Monday, May 02, 2011

IBM benchmarks against today's latest and greatest. Oracle benchmarks too - against yesterday's best

Be careful what you believe – Google is your friend

Before you take what you read to heart, check the facts. In the past month or so, Oracle has been making a lot of noise about Linkshare’s migration from a DB2 data warehouse to Oracle Exadata.  While Linkshare did not explicitly mention that they had been running on an older DB2 system (with older hardware), the articles do say that “A Google search of past LinkShare coverage turned up several article references to a conventional DB2 database deployment in a clustered Linux environment.” 

If you read Oracle’s press releases when they discuss the performance of Exadata, you would be led to believe that “Exadata met that benchmark out of the gate”. But, if we dig a little deeper into this, Google shows us that Linkshare employed the services of the Pythian Group to help the migration. And the Pythian group provided “LinkShare with consulting and technical expertise for the planning, configuration, deployment, management, administration and ongoing operational support of their migration project. This includes re-engineering the database, adjusting the data model, redefining table structures, creating new indexing schemes and re-writing and tuning SQL queries, among other tasks.”

I might be in the minority here, but out of the gate does not mean after paying a highly skilled consulting team for months to re-engineer the whole database schema to work on Oracle RAC / Exadata, and re-writing / tuning queries that would not run fast enough.

At IBM we know that our workload optimized systems are the easiest to use, and the fastest in the industry. We compare ourselves to the latest and greatest competitive offerings all the time, not to 5 year old systems running software that is 3 or more releases behind the times. Check out this link for an interview with Steve Mills where he discusses one of these tests.

In my opinion the proof is in the pudding. Do not trust press releases,  do not let vendors run benchmarks on their site…  Always

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