HP Pushes Windows Server 2003 Scalability Higher

A day after Microsoft and NEC Corp. reached the top of the Transaction Processing Performance Council's OLTP benchmark raw performance list, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard smashed that record.

Both the NEC and HP results are based on Intel's unreleased third-generation of the Itanium processor, code-named "Madison."

The announcements were timed to coincide with the launch of Microsoft's Windows Server 2003, the first general release of Windows server that supports the 64-bit Itanium processor.

The record-breaking HP system contained 64 processors, twice as many as have ever been used in a Windows-based TPC-C benchmark.

The HP/Microsoft/Intel test achieved 658,277 tpmC (transactions per minute on the TPC-C test). That's a 28 percent performance boost over the 514,035 tpmC submitted to the TPC by NEC/Microsoft/Intel on Wednesday.

The result is also a 45 percent bump in performance over a 128-processor result run by Fujitsu on Sparc processors and Solaris back in 2001, which was the No. 1 result until Wednesday.

The 64-processor HP Superdome server, the backbone of a $6.4-million configuration, did well on Windows servers' traditional stronghold of price performance as well, registering a price per tpmC of $9.82.

During his Windows Server 2003 launch keynote Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the NEC and HP results together validate a promise he made many years ago when hiring David Cutler, the architect of Windows NT.

"When we originally hired Dave Cutler, he said, 'Look, I don't want to work on toy operating systems. I want to work on real operating systems.' I know I can now look David in the eye and say, we're past that for sure," Ballmer said.

The system maxed out the capabilities of the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, using 64 processors and 512 GB of RAM. The benchmark also used the 64-bit version of SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition, which was also launched on Thursday.

The new "Madison" Itanium processors are due out in the middle of the year. They have a clockspeed of 1.5 GHz and 6 MB of cache.

Intel president and chief operating officer Paul Otellini said the processors are only a start for Intel Itanium-based scalability in the next few years.

While the follow-on to "Madison" will be a lower-end Itanium chip called "Deerfield," the one after that slated for 2005 will bring multiple-core technology to the processor. "These chips will take the absolute performance another two to three times higher," Otellini said. A few years after that, Otellini promised, "We have in development an Itanium processor that will take this up to a factor of 10 of where this [pointing to the HP Superdome on the stage] is today."

About the Author

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


  • How To Replace an Aging Domain Controller

    If the hardware behind your domain controllers has become outdated, here's a step-by-step guide to performing a hardware refresh.

  • Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

    Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

  • Microsoft Suggests Disabling Old Protocols with Exchange Server 2019

    Exchange Server 2019 with Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) can help organizations rid themselves of old authentication protocols, which constitute a potential security risk.

  • Microsoft Previews New Edge Browser on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

    Microsoft announced this week that it has released previews of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge Web browsers for use on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 systems.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.