Sun Fire X2270 M2 Posts Single-Node World Records on Three Prominent Technical Computing Applications


(As of Monday, 28 June 2010)

Oracle's Sun Fire X2270 M2 server is a cloud-centric compute node that offers the perfect price/performance balance for advanced memory-intensive technical computing workloads. Running SUSE Linux OS on 2 x 2.93GHz Intel Xeon X5670 processors and using 48GB of memory on single-node experiments, the Sun Fire X2270 M2 server outpaced the leading posted results by competing servers on three (MCAE) applications: FLUENT, Abaqus, and MSC/Nastran.


ANSYS's FLUENT software solves fluid flow problems and is based on a numerical technique called computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which is widely used in the automotive, aerospace and consumer products industries. The FLUENT 12 benchmark test suite consists of seven models that are well suited for multi-node clustered environments and representative of modern engineering CFD clusters. Vendors benchmark their systems with the principal objective of providing comparative performance information for FLUENT software that, among other things, depends on compilers, optimization, interconnect, and the performance characteristics of the hardware.

The Abaqus/Standard Server Benchmark version 6.9 focuses on execution of medium to large sized nonlinear jobs running on a compute node. In the case of smaller SMP machines, the assumption is made that a single host will be dedicated to running a single Abaqus job. For large SMP machines where multiple Abaqus jobs may be executed on a single host, times are given both for a single job running on the machine (sequential execution) and the throughput situation when multiple jobs are run simultaneously (simultaneous execution).

The MD (Multi Discipline) Nastran application performs both structural (stress) analysis and thermal analysis. The MD Nastran MDR3 test suite is representative of typical MSC/Nastran applications involving linear statics, nonlinear statics, and natural frequency extraction and can have a substantial I/O component where up to ¼ of the total run time could be associated with I/O activity.


Table 1. Fluent 12.1.2 Benchmark (large models)
Results are "Ratings" (bigger is better)

System Cores Model: Truck_14M
Sun Fire X2270 M2 12 94.8
SGI ALTIX_XE1300C 12 90.2
System Cores Model: Truck_Poly_14M
Sun Fire X2270 M2 12 96.4
CRAY CX1 12 87.5
System Cores Model: Truck_Poly_14M
Sun Fire X2270 M2 12 96.4
Sun Fire X2270 8 73.3

Table 2. Abaqus/Standard Server Benchmark (Single Node)

Test Case Sun Fire X2270 M2 (12 cores)
S2A 256 seconds
S4B 1033 seconds
S4D 730 seconds
S6 1234 seconds

Table 3. MD Nastran MDR3 Benchmark Tests Results are wall clock time in seconds

  xl1fn40 xl0imf1 XX0XST0 vl0sst1
Sun Fire X2270 M2 (12 cores) 2337 999 704 115

  • The Sun Fire X2270 M2 server equipped with 2x Intel Xeon X5670 processors posted the fastest single server results on Fluent 12.1.2 benchmark. As evident from Table 1, when using larger test cases of the benchmark, Oracle's x86 server is between 5% and 15% faster than competing systems from Cray and SGI. Moreover, compared to the previous generation of Oracle's Sun Fire systems, the new compute node is 32% faster using essentially the same software configuration. This is representative of performance improvement customers would realize with the acquisition of the latest Intel Xeon 5600 processor series-based Sun Fire servers.
  • The Sun Fire X2270 M2 server, equipped with two internal solid state drives (SSD), produced the best single-node result across all test cases of the Abaqus/Standard Server Benchmark, beating HP BL460c G6 blade and SGI XE340 server on most of the test cases. Clearly, Oracle's 1U x86 server is the ideal system for building technical computing infrastructure and allows customers to increase performance without increasing power consumption and physical footprint.
  • On the MD Nastran MDR3 benchmark tests the Sun Fire X2270 M2 server outperforms all other single-node results based on Xeon, Opteron, Itanium and POWER processors posted by competitors such as HP and IBM. Delivering accelerated performance by utilizing SSDs to boost the I/O performance while consuming up to 80% less energy, the Sun Fire X2270 M2 server provides maximum value to customers in a dense space and power envelope.

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