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July 2013

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Oracle’s SPARC T5 Servers Win Head-to-Head Battle Against IBM

In a detailed analysis of the cost differences between server infrastructures from Oracle and IBM, the Edison Group determined that Oracle’s SPARC T5 series servers with Oracle Solaris 11 have a significant total cost of ownership (TCO) advantage over IBM Power 750 hardware.

Using data from in-depth interviews with technical personnel currently involved in managing Oracle or IBM infrastructures, Edison created a TCO model based on specific server configurations from the two companies. The goal was to help IT decision-makers evaluate three key areas.

  • Acquisition costs, including hardware, software licenses, support, and energy requirements
  • Operational costs, encompassing installation, configuration, integration and testing, operations and technical support, and technical services
  • Downtime costs

Based on this model, Edison found that the TCO over five years for SPARC T5 servers running Oracle Solaris 11 is 59 percent lower than for the equivalent IBM configuration. The analysts reported a particularly high disparity in total cost of acquisition, which was 100 percent more expensive—twice as much—for the IBM servers running AIX 7.1 than for the Oracle T5 server infrastructures.

The latest generation of Oracle’s SPARC servers—SPARC T5 and SPARC M5-32 servers—were introduced this past spring, and so far have set more than 15 world records based on industry-standard benchmarks. On the single-node TPC-C benchmark, for example, the SPARC T5-8 beat IBM Power 770 and 780 and delivered the highest result of any single server in the world.

An Emphasis on Integration
Edison noted that Oracle’s emphasis on application-to-disk integration and management appears to be reflected in its much lower TCO, total cost of acquisition, and operational costs. “In addition, the study found much more extensive virtualization in Oracle environments than in IBM ones—an average of 20 virtual machines per server as opposed to 12—and reproduced that disparity in the TCO model. Despite that, the model’s IBM operational and technical services costs are 28 percent higher over five years than the Oracle one,” the authors of the Edison report wrote.

“Oracle’s TCO advantage works on both a technical and a business level,” says Larry Wake, senior principal product director in Oracle Solaris product marketing. “There are capabilities we build into Oracle Solaris that IBM charges significant prices for. To get the good stuff on an IBM system, you have to pay an extra US$13,000 compared to what Oracle offers.”

Read the full report and see detailed cost comparisons between SPARC T5 series servers with Oracle Solaris 11 and equivalent IBM models.

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Copyright © 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Intel and Intel Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. AMD, Opteron, the AMD logo, and the AMD Opteron logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

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