White Paper. Better Performance, Lower Costs. The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM versus HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.

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1 89 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor New York, NY White Paper Better Performance, Lower Costs The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM versus HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 May 2013

2 This report was developed by Edison Group, Inc. with IBM assistance and funding. This report may utilize information, including publicly available data, provided by various companies and sources, including IBM. The opinions are those of Edison Group, Inc. and do not necessarily represent IBM s position. Printed in the United States of America. expressed or implied on the information contained herein and shall be held harmless for errors resulting from its use. All products are trademarks of their respective owners. First Publication: May 2013 Produced by: Samuel Neis, Analyst; Harold Kreitzman, Analyst; Barry Cohen, Chief Analyst and Editor-in-Chief; Manny Frishberg, Editor

3 Table of Contents Executive Summary... 1 Performance Comparison... 3 Competing Systems... 3 Benchmark Methodology... 4 TPoX and DB Benchmarking Strategy... 4 Performance Conclusions... 6 TCA and TCO Analyses... 7 Introduction... 7 TCA and TCO Cost Component Treatment... 8 TCA Results... 9 Five-year TCO Results Conclusions... 14

4 Executive Summary IBM Power Systems, running with IBM PowerVM virtualization, are powerful Linux server hardware platforms designed for industry standard Linux distributions, such as Red Hat and SUSE, as well as independent software vendors and open source applications. The performance advantages of Power Systems over their competition allow programs to access data more rapidly. An IBM PowerLinux 7R2 System, with eight cores and per-physical-core licensed PowerVM, is as much as 47 percent more cost effective than a competing x86-based system from HP (which requires 16 cores to match the PowerLinux 7R2 performance). As shown in Figure 1 below, a PowerLinux 7R2 system performs roughly twice as many transactions per second as an x86-based system with the same number of physical cores, when the number of hosted virtual machines (VM) is selected to maximize utilization. In fact, an x86-based system cannot match the performance of a PowerLinux 7R2 system with a half as many physical cores in a virtualized environment. This white paper examines these relationships to establish a basis for cost calculations, which compare systems of equivalent real-world processing power. Figure 1: Benchmark Performance Comparison: HP ProLiant DL380p and IBM Power 7R2 The Total Cost of Acquisition (TCA) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analyses show the dependency of real-world costs on the processor count of a server solution. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 1

5 This white paper targets IT decision makers considering a business-level selection from among various virtualized architectures and platforms for their Linux server. The first section of this paper uses benchmark data to establish the relative performance levels of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 servers and HP ProLiant DL380p servers with varying numbers of physical cores. The second section presents the results of TCO and TCA analyses comparing systems of similar performance levels. PowerLinux systems from IBM bring the proven performance of IBM Power hardware to the Linux market at a superior price point. PowerLinux systems are virtualized with IBM s PowerVM technology, increasing processor utilization in virtualized systems while improving the reliability and security of the systems. Though high performance is commonly associated with high cost, PowerLinux systems benefit from virtualization, workload and resource management through PowerVM. The resulting performance makes them cost-effective and affordable. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 2

6 Performance Comparison Competing Systems The table below shows the configurations of the competing systems. The systems are of equivalent size in terms of CPU core count, RAM, storage and other peripherals. All 16 cores were licensed during performance testing to measure a range of performance test points. Configuring the two systems for equivalent performance results in less RAM and physical cores than in the more powerful system. System HW Component IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM HP ProLiant DL380p with VMware vsphere 5.1 Chassis IBM PowerLinux 7R2 ProLiant DL380p Gen8 Processor RAM Storage: Magnetic Fibre Channel Network Adapter Power Supply 16 cores (2 x 8-core 4.2 GHz POWER7+ Processor Module) 384GB (12 x 32GB DIMMs, 1066MHz) 2 x 146GB 15K RPM SFF SAS Disk Drive PCIe LP 8Gb 2-Port Fibre Channel Adapter PCIe2 LP 4-port 1GbE Adapter System AC Power Supply, 1925 W 16 cores (2 x 8 core 2.9Ghz Intel Xeon E processor) 384GB (24 x 16GB Dual Rank x4 PC3L-10600R) 2 x 146GB SAS 15K SFF hot-plug Smart Drive SC Enterprise disk drive (2.5") HP 82E Emulex 8Gb 2-port PCIe Fiber Channel Host Bus Adapter HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331FLR Adaptor 750W Common Slot Gold Hot Plug Power Supply Table 1: Hardware Configurations System Software IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM HP ProLiant DL380p with VMware vsphere 5.1 Virtualization IBM PowerVM for IBM PowerLinux VMware vsphere 5.1 Enterprise OS SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 Database IBM DB2 v9.7fp5 (16 x 70 PVU) IBM DB2 v9.7fp5 (16 x 70 PVU) Table 2: System Software Configuration Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 3

