witty by posting a comment asking, "Yes, but can it run Crysis," the answer is, "Yes, it can, so go out and buy a dozen of them." That's wrong, of course, but IBM's latest Power7-based system does have what it takes to top the 10 million transactions per minute mark using the industry standard TPC performance benchmark, IBM says.

With a 10,366,245 tpmC score, IBM lays claim to the highest TPC-C benchmark result using a Power Systems configuration with its DB2 database software. According to IBM, that's more than twice as fast as HP's best result, and 35 percent better than what Oracle was able to achieve.

That's impressive, even if it isn't designed to run Crysis, or any other game for that matter. So who can use these systems?

"Smarter healthcare providers, cities, retailers, smarter energy grids, and financial systems, all require support for ever greater data volumes and transaction throughput," said Arvind Krishna , General Manager, IBM Information Management. "The results of this benchmark demonstrate how IBM innovations combine to deliver unprecedented performance and cost efficiency for data intensive applications. Not only can you scale to massive data volumes and transaction throughput, but you can do so economically in an energy efficient way."

The record breaking benchmark score was achieved using DB2 9.7 with a cluster of three IBM Power 780 servers, each one sporting 8 processors, 64 cores, and 256 threads.

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