San Diego, CALIF. — By taking the now well-demonstrated clustering path to performance, Compaq Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. last week scored the highest-ever throughput on the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s TPC-C database benchmark while maintaining one of the best price/performance ratios among all TPC-C results.
The cluster reached a stable peak throughput of 505,302.77 transactions per minute at a five-year cost of ownership of just under $10.5 million.
The Compaq/Microsoft result edged out an IBM result from July by taking advantage of slightly newer hardwarein particular, 15,000-rpm SCSI Ultra3 Compaq drives, which have been shipping for only a few monthsand using 192 CPUs to IBM’s 128 CPUs.
The result shows the continuing strength of shared-nothing ap proaches on data sets that can be logically broken up into smaller groups, or partitions. (Shared-nothing clusters are made up of servers that manage their own local memory and storage.) With this result, the top five TPC-C results are all on shared-nothing clusters.
However, as attractive as shared-nothing clusters are for some applications, many customers won’t be able to take advantage of the technology, due to the centralized design of their databases. “About a third of our customers can take advantage of this scale-out architecture,” said Mike Nikolaiev, director of database engineering at Compaq, in Houston.
The rest of the market will need to redesign their databases or choose shared-disk designs, such as that of Oracle Corp.’s Oracle Parallel Server, which accommodate a wider variety of data arrangements.
At peak throughput, the cluster was able to handle queries and updates from 432,000 simultaneously connected users and still keep response times under 2.3 seconds for 90 percent of all requests.
Compaq supplied 24 ProLiant 8500 servers, each with eight 700MHz Pentium III Xeon CPUs, and Microsoft supplied the SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition database and Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating system.