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TPC Benchmark Status
October 2004

Overview

The TPC held a General Council meeting on August 5th in Portland, Oregon. The main focus of the work was on refining existing benchmarks and laying the foundation for new benchmarks. On the OLTP front, minor corrections were made to TPC-C version 5.3. Work also continues on the new TPC-E specification. With respect to decision support, progress on the DS benchmark continues in the areas of queries, data generator,  and schema. As for the transactional web e-Commerce benchmark, changes to the TPC-W Version 2 draft specification were made to include a Clustered configuration which is comparable to Non-Clustered configurations. Finally, the Pricing Subcommittee focused on completing the Pricing specification and working with the TPC benchmark subcommittees to coordinate changes that will be compatible with the specification.

 

Current Benchmarks

TPC-C

The TPC-C Maintenance Subcommittee met with the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) to discuss an interpretation of Clause 5.3.3.  The subcommittee passed an intent motion to reconcile a future release of the TPC-C specification with the TAB’s interpretation. The subcommittee also discussed and resolved typographical errors in TPC-C 5.3.  The errors are in Clause 7.4.2 and in Appendix B.  The corrections will be included in the next release of the TPC-C specification.

 

TPC-H and R

The TPC-H/R Maintenance Subcommittees did not convene at this meeting.

 

New Benchmarks

TPC-E (OLTP)

Over the past month, the TPC-E subcommittee has continued its efforts in the development of a new OLTP benchmark.

During this time, work has focused on increasing the size of the initial database population with data that has characteristics similar to data generated at runtime. The subcommittee has also started work on developing a new transaction profile to work against this data. This was needed in order to facilitate development of the I/O component of the runtime workload.

The subcommittee has also worked on evaluating aspects of the benchmark specification that outline procedures for testing recoverability properties of the System Under Test (SUT).

 

TPC-DS

The TPC-DS subcommittee continued its work on developing TPC-DS in the areas of queries, data generator and schema.  Data output from the Data Generator has been verified to assure correctness of primary/foreign keys and of columns that are used in the current query set (for example as predicates, in group by, sort and select lists).  In order to assure query soundness, including semantic correctness, number of rows returned, elapsed time, the subcommittee reviewed current queries and made changes accordingly.  This process is very time-consuming.  Hence, it will be continued by database vendors in weekly conference calls between now and the October meeting.

The subcommittee also discussed whether the TPC-DS should also include a responsiveness/assurance test.  This test would assure that simple, short running queries, as commonly issued by online-analytical GUI tools, are scheduled and executed in a reasonable time, even under heavy workload as induced by typical decision support queries.  This idea has been tabled until more complete prototype data becomes available to see the impact of such a query.

 

TPC-W

The TPC-W subcommittee completed all changes incorporated from the comments received during the public review phase. TPC-W Version 2 is a web service benchmark consisting of transactions involving database interactions, durable message queue operations, and displaying ACID properties running against a commercial application server. The primary metrics are SIPS (Service Interactions Per Second), Price Performance which is, for example $/SIPS, and the system availability date.

The subcommittee discussed and incorporated marketing induced changes.  The largest revision is the permission and inclusion of a Clustered configuration which is comparable to Non-Clustered configurations.  The Clustered configurations are required to be homogenous in both software and hardware configurations.  This is to prohibit ‘special function’ systems which would confuse the focus of the benchmark.  The subcommittee is working final modifications to incorporate and accommodate the homogenous application server configuration for clusters.

The subcommittee will decide on these final modifications and incorporate the necessary changes by the October meeting.

 

Other TPC Activities

Public Relations Committee

The PR Committee continues its work on the campaign to promote the TPC and the TPC benchmarks to the industry. The TPC renewed its contract with its PR firm and has begun work on a project that will enable the TPC to deliver customized information to its subscribers. In addition, an advanced sorting option feature has been tested for TPC-H and will be released in the near future.

 

Pricing

The TPC Price Subcommittee drafted a pricing specification that can be applied to all TPC benchmarks. The specification does not substantially change what is priced, but the requirements for reporting and ordering are enhanced and strengthened, allowing improved verifiability of pricing. If approved, the pricing specification will be referenced by all existing and future TPC specifications for a consistent methodology.

The subcommittee’s focus areas are to complete the specification and to work with the TPC benchmark subcommittees to coordinate changes that will be compatible with the pricing specification.

 

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