A recently posted entry on this blog titled "What If You Could Virtualize Your Entire Enterprise? And Why Your Virtualization Journey Is Only Beginning" posed the following question:
"What if...you could virtualize your mission-critical applications while ensuring or improving service levels?"
While virtualization has made significant penetration into the data center, there are still workloads which have yet to fully exploit it's benefits. The previous blog entry identifies some of these workloads as database, OLTP, analytics, and ERP. In many cases these workloads have yet to be migrated to virtualized environments due to logistical issues or performance concerns. In order to demonstrate that virtualized environments can host these types of enterprise workloads without incurring significant performance sacrifices, sound, realistic proof points need to be established that highlight these type of capabilities.
In an effort to define such a proof point, the IBM Linux Technology Center (LTC) recently completed the first ever formal publication of the TPC-C benchmark, which showcases an OLTP workload, in an x86 virtualized environment. In this proof point, a two socket Intel Xeon system (IBM x3650M4) was able to achieve 1,320,082 transactions per minute (tpm-C) while performing in excess of 300,000 I/O operations per second. This level of performance exceeds 94.8%* of the posted two socket TPC-C publication at this time and is only 12.2% lower than a separate IBM publication published just last year that obtained a score of 1,503,544 tpm-C on a similarly configured non-virtualized two socket Intel Xeon system. The virtualized TPC-C publication also achieved a price/performance ratio of $0.51/tpm-C which is lower than the comparable non-virtualized system which had a ratio of $0.53/tpm-C and the lowest price/performance ratio ever achieved by IBM.
To achieve this exceptional level of performance and price/performance, this publication exploited the integrated KVM virtualization technology found in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 and the virtualization friendly x3650 M4. IBM’sSystem x3650 M4 is designed to support virtualization of customer's most important business workloads as it is designed to deliver outstanding uptime, performance, scalability, and I/O flexibility and rock-solid reliability.
With the enterprise advancements now available in KVM as demonstrated by this proof point, customers can and should begin the transition of their mission critical applications to virtual environments. As the virtualization platform used to produce the first ever virtualized x86 TPC-C publish, the KVM technology in Red Hat is ideally suited for this role.
* 58 two socket TPC-C publications as of 2/25/2013
Director, IBM Linux Technology Center