SPARC T4-4 Server Delivers Best Four-Processor Result on TPC-H Benchmark at 3 TB Scale Factor


(As of Wednesday, 30 November 2011)

Oracle's SPARC T4-4 delivers record-breaking four-processor result on the TPC-H data-warehousing benchmark at the 3000 GB scale factor, beating the best published result by HP and surpassing the performance of the eight-processor IBM Power 780 (see table). The result highlights the effectiveness of a complete solution built exclusively on Oracle software and hardware. The superior scalability and integration of Oracle Database 11g Release 2 running on Oracle Solaris 11, the SPARC T4-4 server and Oracle's Sun Storage 2540-M2 arrays deliver the best-in-class performance among competing solutions from HP and IBM.


The TPC-H benchmark was established by the Transaction Processing Council (TPC) to enable customers to evaluate the performance of various Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing (BIDW) and Decision Support Systems (DSS) systems for various standard database sizes, referred to as the scale factor (SF). The benchmark measures the combined performance of a particular database manager on a specific computer system at various scale factors, including 100 GB, 300 GB, 1000 GB, 3000 GB, 10000 GB, and 30000 GB, and reports the composite TPC-H Query-per-Hour (QphH) performance metric, as well as the price/performance metric, which is the total cost of the solution, consisting of hardware, software, and three-year maintenance costs divided by the QphH.


  SPARC T4-4 HP ProLiant
DL980 G7
IBM Power 780
Processor Model (CPUs/Cores/Threads) 3 GHz SPARC T4
2.27 GHz Intel
Xeon Processor
X7560 (8/32/128)
4.1 GHz
Performance (QphH@3000GB) 205,792 162,602 192,001
Price/Performance (US$/QphH@3000GB) $4.10 $2.68 $6.37
Execution times for refresh Functions RF1and RF2 reported from Stream 0 (sec) 67.1 / 39.5 173.0 / 126.3 147.3 / 133.2
Database Load Time 4h 8m 29s 8h 35m 17s 5h 51m 50s
Server Footprint (U) 5 8 16
Database Oracle Database
11g Release 2
Microsoft SQL
Server 2008 R2 EE
Sybase IQ 15.4
Operating System (OS) Oracle Solaris 11
Windows Server
2008 R2 EE
AIX 7.1
Availability Date 5/17/12 10/13/10 11/30/11
  • The SPARC T4-4 server with Oracle Database 11g demonstrated 7 percent better performance with 36 percent lower price per transaction in 1/3 the physical space of an eight processor IBM Power 780 running Sybase IQ database software (see table).
  • Compared to the best HP result at the 3 TB SF, SPARC T4-4 server, equipped with 3 GHz SPARC T4 processors and running Oracle Database 11g Release 2 on top of Oracle Solaris 11, is 27 percent faster and is capable of loading the entire dataset in half the time of an eight-processor HP DL980 server running Microsoft SQL server (see table).
  • As evidenced by these results, the SPARC T4-4 server is capable of reaching and surpassing the performance levels of much larger systems. Specifically, when these results are normalized to a single processor, the SPARC T4-4 is over two times faster per socket than the IBM Power 780 with eight POWER 7 processors and delivers 2.5x performance per socket when compared to the HP DL 980 with eight Intel Xeon CPUs (see table).
  • The Sun Storage 2540-M2 arrays used in this benchmark provided a well-balanced I/O configuration and delivered measured I/O performance of 17 GB/sec. These arrays deliver outstanding performance in a compact 2U form factor and enabled Oracle's solution to execute refresh functions up to 3.4 times faster than IBM and up to 3.2 times faster than HP (see table). Refresh functions insert or remove large amounts of data from the database and deliver better performance when running database software on a system with well-balanced I/O resources.
  • Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) was used to manage all database files across 12 Sun Storage 2540-M2 arrays. Moreover, mirroring was used to ensure complete data protection during benchmark execution and while maintaining Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (ACID). This approach enabled efficient and protected data placement and allowed the SPARC T4-4 system to load the entire dataset 100 minutes faster than IBM and up to 2 times faster than HP (see table).
  • Oracle Solaris is a leading enterprise operating system that provides best-in-class reliability, security, and scalability, and is well suited for large business critical database and application deployments. Oracle Solaris 11 includes Solaris Volume Manager (SVM) software that enables efficient and protected data placement and was used to manage and mirror database log files across four Sun Storage 2540-M2 arrays.
  • New benchmark results highlight Oracle's focus on delivering complete hardware and software solutions optimized to work together to deliver new levels of performance. Moreover, since TPC-H rules require the price of the solution to include hardware, software, and maintenance over a three-year period, these results demonstrate that Oracle provides the best long-term value to its customers.
  • SPARC-based systems running Oracle Database 11g now hold TPC-H performance records at the 3 TB scale factor for four-processor systems, as well as an overall single system world record set by Oracle's SPARC Enterprise M9000 server (386,478 QphH@3000GB, US$19.25/QphH@3000GB, available 9/22/11).
  • The benchmark underscores the ability of SPARC T-Series servers running Oracle Solaris to handle the increasingly large databases required for decision support and data warehousing systems. Neither IBM nor HP matched this level of performance using a single system in the 3 TB scale factor category, further highlighting the performance capabilities of multi-processor SPARC T-series servers and Sun Storage arrays for the most demanding enterprise applications.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. TPC Benchmark H, TPC-H, QphH are trademarks of the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC). More info Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Source for data in the table: Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) As of November 29, 2011.

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