SQL Server 2008 Hits High Mark, Minus the Competition
- By Herb Torrens
Microsoft this week cited top performance results for SQL Server 2008, particularly with regard to the TPC-E benchmark, but there's just one problem -- the test fielded no other database management system competitors.
The nonprofit Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) created the TPC-E benchmark to simulate online transaction processing workloads that might typically be found in a brokerage firm. The test enables organizations to better evaluate server performance based on transactions per second measurements. The transactions are executed using three database tables, representing broker data, customer data and market data, according to TPC literature.
To date, Microsoft is the only vendor to test its database management server using the TPC-E benchmark. As noted by Windows IT Pro blogger Michael Otey, IBM and Oracle currently use the earlier TPC-C benchmark for their database management systems. Microsoft abandoned that benchmark in favor of TPC-E.
The TPC-E test results drew praise from the Microsoft camp, particularly with regard to scalability.
"SQL Server  is the only data management and business intelligence platform to be proven capable of delivering scalable results on TPC-E, the industry's newest and most challenging online transaction processing benchmark," said Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's director of product management for SQL Server, in a released statement.
The statement is literally true because other database management systems have yet to be tested via the TPC-E benchmark. Microsoft's announcement also claims that the latest benchmark results ranked SQL Server 2008 first for "price/performance on industry leading hardware" -- another claim that can't be assessed without competitors.
Scalability also has a technical meaning here, as explained by the TPC organization's Web site.
"The benchmark is 'scalable,' meaning that the number of customers defined for the brokerage firm can be varied to represent the workloads of different-size businesses."
The TPC is a vendor-neutral and database-agnostic nonprofit organization that establishes benchmarks for server performance. TPC-E is the newest of four active benchmarks established by the organization.
The TPC-E price-performance benchmark results using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 can be seen here. SQL Server 2008 had its release to manufacture appearance in August.
Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media. You can contact Herb at [email protected].