IBM breaks silence on server speed

IBM posted long-awaited performance scores Wednesday for its x440 server with 16 Intel Xeon processors, a system Big Blue is using to try to impose itself on a key part of the server market.

The system was able to perform 151,000 database transactions per minute, according to the scores. That's ahead of a rival 8-Xeon Hewlett-Packard DL760 G2 that clocked in at 115,000, but still behind the 32-Xeon Unisys Orion 230 that racked up 234,000 transactions.

The $1.7 million IBM system's score was about one-third of that posted by the highest-ranked system overall, a huge 128-processor Unix server from Fujitsu that comes with a $12 million price tag. The benchmark, or speed measurement, test was designed by the Transaction Processing Performance Council. Server makers can spend millions of dollars preparing for the widely watched TPC-C test. Although the benchmark results can be somewhat inflated through careful tuning and the use of unusual storage systems on the part of manufacturers, a good score can't be achieved without a good system.

IBM's x440 is the spearhead of a campaign by the company to conquer the market for Intel-based servers. For years, the capabilities of Intel servers weren't far removed from those of ordinary PCs, but IBM, HP, Dell Computer, Microsoft, Intel and component maker ServerWorks have been coaxing the systems' features closer to those of more powerful Unix machines.

News source: C|net

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