Tuesday, August 5, 2008

SQL Anywhere 11 Makes Top Ten TPC-C

For the first time Sybase iAnywhere has published a TPC-C benchmark test using SQL Anywhere, and that benchmark test made it on to the Top Ten TPC-C list.

TPC stands for Transaction Processing Performance Council:

"The TPC is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry."
TPC-C is the name of one particular test, The Order-Entry Benchmark:
"As an OLTP system benchmark, TPC-C simulates a complete environment where a population of terminal operators executes transactions against a database. The benchmark is centered around the principal activities (transactions) of an order-entry environment. These transactions include entering and delivering orders, recording payments, checking the status of orders, and monitoring the level of stock at the warehouses."
Test results are ranked two different ways, one absurd and the other meaningful.

First the absurd: If you have $17,111,788 to spend, and you've got room for 11,000 disk drives, you too can own the top ranked system in the Top Ten TPC-C by Performance list. With that system you'll be able to process 6,085,166 transactions per minute submitted by your 5,184,000 users.

In other words, cost is no object... like I said, absurd.

The meaningful list includes cost in the ranking, and this is the list where SQL Anywhere 11 appears: Top Ten TPC-C by Price/Performance...

With a figure of 85 cents per transaction per minute, SQL Anywhere doesn't just break into the Top Ten, it debuts at Number Five!

This is huge news, for many reasons:
  • The test handled 16,500 users. That's more than most real-world enterprises. SQL Anywhere isn't just a departmental database any more.

  • By going public with this benchmark, Sybase iAnywhere shows that it is serious about SQL Anywhere performance and that it is willing to compete with Oracle, SQL Server and DB2.

  • The initial release of SQL Anywhere 11 was used, not some version that's been tweaked and tuned for running TPC-C.

  • The total system cost for the hardware, software and support was $17,540.16. That means SQL Anywhere ranks Number One in total system cost by a very wide margin: $20,000 cheaper than the next cheapest system in the Top 10 price/performance list.

  • Economies of scale apply to larger, more expensive hardware configurations, not the affordable setup used for SQL Anywhere 11. The other 9 systems in the Top 10 price/performance list cost an average of $166,895.11 versus $17,540.16 for SQL Anywhere, and that makes a 5th place showing even more impressive.

  • The test achieved a rate of 20,705 transactions per minute. That's a great number, especially when viewed from a historical perspective: In 1997 the best cost-is-no-object performance was only 30,390 transactions per minute, and best price/performance was $42.53 per transaction per minute... fifty times higher than SQL Anywhere's figure of $0.85 per transaction per minute.
Here's another view of the Top Ten list. The left side ranks price/performance with SQL Anywhere's $0.85 per transaction per minute shown in red. The right side shows how SQL Anywhere's total system cost of $17,540.16 compares so very favorably with the other systems, especially the half-million dollar systems that didn't fare too well when it came to economies of scale:

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