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Windows Tops Unix in Another Benchmark

Compaq Computer Corp. is again pushing Windows 2000 into new scalability territory, on benchmarks at least.

Compaq this week announced results posted with the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) on the TPC-H benchmark for data warehousing decision support.

The TPC-H benchmark is designed to model decision support situations where complex queries are executed against large volumes of data. In order to provide customers with metrics relevant to their environments, the TPC splits the TPC-H benchmark into several categories.

Microsoft has previously performed well in smaller-sized data warehouse categories, such as the 100 GB and 300 GB. But prior to Compaq's entry using Windows 2000 Advanced Server and IBM's DB2 database, the 1 TB and 3 TB categories were the exclusive domain of Unix/RISC systems.

The Compaq-published results vault the Windows/DB2 systems to first place in raw performance and price performance in both the 1 TB category and the 3 TB category. Both systems used clusters of Compaq servers totalling 128 processors.

Compaq and Microsoft used the "scale-out" formula of ganging together several Windows-based Intel servers to break scalability records before on the TPC's OLTP scalability benchmark, the TPC-C. The two vendors unveiled record-breaking scalability on the TPC-C benchmark at the Windows 2000 launch in February 2000.

The approach was controversial due to its architectural fragility and lack of reference customers. Other vendors successfully challenged the Compaq/Microsoft TPC-C numbers on technical grounds, but Compaq and Microsoft teamed to rerun the tests later and re-established high scalability marks.

Playing the part of neutral party, Compaq worked with Microsoft and IBM on the new TPC-H results in the midst of a marketing campaign with those companies' fierce database rival Oracle for Oracle9i clusters built on Compaq systems.

The $6 million Compaq/IBM/Microsoft configuration used in the TPC-H benchmark runs will not be available until June 20.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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