You can have Larry’s slower machine but you have to be willing to beg Oracle for more discount on the software to make up for the added cost.
Some simple back-of-the-napkin math speaks for itself, unless I am missing something. The new T5-8 machine achieved a peak SPECint rate of 29.3 per core across 128 total cores according to Oracle’s benchmark page. According to SPEC.org, Dell’s PowerEdge M820 (available last August) achieved 38.4 per core among 32 cores.
While I realize that dividing total throughput by number of cores is not entirely fair to either server, the calculations are justified by how Oracle licenses its software, i.e., by core factor. In this case, both T5 and Xeon chips are the same at .5 cores per Processor.
The damning conclusion here is that the same number of cores in a Dell/VMware solution offers 30% more throughput at half the server cost. I configured both machines via each supplier’s online store. Roughly speaking, T5-8s cost $250k and four Dell M820s total $140k.
Larry joked during the announcement that you can have the faster machine but you have to be willing to pay less for it. A more accurate statement is: You can have Larry’s slower machine but you have to be willing to beg Oracle for more discount on the software to make up for the added cost.
My assessment is that, besides having its head buried in the sand (or worse), Oracle is counting on existing customers that remain committed to SPARC Solaris to buy the new line of servers. Plenty of those IT shops exist, but not enough to sustain a profitable hardware business, and certainly not as profitably as software.
P.S. Oracle continues its egregious marketing claims against IBM despite IBM’s attempts to hold Oracle accountable for false advertising, Case in point, a Power 750 Express achieved a SPECint rate of 54.4 per core across 32 cores back in October. While that isn’t double the T5 (and it sort of needs to be since the core factor is double at 1.0), PowerVM is more effective than Solaris Containers at cramming workload through at a higher utilization rate. Still, I chose Dell for this post because it costs so much less than both.