Sun Server Takes Benchmark To Top Of Scalability

September 15, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

Palo Alto, CALIF. — Effectively demonstrating that its midrange server platform can scale to support major implementations of Lotus Domino, Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that a 12-way Sun Enterprise 4500 server was able to support a record 6,500 users at a rate of 3,251 transactions per minute when put to the test on the standardized NotesBench WebMail benchmark.

In addition to the server, Lotus Domino 5.0.4, Sun StorEdge A1000 disk arrays and the Solaris 8 Operating Environment were primary components of the record-breaking configuration. Solaris’ multi-threaded capabilities, enhanced network and file system handling, and 64-bit kernel address space proved to be exceptionally beneficial.

Fortified with robust UltraSPARC II processors, 16 GB of main memory and 218.4 GB of storage, the UNIX-based Sun Enterprise 4500 cast a long shadow over previously reported results. The number of users supported by the Sun server far exceeds what Linux and Windows NT systems – with 800 and 900 users, respectively – have been able to accomplish. To approach the new performance threshold established by Sun, several of these Linux and NT systems would have to be clustered together, leading to server sprawl scenarios, high maintenance costs and system management complexities.

“First and foremost, these results conclusively show that a single Sun midrange server can support a vast number of active Domino users within a substantial enterprise environment. This is a testament to the strong working relationship Sun and Lotus enjoy,” said John Bongiovanni, senior director of Performance and Applications Engineering, Sun Microsystems. “The added benefits come by way of in-cabinet expansion room – for extra CPU, memory and I/O bandwidth – and operating system continuity up and down our entire Sun Enterprise server family. Bringing more resources online to scale with user demand is a far simpler and cleaner proposition with Sun than it is elsewhere.”

Illustrating the near-linear scalability of the system, an eight-processor Sun Enterprise 4500 server handled 4,600 users – good for the number two spot overall – and 2,336 transactions per minute. The average transaction response time for the eight-way Sun Enterprise 4500 was 1.109 seconds per transaction. For the 12-way system it was 2.014 seconds per transaction. Against such large workloads, both figures are impressive.

“Lotus is extremely pleased that Sun has chosen to use Domino to help highlight the scalability of Sun servers,” said Lee Todd, senior vice president, Messaging and Collaboration Solutions, Lotus Development Corporation. “Scalability and performance are critical to the success of today’s sophisticated e-business architectures, and the results of Sun’s WebMail benchmark illustrate that Domino for Sun Solaris is one of the strongest platforms available for customers building collaborative Web solutions.”

The benchmark was conducted at Sun’s Performance and Applications Engineering labs in Menlo Park, Calif. A full-disclosure report is available at http://www.notesbench.org .

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