Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 17th Sep 2013 22:04 UTC, submitted by garyd
General Development

ZFS is the world's most advanced filesystem, in active development for over a decade. Recent development has continued in the open, and OpenZFS is the new formal name for this open community of developers, users, and companies improving, using, and building on ZFS. Founded by members of the Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and illumos communities, including Matt Ahrens, one of the two original authors of ZFS, the OpenZFS community brings together over a hundred software developers from these platforms.

ZFS plays a major role in Solaris, of course, but beyond that, has it found other major homes? In fact, now that we're at it, how is Solaris doing anyway?

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RE[4]: Solaris is doing well
by Kebabbert on Sat 21st Sep 2013 10:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Solaris is doing well"
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"The T4 is still outperformed on Oracle Database 11g by HP's BladeSystem RAC configuration running Oracle Linux, and edged out by HP's Proliant DL980 G7 running Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 both on price performance and raw power. Both are x86 systems."

The SPARC T4 has a maximum of 4 sockets, there are no larger T4 servers. And as such, is a tiny server. The HP bladesystem is a RAC cluster, consisting of several PCs. It is easier to beat a single server if you are using clusters. The Windows SQL Server 2008 is a small server. Sure it competes with SPARC T4 on 4-socket servers, but the difference is that Windows SQL is topped out, whereas Oracle Database can continue to scale even to very large servers. Just because you can compete on 1-4 sockets, does not mean you can keep compete when you go above 8 sockets. I am convinced Windows SQL has scaling problems and you will see steep deterioration above 4 sockets or so. But on 1-4 sockets I think Windows SQL does excellent, because MS has optimized and tested the code for few sockets. It is difficult to scale to many sockets and keep the performance intact. There is a scaling problem.

But I agree that the SPARC T4 was not that good on all benchmarks because it stopped at four sockets. T4 is more of a server cpu, built to handle many threads and many users at a high throughput. A desktop cpu has few strong threads, so it can not service many many clients, only few of them at a time. On databases though, the T4 was very good. Oracle is a database company, so that is to be expected.

Regarding "Oracles internal benchmarks" said the IBM spokesperson. Sun Microsystems SPARC cpus had several world records running Oracle software, long before Oracle bought Sun. Oracle is an important enterprise software provider, so IBM and Sun and many others benchmarked Oracles software, "Peoplesoft", etc. And SPARC was always much faster than IBM POWER, because SPARC is a server cpu handling many clients. For instance, you needed 14 (fourteen) IBM POWER6 cpus to match 4 SPARC T2 cpus in Peoplesoft v8.0 benchmarks back then (Google "Peoplesoft v8 benchmarks" and compare IBM to Sun). SPARC T2 crushed IBM back then, in many server benchmarks which all favours high throughput. Some years later, Oracle bought Sun, and guess what? SPARC still continued to crush IBM on the same Oracle benchmarks, Peoplesoft, etc. But because IBM still could not beat SPARC in high throughput benchmarks using Oracle software, IBM changed strategy and said "no, we will not compete on Oracle benchmarks any more". But SPARC has always crushed IBM POWER on those benchmarks, even long before Oracle owned SPARC. Ergo, "internal benchmarks" is just FUD from IBM.

You should know that IBM is FUDing a lot and according to wikipedia, it was actually IBM that started to employ FUD on a wide systematic scale:,_uncertainty_and_doubt#Definition

The latest SPARC T5 cpu is twice as fast as the T4. And the SPARC T5 has twice the number of sockets, up to 8. So T5 servers are four times faster. And very good at databases, and also has the world record in many server benchmarks. It is almost three times as fast as IBM POWER7 on some database benchmarks. T5 utterly crushes IBM POWER7, IBM can not compete anymore.

And guess what IBM is saying in response to the worlds fastest cpu T5? "We dont understand why Oracle is talking about how fast cpus they have, no one is interested in cpu performance any longer. Talking about cpu performance is so 2000ish". I am convinced that if the coming IBM POWER8 is good, IBM will start to brag a lot how fast the POWER8 is. ;)

“...[performance] was a frozen-in-time discussion,” Parris said in an interview Wednesday. “It was like 2002–not at all in tune with the market today.”...Companies today, Parris argued, have different priorities than the raw speed of chips. They are much more concerned about issues like “availability”–resistance to break-downs–and security and cost-effective utilization of servers than the kinds of performance numbers Ellison throws out..."

My point is that when IBM can not compete, IBM will start to FUD. As IBM always have done.

For instance, the largest IBM Mainframe with 24 sockets, is claimed to replace up to 1.500 x86 servers. But, if you happen to know that IBM Mainframe cpus at 5.26GHz are much slower than a decent x86 cpu, you will start to wonder. If you dig a bit, it turns out that all x86 servers are idling, and the Mainframe is 100% loaded! How can a Mainframe cpu replace even a single x86 cpu?? Let alone 1.500 x86 cpus! My point is that you should be cautious what famous FUDing company IBM says. The largest IBM Mainframe has 50.000 MIPS, which corresponds to 200.000 MHz x86 (see link below). An 10-core x86 cpu at 2GHz equals 20.000MHz. How many x86 cpus are needed to reach 50.000 MIPS? So, are the IBM Mainframes so fast as IBM claims, or is it only FUD?

Another example of IBM FUD is this. The POWER7 has few but strong cores. The SPARC T5 has many but weaker cores. IBM says: POWER7 core is faster - this is true in some benchmarks. Therefore the POWER7 cpu is faster - this is false. Just because IBM has stronger cores, it does not make the entire cpu stronger. Imagine IBM has only one strong core, and SPARC has 1000 slightly weaker cores, which cpu is fastest you recon?

IBM claims that Oracle SPARC T5 world records are false, that SPARC T5 is not the worlds fastest cpu. Oracle is lying says IBM. Nothing is correct, says IBM:
"....Oracle announced their new SPARC T5 processor with much fanfare and claiming it to be the “fastest processor in the world”. Well, perhaps it is the fastest processor that Oracle has produced, but certainly not the fastest in the world. You see, when you publish industry benchmarks, people may actually compare your results to other vendor’s results. This is exactly what I would like to do in this article.

...Being “fastest processor in the world” means that such processor must be able to handle the most transactions per second per processor core

...However IBM produced the world record result in terms of EjOPS per processor core – truly a measure of the fastest processor known to men..."

Here IBM claims that because IBM has stronger cores and therefore beats the SPARC T5 cpu. Well, the T5 has twice the number of cores compared to the POWER7 cpu. So the T5 cpu is actually faster. So IBM is FUDing again.

And actually, SPARC T5 core is faster. For instance in TPC-C and TPC-H benchmarks, the T5 core is 24% faster than IBM POWER7.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Solaris is doing well
by Alfman on Sat 21st Sep 2013 14:46 in reply to "RE[4]: Solaris is doing well"
Alfman Member since:


Wow, that's a long post, I'll just respond to the main point.

"My point is that when IBM can not compete, IBM will start to FUD. As IBM always have done."

I wasn't denying that bias&FUD exists on the part of IBM, surely it does...however I'd take all statements with a pinch of salt, whether they've from IBM, Oracle (HP, SGI or anybody else).

I'll always trust third party benchmarks over the "horse's mouth". Unfortunately with solaris, oracle are actually guilty of banning third parties from publishing solaris benchmarks. While this by itself doesn't imply that their stuff performs badly, it does imply that oracle wants to hide the truth and that we only get to see benchmarks of their choosing.

Reply Parent Score: 2