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Re: DB2 Crushes Oracle RAC on TPC-C benchmark

From: DA Morgan <>
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 11:58:55 -0800
Message-ID: <1107374173.29813@yasure>

Niall Litchfield wrote:

> DA Morgan wrote:

>>Maybe I'm showing my innocence here but if Mark gives away RAC

> licenses
>>for free it costs Oracle one piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. I think of
>>hardware as being different.

> One of the big ways in which RAC has been sold is that you can save big
> bucks by throwing out all that expensive hardware. Now if RAC is free
> or nearly so then that would be fair enough, but last time I looked the
> list price of RAC was $20k per processor. So instead of buying an 8 way
> Unix box (say the sun v880 at 86k list for 8 processors and 16gb RAM)
> you buy 2 4 way dell boxes with linux on them (I've used 2 4 way power
> edge 7250s with 8gb ram each) for 47k and save 40k on hardware. Great.
> You've also added 256k including the standard discount from
> to the system price. So that is paying 200k more for a
> more complex and less widely adopted system.
> Incidentally even without RAC the software was the significant cost of
> the system anyway.
> Niall

The published list price for RAC is $20/proc AFAIK but I have never seen anyone actually pay that price. Here's the calculation I had the procurement folks at a Boeing division do for me last year for a project to the extent that I can divulge the numbers.

2 x 4CPU H/P-Compaq 1U servers $11K
8 x RAC licenses (using the published price) $160K (it was less)

total cost $175K with rounding up for miscellaneous items.

2 x 8CPU equivalent box from Sun because if one machine failed we would need an identical machine available as a cold standby. A lot more money.

The actual apples to apples comparison pretty much this:

generic hardware + RedHat Linux + RAC licenses = $250K US Sun hardware + Solaris with no RAC licensing = $750K US

The purchase included 3 NetApp 920 but that was the same with either configuration. We gladly gave Larry his money and gained TAF without cold failover in the process.

Not bad for a day's work.

But the real advantage was that we knew we wouldn't need a forklift in the future. Here's the most important part of the RAC savings.

Development ... one cluster with 2 nodes. Testing ... one cluster with 2 nodes.
Production ... one cluster with 2 nodes initially.

as the need for more resources increases ... add more nodes one at a time. Keeps the cost of hardware in line with need and revenues. And as you add new nodes with faster CPUs the load balancing improves performance.

The SMP alternative is to either day one purchase two boxes big enough to handle the anticipated requirement 2+ years in the future or expect to have to forklift out the current box after one or so years (which will then worth only a fraction of its original cost as it will be obsolete) and replace it with two brand new bigger boxes.

Try to sell a CFO on buying to very large computers, one of which will hopefully never be utilized ... just sit there idling in backup mode ... with all of the costs up front versus buying commodity hardware on an as-needed basis with the changes over time in hardware performance benefiting the overall ROI.

I've yet to see meet the CFO, when shown the numbers, that didn't make that decision for the IT folks using a very large hammer.

Daniel A. Morgan
University of Washington
(replace 'x' with 'u' to respond)
Received on Wed Feb 02 2005 - 13:58:55 CST

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