Significant Solutions

Testing shows improved ERP price/performance on IBM i


Everybody wants more performance and, more importantly, improved price/performance from each new product announcement. Just last week, IBM announced a new set of POWER7 technology-based Power Systems servers targeting the lower end of the product line. IBM also announced targeted Solution Editions, which offer even better price points for customers running applications from some of the largest application partners including SAP, Lawson and Oracle.

Customers using these applications want to know what these announcements mean to them. This article will cover some of the work IBM does to support these major applications and what the new announcements provide in real performance.

The new Power 720 Express and Power 740 Express provide substantial performance improvements over their POWER6 technology-based predecessors. With maximum CPW ratings of 46,300 and 97,700 respectively, they offer great performance at very competitive prices. This performance is also reflected in ERP application performance.

Since 1994, a dedicated team of people in IBM i development have worked closely with our largest ISV partners to ensure that new operating system releases are fully tested and supported, applications and the operating system are well optimized for each other, and customers have information they need on fixes and tuning. This team can also be a great resource when problems occur as they know the applications and can expedite teamwork between IBM and the ISV. Many members of this team are also available for technical consulting. As part of the Solution Edition announce, this team conducted performance evaluations on the three major applications they support.

Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

IBM and the Oracle JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne products have a very long-standing and vital partnership, which started all the way back with the World product running on the S/38 in 1977. Both products continue to be very dynamic in terms of shipping new releases and continuously adding enhancements.

To help facilitate their work with platform vendors like IBM, Oracle provides a workload kit called "Day in the Life" which can be used to assess the capabilities of new software and hardware. This kit drives a realistic set of customer transactions including both Web-client based workload and the Universal Batch Engine (UBE) reporting. It integrates Vertex and Verity use and provides configuration options to exercise functionality such as Advanced Pricing and Advanced Transportation. In addition to using it for performance, IBM also uses it to validate functionality such as independent ASP-based high-availability support.

The IBM i Solution Edition for JD Edwards is an infrastructure solution specifically designed, configured and priced to reduce the cost, complexity and risk of deploying JD Edwards world-class solutions on IBM i. It provides a complete hardware and software solution, is quick and easy to implement, and provides powerful POWER7 processor-based technology at a lower cost than competing solutions. Many configuration options are possible but IBM has provided some sample configuration options that target 50, 150 and 500 users.

To align with those configurations and demonstrate the scalability of POWER7 technology, IBM conducted benchmarks on a Power 720 Express (3.0 GHz) configuration with one, two, and four core configurations. The actual system may have more processors available but this is a reference to the number of processors licensed for IBM i. Like most of the benchmark results, they use the "All on i" configuration in which all three components of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne are run in the same partition of IBM i. These components are the Database, Enterprise and HTML servers. The tests used WebSphere Express Oracle supports both the Network Deployment and Express versions of WebSphere with the latter just being added this year.


Jim Denton has been an IBM Rochester employee since 1981 and has held a variety of positions in i development and performance analysis.

Paul Swenson is a member of the IBM i ERP Development Team and focuses solely on Lawson.

Ron Schmerbauch is the technical leader of the SAP on IBM i team.

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