Intel's Otellini Claims Wintel No. 1 In Benchmark Battle

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Let the benchmark wars begin.

Intel President and COO Paul Otellini on Thursday claimed the Wintel partnership now has the world's No. 1 single-system TPC-C industry-standard benchmark in the battle with high-end Unix midrange and mainframe systems.

Speaking at the Windows 2003 product launch here, Otellini touted the record-breaking benchmark performance of a Hewlett-Packard Superdome server based on Intel's forthcoming Itanium 2 processor, code-named Madison, and running Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition (64-bit).

"This is absolutely the fastest transaction [system] on the planet," boasted Otellini, drawing large cheers from several thousand Microsoft partners and industry executives gathered for the product launch. "Intel and Microsoft know that being No. 1 is a good place to be, but we know we must fight to stay there."

Intel, Microsoft and HP claim a benchmark result of 658,277 transactions per minute (tpmC), exceeding the performance record set by a 128-processor SPARC-based system from Fujitsu. The benchmark, which moved Intel up from the No. 5 performance position last year, was achieved on a nonclustered, 64-processor HP Superdome server.

The HP benchmark, which was achieved on Thursday morning, outperformed an NEC system, which had brought Wintel to the No. 2 position in a benchmarked test only last week.

Otellini said Itanium is gaining momentum with new OEM wins. He claimed the number of Intel OEMs building Itanium two- and four-way systems will double to 40 this year, up from 20 in 2002. He expects 80 OEMs to be building two- and four-way Itanium systems by the end of 2005.

Otellini said the number of OEMs building systems with eight or more processors will double to 10 by the end of this year, up from five in 2002. He predicted more than 15 OEMs will be building eight-way and above Itanium systems by the end of 2005.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the performance benchmark "blows my mind." Ballmer recalled trying to lure legendary operating system developer and current Microsoft developer Dave Cutler to the company. Early on, Cutler had told Ballmer he did not want to work at a "toy operating system company."

With the HP benchmark, Ballmer said he could now look Cutler in the eye and proclaim Microsoft is no longer a toy operating system company. "We have the highest-performance operating system in the world," he said.

Ballmer also announced what he called the No. 1 performance benchmark in the world for a single-system Siebel Systems CRM application implementation, supporting 30,000 concurrent users on an Itanium-based Unisys system.

"That's an amazing thing if you go back four, five and 10 years ago when some were questioning [whether] PCs [would] be able to run the biggest jobs. Now we have the No. 1 benchmark of any platform in the market," he said.

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