And the winner is….

image IBM! For five weeks I’ve been drilling through performance specifications for eight way x86 servers to replace Dillon Supply’s HP DL580 four way Win2K SQL server. Through this I’ve learned the TPC-C rankings for almost every four processor AMD Opteron dual core (aka – Opteron 875) system available as well as every eight processor single core Pentium Xeon MP solution in the marketspace.

As of yesterday it looked like we would be going with the SUN V40z four chip Opteron 875. SUN has not submitted this server to the Transaction Processing Council (TPC) for published performance results and therefore I had to rely on the results benchmarked by the HP DL585 4 processor Opteron 875 which also had a strong quote in the running. The DL585 server delivered unmatched performance with a record-breaking TPC-C benchmark of 187,296 tpmC configured with 64Gb of RAM and 8Mb of L3 cache. Unfortunately the SUN V40z cannot address more than 32Gb of RAM. But like I said, as of this morning the SUN was still in the lead primarily because of a non-hardware factor: Veritas Storage Foundation 4.2.

Within the last two weeks I became convinced that Storage Foundation (formerly Veritas Volume Manager) was a good fit for some of the off-site LUN duplication we’re trying to achieve and the SUN vendor had superior knowledge and experience with this product. All things being equal, including pricing, we were ready to make the call for the V40z.

But in the 11th hour the Mayor of Creedmoor NC, Darryl Moss, who is also our IBM sales rep for Champion Solutions Group, through us a curve ball that only the big blue powerhouse could. They discounted their SAN solution including an IBM xSeries 460 eight processor 64-bit Xeon MP by an astonishing $50k+, meaning their offer was not only the lowest in price but also the fastest in performance. This server holds the world record for 8-way systems clocking 250,975 tpmC. That’s the same system we’re buying (minus 96Gb of RAM). Previously we hadn’t given this server much consideration because of cost but with a discount of that magnitude our minds were literally changed in a matter of minutes. Thank you Mayor Moss.

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