LinuxONE: Value of SMT

March 22nd, 2016
Marianne Eggett
z Systems Solutions Consultant

The LinuxONE Emperor has made a big splash since its announcement last year.  In February, the Rockhopper, the smaller version of the LinuxONE server, was announced.  These two boxes have changed the processing of Linux workload, significantly.  Since the law of physics has impacted the ability to develop faster chips, IBM needed to change their design.  This time, they took a proven technology from IBM Power systems, and implemented Simultaneous Multi-Threading, or SMT.

SMT is not for every application workload.  What workload bests capitalizes on the new technology on LinuxONE servers?  Databases. Now, benchmarks are showing that the SMT boosts database transactional workload on LinuxONE, making this solution even more cost effective for our customers.

zEC12 vs z13 SMT benefits
The following two benchmarks describe tested database workload on two IFLs, with an increasing number of workload processes, from 1 to 128.   The first test, using this CPU, memory intensive benchmark on the z13 without SMT, demonstrating a 29.21% improvement.  With the non-SMT test, the z13 capacity improvement ranged from 21.67% at 6 processes, to 29.21% capacity improvement at 32 processes.

In the second test, an additional throughput improvement was achieved when comparing the z13 running SMT versus zEC12.  When using SMT, the capacity improvement ranged from 19.41% at 2 processes to 59.84% at 128 processes.  In fact, the capacity improvements started reaching 57.6% improvement over the zEC12 at 4 processes, and continued when adding more and more workload processes, all the way to the 128 processes.  Now, this makes sense, since SMT is making use of the unused IFL processors capacity for the many processes in the workload.

z13 Benefits
In an IBM benchmark using a Brokerage High Volume trading workload, there was a 9:1 consolidation between a leading software company’s database software versus a LinuxONE server, while achieving the required SLA for performance (36 x86 cores to 3 IFLs).  Software savings was nearly 75%.  When looking at the total TCO, LinuxONE is 56% cheaper.

Do you want to hear more?
What was presented above is a sampling of the total story.  Mainline has provided numerous business cases, showing the value of a server consolidation onto System z for Linux and LinuxONE servers.  Reach out to your local Mainline Account Representative for more information, and on how we can help you determine the benefit of this technology for your environment


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