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SAP S&D

The SAP S&D 2-Tier benchmark has always been one of my favorites. This is probably the most real world benchmark of all server benchmarks done by the vendors. It is a full blown application living on top of a heavy relational database. And don't forget that SAP is one of the most successful software companies out there, the undisputed market leader of Enterprise Resource Planning.

SAP is thus an application that misses the L2 cache much more than most applications out there, with the exception of some exotic HPC apps. We made an in depth profile of SAP S&D, but here is the summary:

  • The application has very low instruction level parallelism (ILP) and as a result is not taxing the integer units much (IPC = 0.3-0.55, SPECint 2006: >1) .
  • SAP misses the L2 cache much more than most applications out there (4 to 10 times more than SPECint2006 apps)
  • The application has a relatively large but "prefetcheable" instruction footprint, which allows the prefetchers to reduce the instruction related cache misses
  • The application has a massive and random data footprint, putting great pressure on the load subsystem. As a result the out of order engine has to hide the latency the best it can, and large ROB and load buffers help a lot. The latency of the memory subsystem matters.

SAP Sales & Distribution 2 Tier benchmark

The new Opteron does not boost SAP performance. A 6% clock increase translates into a 5% performance increase. As we discussed previously, SAP is one of the few complex server applications where the "Interlagos" Opteron performs a lot better than its predecessor. The application does not seem to benefit from any of the small improvements that the Piledrive core offers. Or maybe HP's benchmark team did not spend much time on this particular benchmark. Since the HP score is the only Interlagos score available, we have no other option than to wonder which of the two options is the closest to the truth.

Not that it matters much: the best SAP servers are Xeon E5 based. In this market of expensive consulting and software, $500 dollar savings on hardware is peanuts. So people tend to go for the best performance, and the Xeon E5 are clearly better at delivering raw SAP performance.

Measuring Real-World Power Consumption Java Server Performance
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  • coder543 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    You realize that we have no trouble recognizing that you've posted about fifty comments that are essentially incompetent racism against AMD, right?

    AMD's processors aren't prefect, but neither are Intel's. And also, AMD, much to your dismay, never announced they were planning to get out of the x86 server market. They'll be joining the ARM server market, but not exclusively. I'm honestly just ready for x86 as a whole to be gone, completely and utterly. It's a horrible CPU architecture, but so much money has been poured into it that it has good performance for now.
    Reply
  • Duwelon - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    x86 is fine, just fine. Reply
  • coder543 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    totes, ain't nobody got time for AMD. they is teh failzor.

    (yeah, that's what I heard when I read your highly misinformed argument.)
    Reply
  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Obvious trolling aside, looking at the numbers and its pretty grim. Keep in mind that these are SERVER CPUs. Not only is Intel doing the job faster, its using less energy, and paying a mere $100-$300 more per CPU to cut off on average 20 watts is a no-brainer. These are expected to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no stopping. That power adds up and if AMD has any chance to make any dent in the high end enterprise datacenters they need to push even more. Reply
  • Beenthere - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    You must be kidding. TCO is what enterprise looks at and $100-$300 more per CPU in addition to the increased cost of Intel based hardware is precisely why AMD is recovering server market share.

    If you do the math you'll find that most servers get upgraded long before the difference in power consumption between an Intel and AMD CPU would pay for itself. The total wattage per CPU is not the actual wattage used under normal operations and AMD has as good or better power saving options in their FX based CPUs as Intel has in IB. The bottom line is those who write the checks are buying AMD again and that's what really counts, in spite of the trolling.

    Rory Read has actually done a decent job so far even though it's not over and it has been painful, especially to see some talent and loyal AMD engineers and execs part ways with the company. This happens in most large company reorganizations and it's unfortunate but unavoidable. Those remaining at AMD seem up for the challenge and some of the fruits of their labor are starting to show with the Jaguar cores. When the Steamroller cores debut later this year, AMD will take another step forward in servers and desktops.
    Reply
  • Cotita - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Most servers have a long life. You'll probably upgrade memory and storage, but CPU is rarely upgraded. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    Let's assume $0.10 per kilowatt hour. A $100 price difference at 20W would take 1000 kWh, which would take 50,000 hours to produce. The price difference would pay for itself (at $100) in about 6 years.

    So yes, the power savings aren't really enough to justify the cost increase. The higher IPC on the Intel chips, however, might.
    Reply
  • bsd228 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    You're only getting part of the equation here. That extra 20w of power consumed mostly turns into heat, which now must be cooled (requiring more power and more AC infrastructure). Each rack can have over 20 2U servers with two processors each, which means nearly an extra kilowatt per rack, and the corresponding extra heat.

    Also, power costs can vary considerably. I was at a company paying 16-17cents in Oakland, CA. 11 cents in Sacramento, but only 2 cents in Central Washington (hydropower).
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    +as many as I could give. Best post! Reply
  • Tams80 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't even ask the NYSE for the time day. Reply

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