Intel's drive to prove the viability of 64-bit Itanium II servers in the enterprise has reached another milestone, with the announcement of breakthrough price and performance for transaction processing.
During his keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum, Mike Fister, general manager at Intel's enterprise group, announced Intel was leading the industry benchmark results, the Transaction Processing Council (TPC), which measures database transactions.
Apart from the largest transactional systems, Fister claimed Intel's Itanium II architecture was outperforming IBM's Power 4 and Sun Microsystem's UltraSparc high-end rival 64-bit architectures.
Fister said NEC's Express 5800 server had attained a TPC benchmark, with a result of 433,100 transactions per minute running (tpmC) Microsoft SQL Server and Windows 2003 on a 32-processor non-clustered server based on 1GHz Itanium II processors. The configuration cost $5.6m (£3.5m), giving a cost per transaction of £8.10.
"Not only have we beaten [Power4 and UltraSparc], the price performance for an IT manager is 25% better," Fister added.
According to data on the Transaction Processing Council web site the only server faster, in terms of TPC benchmarks than NEC, was a $12m (£7.5m) Fujitsu Prime Power machine with 128 Sparc64 GP 564 MHz processors which attained 455,818 tpmC at a cost of £17.80 per transaction, more than twice that of the Itanium II powered NEC server.
Fister was confident that by the next Intel Developer Forum, Itanium would break this speed record too.