Do some manufacturers purposefully mislead? PART 1

This is a multi-part blog on the topic of “what if you like their technology but can’t trust what the manufacturer says?”.

Have you been in the situation where you like certain products from a company but find dealing with them is less than desirable? Where you have to have your guard up when dealing with them as they always have an angle. You can’t trust them in other words.

This is my experience with Oracle. Some of their products are market leaders and highly regarded while others lag the competition. Yet to listen to Oracle marketing and their sellers they were #1 in every category, their sales are the highest and growing, their performance is beyond reach of anyone else and just because they set their mind on an industry they almost immediately become the market leader (Cloud comes to mind).

Oracle is a master marketing company. Their approach seems to be if we publish it such as this example of false system leadership http://www.enterprisemanagement360.com/blog/oracles-latest-attack-ad-fizzles/

then it must be true …. why else would a company say it; if it weren’t? IBM’s Elisabeth Stahl offers an excellent response to this example at https://benchmarkingblog.wordpress.com/tag/wall-street-journal/.

Why do I bring this up? Well, Oracle doesn’t learn positive moral lessons from their mistakes, they continually refine their tactics to bluff and mislead the consumer. Look at this tweet from an 18-year Oracle veteran who is part of the Oracle marketing team. I added the numbers and circle to reference during this multi-part blog.

M6-32-vs-E870-Ora_claim

For item #1, Oracle marketing claims IBM is making misleading claims about Power8 having the fastest cores as well as having the fastest CPU. Let’s start with definitions because Oracle will let you believe what you want whereas I think we need to work with the same understanding. For purposes of this discussion a processor and a core are synonymous unless otherwise stated. A chip, cpu and socket are synonymous as well unless otherwise stated.   A past trick Sun Microsystems would use and carried on by Oracle is to compare servers using the terms of each manufacturer. IBM would say they have 8 processors in a Power6 570 server, which was actually 4 chips with 2 cores each for a total of 8 cores. Sun/Oracle often refers to their chips/sockets as processors. They would compare an 8 processor SPARC server which is actually 8 sockets with possibly 8 cores in each for 64 total cores to a Power server and claim they beat it by 2X – really when in reality they had 8X more cores?!

Working backwards, I cannot think of an example where IBM claims to have the fastest CPU. I have tweeted though as seen here on my twitter account @PowerMan_SIS:

tweet-users-perch-co-03252015

The data to support my claim is readily available from SAP at http://global.sap.com/solutions/benchmark/sd2tier.epx

Take your pick of a SPARC server to see their results as seen here:

sap-2tier-sparc

Manufacturer Model # Processors* # Cores # Users # Users/chip # Users/core # SAPS # SAPS/chip # SAPS/core
Fujitsu M10-4S 40 640 153,000 3,825 239 844,420 21,110 1,319
Fujitsu M10-4S 32 512 153,050 4,782 299 836,550 26,142 1,634
Oracle M6-32 32 384 140,000 4,375 365 793,930 24,810 2,068

* This is one of those “otherwise stated” examples. Here a processor equals a socket because that is the definition used by the SAP benchmark result.

Compare this to Power servers.

792-sap-2tier

E870-sap-2tier

Manufacturer Model # Processors* # Cores # Cores/Proc # Users # Users/chip # Users/core # SAPS # SAPS/chip # SAPS/core
IBM Power8 E870 8 80 10 79,750 9,969 997 436,100 54,513 5,451
IBM Power7 795 32 256 8 126,063 3,939 492 688,630 21,519 2,690
Fujitsu M10-4S 40 640 16 153,000 3,825 239 844,420 21,110 1,319
Fujitsu M10-4S 32 512 16 153,050 4,782 299 836,550 26,142 1,634
Oracle M6-32 32 384 12 140,000 4,375 365 793,930 24,810 2,068

What are some observations? The data isn’t mine; it is accepted and published by SAP. The rest is MATH. The Power7 server released in September 2010 has 8 cores per chip (i.e. Processor by SAP’s definition) compared to 12 and 16 for each SPARC entry. I’m not minimizing they have more Users and SAPS per chip but just pointing out they need 50% to 100% more cores to get up to 25% more results. The Power8 server released in November 2014 has results that are very interesting. This packaging of the E870 uses 10 cores per chip and delivers over 2X the results for Users/chip, Users/core, SAPS/chip and SAPS/core. This is with a 2-system node server and IBM scheduled to deliver their 4-system node server with up to 192 cores. I think the results speak for themselves.

Another observation is that in order for Oracle to achieve results, they have to have massively large server; high numbers of chips and cores. 8X more cores in the case of the Fujitsu M10-4S just to obtain 2X the results. The MATH not only demonstrates that but also proves it.

I will wrap up Part 1 of this blog to let you digest the data, the facts and the discussion on the first of several misleading statements by Oracle marketing.

Author: powertheenterprise

Client Executive & Enterprise Architect

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