7 For the purposes of benchmark testing, all 16 physical cores on both systems were available. Administrator utilities of the virtualization software were used to control the number of physical cores actually used during each benchmark run. Benchmark Methodology TPoX and DB2 TPoX (Transaction Processing over XML) is an application-level XML database benchmark based on a financial application scenario. It simulates actual applicationlevel access to a DB2 database and performs queries, inserts, updates, and deletes in a concurrent multi-user workload. It is an XML OLTP benchmark using data-oriented XML structures, very large numbers of relatively small XML documents (1 kb to 20 kb), short read/write transactions, and a high degree of concurrency. It models a securitytrading scenario that uses a real-world XML Schema (FIXML). TPoX is an open-source benchmark developed by IBM in collaboration with Intel and others. It is available at: This study used TPoX version 2.1, accessing an IBM DB2 version 9.7-backend database. Benchmarking Strategy Tests were run with two, four, eight, 12 and 16 physical cores available to multiple virtual machines running TPoX. For each core-count test run, the ratio of Virtual Machines to physical cores was 15:2. Three gigabytes of RAM was allocated to each VM, with eight gigabytes allocated to the Virtual In/Out System. Thus, the number of virtual machines in the five tests were 15 (two cores and 53GB RAM allocated), 30 (four cores and 98GB RAM allocated), 60 (eight cores and 188GB RAM allocated), 90 (12 cores and 278GB RAM allocated) and 120 (16 cores and 368GB RAM allocated). The number of available cores for each test was controlled by modifying the shared pool in PowerVM or by setting schedule affinities in VMware vsphere. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 4

8 Benchmark Results The benchmark findings are charted below: Figure 2: PowerLinux 7R2 vs. ProLiant DL380p Benchmark Results The PowerLinux 7R2 system has a performance advantage of nearly two to one at each test point. Overall the performance results for the PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM are more than twice the results for the ProLiant DL380p with vsphere v5.1, when running with all 16 physical cores, is no larger than the result when running with only eight cores. The exact values are tabulated below: Available Cores Virtual Machines RAM Used Transactions per Second PowerLinux 7R2 ProLiant DL380p PowerLinux 7R2 Performance Advantage GB % better GB % better GB % better GB % better GB % better Average 105% better Table 3: PowerLinux 7R2 vs. ProLiant DL380p Benchmark Results Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 5

9 Averaged across the test points, the PowerLinux 7R2 results are 105 percent greater than the competing system, and the advantage increases with increased utilization. With both systems at maximum utilization the PowerLinux 7R2 s results are 126 percent better. In fact, the competitor system s maximum result (5332 transactions per second with 16 cores) is slightly below the PowerLinux 7R2 s result with only eight processors. It is also important to note that as the test scaled RAM usage with VM count, the PowerLinux 7R2 system achieved these results while using not quite half as much RAM. Transactions per second Available Cores Virtual Machines RAM Used PowerLinux 7R2 ProLiant DL380p PowerLinux 7R2 Performance Advantage GB GB % better Table 4: PowerLinux 7R2 vs. ProLiant DL380p Performance Points for TCO/TCA System Selection Performance Conclusions In terms of performance, a PowerLinux 7R2 system can out-perform an x86-based system equipped with twice as many physical cores and almost twice as much RAM. Given two systems whose hardware specifications are equivalent, in terms of physical processor count, quantity of RAM, quantity of storage, and technology of peripheral devices, an IBM PowerLinux 7R2 system with PowerVM virtualization demonstrated that it can significantly outperform an HP ProLiant DL380p system with VMware vsphere 5.1 virtualization. The cost benefits of the smaller size of the PowerLinux 7R2 system are explored in the TCA and TCO Analyses section. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 6

10 TCA and TCO Analyses Introduction TCA (Total Cost of Acquisition) analysis captures the out-of-pocket costs incurred at the time of purchase. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Analysis reviews all of the costs involved in the acquisition, installation, licensing, maintenance and bricks-and-mortar infrastructure needs of a server solution, for a fixed period of time. These TCA and TCO analyses compare an IBM PowerLinux 7R2 server with IBM PowerVM virtualization to an HP ProLiant DL380p server with VMware vsphere 5.1 virtualization. 1 As documented in the Performance Comparison section of this document, the HP ProLiant DL380p uses twice as many physical cores and almost twice as much RAM. The specifications of the ProLiant DL380p system in the TCA and TCO are unchanged from those listed in Tables I and II in the Performance Comparison section of this document. To create systems with roughly equivalent performance the PowerLinux 7R2 system s size was modified as follows: The PowerLinux 7R2 system has two eight-core processor modules, with per corelicensed PowerVM on only one of the modules. The PowerLinux 7R2 system has 200GB of RAM (to accommodate the 198GB allocated during the eight-core benchmark). The PowerLinux 7R2 system is licensed for 8 x 70PVU of IBM DB2 v9.7fp5. The reduced physical core licensing, and resulting database software licensing, impact the cost of the PowerLinux 7R2 system. IBM s per-core licensing cost for PowerVM uniquely complements the relative performance advantage of each Power7+ core, creating a powerful and cost-effective system. VMware vsphere 5.1 licensing is only available per socketed processor, rather than per core. Additionally, the top-end performance of the 7R2 can be increased when needed simply by licensing the remaining cores in the system. 1 A fifteen percent discount was applied across all costs except those associated with daily operations and facility equipment. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 7

