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IBM Power Systems

Cloud performance proof-points

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IBM® Power® System LC922 delivers more VMs and superior performance running YCSB with MongoDB at a lower price compared to tested x86 systems.

For the systems and workload compared:

  • Power LC922 provides 2X price-performance versus Intel Xeon SP Gold 6150 based servers
  • Power LC922 enables 47% better system-level performance
  • Power LC922 allows 1/3 more virtual machine to be supported
Power LC922 delivers more VMs and superior performance running YCSB with MongoDB at a lower price compared to tested x86 systems

IBM Power LC922
(44-core, 256 GB)
Intel Xeon SP based
two-socket server
(36-core, 256 GB)
Server price 2 , 3 , 4
3-year warranty
$21,878 $30,587
Operations per
second (ops/s) per VM
1
Four VMs at
118,232
Three VMs at
107,579
Ops/s 1
Performance
472,927 322,738
Ops/s per USD
Price-Performance
22 ops/s per USD 11 ops/s per USD


System configuration

IBM Power System LC922 Intel Xeon SP Gold 6150
IBM POWER9™, 2x 22-core/2.6 GHz/256 GB memory Two-socket Intel Xeon SP Gold 6150, 2x 18-core/2.7 GHz/256 GB memory
Two internal HDD Two 300 GB SATA 15K rpm HDD
10 GbE two-port 10 GbE two-port
One 16 Gbps FCA running four VMs of MongoDB 3.6 One 16 Gbps FCA running three VMs of MongoDB 3.6
RHEL 7.5 LE for POWER9 RHEL 7.5

Notes:

  1. The results are based on IBM internal testing of MongoDB 3.6.2 using YCSB workload. Results are valid as of 4/11/18 and tests were conducted under laboratory condition with speculative execution controls to mitigate user-to-kernel and user-to-user side-channel attacks on both systems. Individual results can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems, other conditions.
  2. IBM Power LC922 (two 22-core/2.6 GHz/256 GB memory) using two internal HDD, 10 GbE two-port, one 16 Gbps FCA running MongoDB 3.6 and RHEL 7.5 LE for IBM POWER9
  3. Competitive stack: Two-socket Intel Xeon SP (Skylake) Gold 6150 (two18-core/2.7 GHz/256 GB memory) using two 300 GB SATA 15 K rpm HDD, 10 GbE two-port, one 16 Gbps FCA , running MongoDB 3.6 and RHEL 7.5
  4. Pricing is based on Power LC922 http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html and publicly available x86 pricing.

IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) running on IBM Power System S924 delivers superior price-performance compared to x86

For the systems and workload compared:

  • The IBM® Power® System S924 costs less than the Intel 8180.
  • The Power S924 runs 3.4x more transactions per second (TPS) per core than the Intel 8180.
  • The Power S924 provides 2.43x better price performance than the Intel 8180.
  • The Power S924 solution enables 39% lower solution cost than using Intel 8180.


IBM Power S924
(24-core, 1024 GB)
Intel Xeon SP based two-socket server
(56-core, 768 GB)
TPS 1
Total transactions per second
32,221 TPS 21,888 TPS
Server price 2 , 3 , 4
3-year warranty
$94,697 $77,203
Solution cost 5
Server + Linux OS +
Virtualization + WAS
at $6,104 per core
$255,230
($94,697 + $14,047 + $146,496)
$422,946
($77,203 + $3,919 + $341,824)
TPS per $1000 126.2 TPS/$1000 51.8 TPS/$1000



System configuration

Power System Competitor
Power S924 with 24 cores and 1024 GB RAM Intel 8180 with 56 cores and 768 GB RAM

Notes:

  1. The results are based on the IBM internal testing of DayTrader 7 workload running IBM DB2® Standard Edition V11.1.2.2 and IBM WebSphere® Application Server (WAS) Liberty 17.0.0.3. Results valid as of 3/16/18 and conducted under laboratory condition with speculative execution controls to mitigate user-to-kernel and user-to-user side-channel attacks on both systems. Individual result can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems, and other conditions.
  2. IBM Power S924 (2x 12-core/2.9 GHz/1024 GB memory) 2x 600 GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 10 Gb two-port, one 16 Gbps FCA, DB2 Standard Edition V11.1.2.2, WAS Liberty 17.0.0.3, RHEL 7.4 and IBM PowerVM® (60 VMs)
  3. Competitive stack: 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Platinum 8180 (2x 28-core/2.5 GHz/768 GB memory), 2x 300 GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 1 Gb two-port, 1x 16 Gbps FCA, DB2 Standard Edition V11.1.2.2, WAS Liberty 17.0.0.3, RHEL 7.4 and KVM (60 VMs) with KVM host of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3.
  4. Pricing is based on Power S924 http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html DB2: Pricing link for SWG and typical industry standard x86 pricing https://www.synnexcorp.com/us/govsolv/pricing/
  5. WAS and IBM DB2 Direct Standard Edition pricing is based on USD regional perpetual license costs where certain discounts can apply and includes 3 years of support.

