|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / May 26, 2006|
Silicon Graphics has started to position its Altix servers as Java application platforms for the enterprise. With support from Intel and BEA Systems, SGI has announced that its SGI Altix server platform achieved world-record results on the SPECjbb2005 benchmark, an industry-standard measurement. The SPECjbb2005 benchmark's workload represents an order processing application for a wholesale supplier, and offers insight into the performance and scalability of mid-tier or back-end servers running enterprise Java applications.
SGI Altix outperformed competing systems from Fujitsu Ltd., Sun Microsystems and others. The tested SGI Altix 3700 Bx2 server, powered by 128 Intel Itanium 2 processors and running the high-performance BEA JRockit 5.0 Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which is optimized for Intel-based servers, generated 1,828,349 SPECjbb2005 bops (business operations per second). Complete SPECjbb2005 results are available at: http://www.spec.org/jbb2005/results/jbb2005.html
In addition to displaying linear scalability in tests of 32- and 64-processor systems, SGI also claims the Altix excels in price/performance. Compared to the $5.8 million Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER system, the SGI Altix costs $2.41 / SPECjbb2005 bops versus Fujitsu's cost of $4.64/ SPECjbb2005 bops. The tested SunFire E25K system, priced at $4.1 million, is also more expensive than Altix: $3.52 / SPECjbb2005 bops. And the price/performance of mid-range Altix systems is nearly identical to that of the 128-processor configuration.
With Java-based applications a fixture in most enterprises, there is a growing need for scalable servers in entry-level, mid-range and high-end configurations. At every level of the enterprise, SGI Altix allows organizations to extend their infrastructures without increasing the footprint of server resources. For instance:
-- Enterprises can use a single Altix server to support several business transaction engines or batch runs. As batch processing needs increase, entry-level and mid-range servers can scale up to meet demand.
-- Altix users can run from one to several JVM instances on a single system (the record Altix results were achieved with 64 instances of BEA JRockit 5.0), while enjoying the simplified administrative benefits of operating a single node running one instance of the Linux OS.
-- Organizations can use the Altix system's flexible, high-throughput architecture to run both distributed applications and memory-intensive codes.
"SGI Altix is built around a high-performance architecture that translates directly into business benefits for a broad class of enterprise applications based on the Java Virtual Machine," said Scott Ellman, data management segment manager, SGI. "Altix features a large, globally addressable memory architecture that enables the fastest communication in a multi-threaded computational environment. As a result, Altix positively screams as a Java application platform when powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors and the BEA JRockit JVM -- all while providing the hands-down best value for the enterprise dollar."
"Enterprises are evaluating their server consolidation options, and the ability to scale up is essential to IT managers and architects," said Boyd Davis, general manager, server platforms group marketing, Intel. "As these exciting SPECjbb2005 results show, the Intel Itanium 2 processor-based SGI Altix server and BEA JRockit reliably and cost-effectively push Java Virtual Machine performance to new heights."
"In test after test, JRockit has proven to be fast, stable and efficient," said Guy Churchward, general manager of the Java Runtime Products Group at BEA Systems. "These latest SPECjbb2005 results offer proof positive that the industry's most robust JVM, paired with immensely powerful, high-bandwidth hardware like SGI Altix server based on Intel Itanium 2 processors, is ideally suited to help enterprises achieve new levels of reliability, scalability, manageability and simplicity."
Available as entry-level blades or clusters, mid-range systems or densely configured high-performance servers, Altix systems are built on SGI's unique shared-memory architecture, which allows even large databases to be held entirely in memory, enabling fast data access for optimal application performance.