Since Oracle JAVA like many other software is charged per core it might be more and more interesting where to get the most performance out per license… remember the announcement 3 years ago when Oracle brought their M8 SPARC chips – double JAVA performance than x86 and Power. Three years later that’s still true and proven by public SPEC benchmarks which show amazing results for M8 based servers. Compared to the latest and greatest x86 chips from Intel and AMD the latest SPARC chip still has 100% more capacity for jOPS and leads the critical jOPS per core! That would mean in a commercial point of view you would need double licenses for the same workload on other platforms.
And don’t forget the incredible performance when it comes down to In-Memory analytics. When M8 was announced the chip provided 10x faster results using the build on DAX engines than any other vendor. I saw comparisons now a days still showing 8x faster queries than the rest on market.
And in the end everyone talks about security but nearly no one encrypts their workload; most of the time because it ruins the critical performance. That’s not true on SPARC – encrypt all your business but only loose 2 to 4 % with end-to-end encryption and all performance features mentioned before.
So, with Moore’s law you could get the performance which will show up probably in 2 to 4 years. But looking back to the last 10 years of Intel’s single core performance it grew by 10 to 15%, especially when it comes down to multi core environments where Intel’s chips lose their ability to increase turbo modes on specific cores. On modern Platinum chips they scale very well up to 14-16 cores but using 24 or even more cores you are thrown back to the performance you got 10 years ago with 2GHz… it’s still true, if you need enterprise class systems with a predictable performance and linear scale you have to go with enterprise CPUs like SPARC.
(or Power – did I really say that?)
See the whole presentation from Bill Nesheim, SVP Oracle Solaris Engineering:
Oracle SPARC & Solaris Consistent, Simple, Secure
4 thoughts on “SPARC performance still rulez!”
All good but Oracle Java has abandoned SPARC and Solaris. Nobody I know in the Java community is buying the Oracle hogwash of “Solaris SPARC customers will naturally want to stay on Java 8 and thus have no interest in new Java releases”. Java developers will quickly discover that Oracle Solaris does not support the new post-Java 8 features that they’ve invested time to learn and master, and will target different platforms for their applications.
Unfortunately I can also see that… only had two new customers switching to Solaris SPARC in the last two years. One with a overloaded database where x86 could not scale enough under pressure and another one with weblogic and an online java / plsql site with 1000s of users and few licenses… both are super happy now and will survive the next 5 years…
no one is interested in technical facts if it comes down to hardware prices unless they see the difference… but nowadays no one is brave enough to recommend SPARC as a new platform… it‘s a pitty, and Oracle‘s fault in the end…
Thanks for your comment
Had a customer with a dozen+ large systems, which decided to virtualize on SPARC for the new year, because of performance, licensing, and flexibility… good fiscal & performance decision.
The movement of Java on Solaris past Java 8 is on!
Great news! If you ask me, there is absolutely no reason not investing in SPARC again in this current life cycle. Solaris support promised till 2034 and Oracle signed a public contract in the states to sell M8 based servers at least for the next 5 years. And you still have Fujitsu with a great portfolio and a roadmap with a new generation. Customers here migrate big irons like M6 on T8-2 because the new platform has such a great performance. Let’s see what will happen, 5-10 years, it will chance a lot – perhaps we see something with PCI-5 or 6 and DDR5 coming out when available and makes sense for Oracle. Now Oracle would just change the CPU where they say it’s already the fastest… no real new generations in the back end so it makes no sense. They have all they need in the laboratory. But let’s see what will happen with Intel and ARM in the future. And don’t forget quantum computing if it really comes in a near future as a game changer for all current CPU vendors. I still hope the best for my beloved SPARC environments and Solaris 😉