11 TCA and TCO Cost Component Treatment With the TCA, there is no accounting treatment and therefore no need to differentiate the cost components into capital and/or operating categories. In the case of three-year maintenance agreements, the full cost of the contract has to be paid up front, so it is included as a part of the TCA. Rents, power, and personnel are not included, as they are paid as a part of daily operations, not upfront. For the TCO analysis, a five-year horizon was chosen. Any multi-year contracts are accrued on a yearly basis. In other words, three-year contract costs are broken down into one-year increments, and those increments are used to compare five years of maintenance for both. This avoids comparing a five-year maintenance cost with the cost of two three-year maintenance contracts. Hardware refresh costs are not included. A summary of cost component treatment affecting the TCO and the TCA are presented in the following table: Cost Component TCA 2 TCO 3 Operating System Included Capital Cost Operating System Maintenance Included Operating Cost Database Included Capital Cost Database Maintenance Included Operating Cost Virtualization Included Capital Cost Virtualization Maintenance Included Operating Cost Hardware Included Capital Cost Hardware Maintenance Included Operating Cost Facility Equipment Included Capital Cost Facility Power N/A Operating Cost Facility Space N/A Operating Cost Personnel N/A Operating Cost Table 5: TCA and TCO Cost Component Treatment 2 Three-year maintenance costs have to be paid up front, so they are included as a part of the TCA. 3 In the TCO analysis, three-year maintenance costs are broken down into one-year increments, and those increments are used to avoid comparing a five-year maintenance cost with the cost of two three-year maintenance contracts. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 8

12 For this research, capital costs for network supplies, and one-time installation consulting were also examined, but were not found to be a significant portion of the costs. Annual network and facility maintenance were similarly small. TCA Results This TCA uses any Day One out-of-pocket costs. It does not include any costs associated with daily operations. IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM HP ProLiant DL380p with VMware vsphere 5.1 Operating System $42.50 $ - Operating System Maintenance $1, $2, Database $173, $346, Database Maintenance $41, $82, Virtualization $1, $4, Virtualization Maintenance $1, $3, Hardware $19, $19, Hardware Maintenance $2, $1, Facility Equipment $95.24 $95.24 Total Cost of Acquisition $242, $459, Table 6: Total Cost of Acquisition Total Cost of Acquisition for an IBM PowerLinux 7R2 server with IBM PowerVM is $217,588 lower than for an HP ProLiant DL380p server with VMware vsphere 5.1, or 47.3 percent lower. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 9

13 Five-year TCO Results The five-year TCO figure includes capital and operating costs. IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM HP ProLiant DL380p with VMware vsphere 5.1 Capital Costs Operating System $42.50 $ - Database $173, $346, Virtualization $1, $4, Hardware $19, $19, Facility Equipment $95.24 $95.24 Subtotal Capital Costs $195, $370, Annual Costs Operating System Maintenance $1, $ Database Maintenance $41, $82, VM Maintenance $ $1, Hardware Maintenance $1, $ Facility Power $1, $ Facility Space $ $ Personnel $4, $4, Subtotal Operating Costs $51, $90, Subtotal of Cumulative OC $257, $452, Total Cost of Ownership $452, $823, Table 7: Five-Year Cost Comparison Total cost of ownership for an IBM PowerLinux 7R2 server with IBM PowerVM on a five-year basis is $370, less than for an HP ProLiant DL380p server with VMware vsphere 5.1, or 45.0 percent lower. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 10

14 Figure 3: Five-year TCO The cost comparisons in Tables V and VI show that these savings most closely match the price differential in two categories: costs related to software, and virtualization licensing and maintenance. IBM s cost advantage in these areas are made possible by the PowerLinux 7R2 s processing speed, which requires roughly half as many physical cores for a given workload. Also, there is the availability of sub-capacity licensing on the IBM system. Software, such as the DB2 software used in this study, is licensed per core, as is virtualization software for IBM Power systems. Because IBM PowerLinux 7R2 systems can provide more processing power per core, they can provide equivalent performance to competing systems at a fraction of the cost, both in terms of acquisition and ownership. Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 11

15 Conclusions On a per-physical-core basis, the PowerLinux 7R2 system can be more than twice as fast as a competing system, such as the HP ProLiant DL380p with VMware vsphere 5.1. Because of the flexibility of IBM s per-core licensing system for PowerVM and the percore licensing schemes for database software, IT Administrators can leverage the IBM performance advantage to tailor a system to fit their needs. These systems carry acquisition and ownership costs which are nearly half those of the competition. The potential savings in both capital expense (CAPEX) and operational expense (OPEX) demand consideration from IT decision makers and purchasing managers in the entrylevel market. POL03161-USEN-01 Edison: The Advantages of IBM PowerLinux 7R2 with PowerVM vs. HP DL380p G8 with vsphere 5.1 Page 14

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