IBM Power System L922 running IBM Cloud Private delivers superior price-performance over Intel Xeon SP Gold 6130

For the systems and workload compared:

  • IBM® Power® System L922 runs 1.86x more queries per hour per core than Intel 6130.
  • Power L922 solution enables 43% lower solution cost than Intel 6130.
  • Power L922 cluster provides 1.66x better price performance than Intel 6130.


IBM Power L922
(16-core, 256 GB, two VMs)
Intel Xeon SP based two-socket server
(32-core, 256 GB, two VMs)
Server price 1 , 2 , 3
3-year warranty
$25,932 $29,100
Solution cost 4
Server + RHEL OS + Virtualization + ICP
Cloud Native VPC annual subscription at $250 per core per month x 36 months
$180,049
($25,932 + $10,117 + $144,000)
$321,019
($29,100 + $3,919 + $288,000)
Acme Air workload 5
Total transactions per second with two VMs
36,566 TPS 39,312 TPS
TPS/$1000 203.1 TPS/$1000 122.5 TPS/$1000



Notes:

  1. IBM Power L922 (2x 8-core/3.4 GHz/256 GB memory) 2x 600GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 10 Gb two-port, 1x 16 Gbps FCA, EDB Postgres Advanced Server 10, RHEL 7.4 with IBM PowerVM® (two partitions with 8 cores each).
  2. Competitive stack: 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Gold 6130 (2x 20-core/2.1 GHz/256 GB memory), 2x 600GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 1 Gb two-port, 1x 16 Gbps FCA , RHEL 7.4, KVM (2x VMs with 16 cores each)
  3. Pricing is based on Power L922 http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html, Typical industry standard x86 pricing https://www.synnexcorp.com/us/govsolv/pricing/.
  4. IBM software pricing for ICP Cloud Native VPC monthly subscription .
  5. The results are based on IBM internal testing of a VM image running the Acme Air workload (https://github.com/acmeair) with containers bound to a socket including a MongoDB microservice. Results are valid as of 3/17/18. and conducted under laboratory condition with speculative execution controls to mitigate user-to-kernel and user-to-user side-channel attacks on both systems. Individual result can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems, other conditions.

Reduce operating costs with IBM Power System L922 server running IBM Cloud Private

For the systems and workload compared:

  • Save over $2 million per 15 server rack with IBM® Power® System L922 running IBM Cloud Private compared to Intel Xeon SP.
  • IBM Power Systems™ designed for cognitive clouds:
    • Deliver more container throughput per core (1.86x better compared Intel-based systems)
    • Deliver more price-performance value per rack unit when running container-based workloads


15 x IBM Power L922
(16-core, 256 GB, two VMs)
15 x Intel Xeon SP based two-socket server
(32-core, 256 GB, two VMs)
Rack solution cost 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Server + RHEL OS + Virtualization
+ ICP Cloud Native VPC annual
subscription at $250 per core per month x 36 months
$2,700,735 $4,815,285
Acme Air workload 5
Total transactions per second with two VMs
548,490 TPS 589,680 TPS
TPS/$1000 203.1
TPS/$1000
122.5 TPS/$1000



Notes:

  1. IBM Power L922 (2x 8-core/3.4 GHz/256 GB memory) 2x 600 GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 10 Gb two-port, 1x 16 Gbps FCA, EDB Postgres Advanced Server 10, RHEL 7.4 with IBM PowerVM® (2x partitions at 8-cores each).
  2. Competitive stack: 2-socket Intel Xeon Skylake Gold 6130 (2x 20-core/2.1 GHz/256 GB memory), 2x 600 GB SATA 7.2K rpm LFF HDD, 1x Gb two-port, 1x 16 Gbps FCA , RHEL 7.4, KVM (2x VMs at 16-cores each).
  3. Pricing is based on Power L922 http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html, Typical industry standard x86 pricing https://www.synnexcorp.com/us/govsolv/pricing/ .
  4. IBM software pricing for ICP Cloud Native VPC Monthly Subscription.
  5. The results are based on IBM internal testing of a VM image running the Acme Air workload (https://github.com/acmeair) with containers bound to a socket including a MongoDB microservice. Results are valid as of 3/17/18 and conducted under laboratory condition with speculative execution controls to mitigate user-to-kernel and user-to-user side-channel attacks on both systems. Individual result can vary based on workload size, use of storage subsystems, and other conditions.

Open source Docker with IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty

For the systems and workload compared:

IBM POWER8 delivers improved container density at lower solution price. IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) Liberty V9 on IBM Power System S822LC for Big Data with open source Docker delivers 1.57X more containers and 1.96X better price-performance than Intel Xeon E5-2650 v4 Broadwell.

