March 20, 2006

T2000: Disappointing Sun box

update added sparc 3 numbers for comparison

I've been doing some benchmarking on a super-spanky new Sun T2000 server, to see whether or not it might make a good replacement for some of our other kit. Alas, the results are not what I wanted to see…

Using ApacheBench with a single thread, to test a Sitebuilder 2 page request, I get the following:
on the production server (4 * opteron dual-core )

Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 194
66% 197
75% 200
80% 203
90% 209
95% 221
98% 239
99% 249
100% 249 (longest request)
on the pre-production (2* opteron dual-core)
Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 191
66% 197
75% 197
80% 202
90% 209
95% 227
98% 233
99% 238
100% 238 (longest request)
on a dual ultraSparc iii box ( 1.2 Ghz)
 Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 435
66% 441
75% 447
80% 450
90% 458
95% 466
98% 616
99% 676
100% 676 (longest request)
on the test box (1 x T1 8-core 4-way CMT)
Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 471
66% 471
75% 472
80% 477
90% 489
95% 501
98% 531
99% 531
100% 531 (longest request)

I guess this shouldn't really be surprising. The opterons are optimised for all-out single threaded speed, and this test is doing pretty much exactly that (worth noting in passing that I actually used the oracle DB from pre-production on the test box, so the test is slightly unfair on the preprod box). The T1 seems to be about 2.5 times slower than the opteron. It's just a shame that the times are just a bit too slow for my app. It's slightly surprising too that the Sparc 3 box was virtually as quick, despite being 4 years old.

Multithreading,the comparison against the 2-way box becomes a bit more even. 15 concurrent requests is a good average workload for us in production.

Quad opteron – 15 threads

Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 257
66% 269
75% 278
80% 286
90% 307
95% 323
98% 362
99% 524
100% 733 (longest request)
dual opteron – 15 threads
Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 668
66% 808
75% 872
80% 927
90% 1052
95% 1161
98% 1293
99% 1400
100% 1697 (longest request)
Sparc 3 – 15 threads
Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 4762
66% 5747
75% 6157
80% 6443
90% 7169
95% 7727
98% 8239
99% 8617
100% 9556 (longest request)
T1 – 15 threads
 50%    642
66% 675
75% 689
80% 697
90% 718
95% 738
98% 763
99% 812
100% 852 (longest request)

– but alas, 600 ms is way above our acceptable threshold for render times for this app. So it seems that this is going to be a box that's good for apps with a high throughput, but a relatively low amount of work-per-request (or a relatively long response-time-per-request requirement ). The question I now need to ask is; have I got any of those ?

Just to round out the picture further, at 30 threads and above the T2 starts to really overtake the dual opteron. (I didn't do a 30-thread comparison against the sparc 3 box because it would clearly be out of it's depth, nor against the production box for fear of breaking it for real users!).

dual opteron – 30 threads:

Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 1362
66% 1619
75% 1787
80% 1889
90% 2111
95% 2437
98% 2933
99% 5813
100% 11594 (longest request)
T1 - 30 threads
Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
50% 1157
66% 1183
75% 1200
80% 1209
90% 1293
95% 1424
98% 1779
99% 1965
100% 2760 (longest request)

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