  • Container density – 57% more containers per server
  • Server capacity – 45% more aggregate throughput
  • Reduced infrastructure costs – 1.96X better price-performance


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System configuration

IBM Power System S822LC for Big Data Competitor: HP Proliant DL380
20 cores / 160 threads, POWER8 24 cores / 48 threads, Xeon E5-2650 v4
2.92 GHz, kernel 4.4.0-12-generic processor frequency governor of performance, and hardware prefetch disabled 2.2 GHz processor frequency governor of performance, and hardware prefetch disabled.
Ubuntu 16.04, had 512 GB memory, included 1 TB SATA 7200 rpm HDD, 10 Gb 4-port, one 16 Gbps FCA Ubuntu 16.04, had 512 GB memory, included 1 TB SATA 7200 rpm HDD, 10 Gb 4-port, one 16 Gbps FCA
WebSphere Application Server V9.0 Liberty profile; WebSphere Application Server V9.0 Liberty profile;
Java options: -Xmx512m, -Xms512m, -Xgcthreads8, -Xnocompactgc, -Xnoclassgc, -Xconcurrentlevel0, -Xdisableexplicitgc Java options: -Xmx512m, -Xms512m, -Xgcthreads8, -Xnocompactgc, -Xnoclassgc, -Xconcurrentlevel0, -Xdisableexplicitgc
Open source Docker version: 1.12.0 / API: 1.24 / Go: 1.6.3 Open source Docker version: 1.12.0 / API: 1.24 / Go: 1.6.3
Docker storage driver: overlay2 Docker storage driver: overlay2

Notes:

  • Results are based on IBM internal testing of a single system and OS image running with Acme Air workload (https://github.com/acmeair) on a private network with a dedicated JMeter driver machine and dedicated MongoDB server machine: One MongoDB instance per 8 WebSphere Application Server containers.
  • Each WebSphere Application Server container was bound to a full core to run with 20 users and a 25 ms think time between transactions. The number of containers were increased for each system until average throughput dropped below 400 transactions/second or latency exceeded 25 ms.
  • Tests were run on 29-Nov-2016. Individual results might vary depending on individual workloads, configurations, and conditions.
  • Pricing is based on: Power S822LC for Big Data (https://www.ibm.com/systems/power/hardware/linux-lc.html) and HP DL380 (https://h22174.www2.hp.com/SimplifiedConfig/Index) on 07-Dec-2016.
  • Pricing for WebSphere Application Server is based on 20% discount from Passport Advantage pricing (https://www.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/pao_customer.html) on 07-Dec-2016

Open Source Docker

For the systems and workload compared:

  • IBM Power System S824 delivers better performance than the compared Haswell for 12 cores with
    • Up to 42% better throughput
    • Up to 4X better latency
    • 2X container density
Docker graph comparing POWER8 to Xeon E5 V3

System configuration

IBM Power System S824 Xeon E5 V3 Haswell
Hardware Hardware
3.52 GHz, POWER8 split-core with SMT-ST mode, cpufreq governor=performance, 256 GB, PowerKVM 2.1.1, Storage: V7000 HDD 2.3 GHz, Haswell hyper threading enabled, cpufreq governor=performance, 768 GB, RHEL 7 with KVM, Storage: V7000 HDD
Software Software
IBM SDK v1.2, Node v0.12.1, Open Source Docker 1.6 Node v0.12.1, Open Source Docker 1.6.2

Notes:

  • The Acme Air web-based reservation system was used for testing. Acme Air: https://acmeair.github.io/acmeair/
  • The results occurred in a single KVM guest with the following characteristics:
    • Started with 20 high utilization (H) containers that support 20 users with no think time between transactions and represent 10% of active users and 192 low utilization (L) containers that support 20 users with 10 seconds of think time between transactions and represent 90% of active containers.
    • Increased density to 2X the initial container mix, while maintaining a 10L to 1H ratio.
  • Guest details: Ubuntu 15.04, 12 cores with 120 GB bound guest via XML file to single socket, virtio Ethernet with multi-queue=2,
  • Private network switch was used along with dedicated JMETER driver machine and dedicated MongoDB server machine: One MongoDB instance per 10H containers and one MongoDB instance per 50L containers.
  • Test completed November 12, 2015.

References:
IBM POWER8 with Docker Delivers Superior Cloud Performance (PDF, 482 KB)

Cloud internal workload with LAMP

For the systems and workload compared:

  • IBM Power Systems S822L supports 1.59X more users per hour at 65% lower cost with comparable performance compared to x86 running a LAMP application stack from Canonical, Apache, MariaDB, and Zend
Cloud internal workload with LAMP graph comparing POWER8 against Xeon E5-2650 V3

System configuration

Power S822L Xeon E5-2650 V3 Haswell
Hardware Hardware
3.52 GHz, 8-cores, 64 threads, 128 GB, Ubuntu 14.04 2.0 GHz, 16-cores, 128 GB, Ubuntu 14.04
Software Software
Magento 1.4, Zend 8, MariaDB 10.1 Magento 1.4, Zend 8, MariaDB 10.1
  • Results based on testing from February 15-21, 2016 and are based on the Magento e-commerce benchmark.

IBM Corporation 2017®

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