X6 is “On the Money” in the Financial Industry With a New STAC®-M3 Benchmark

X6 servers have won numerous industry benchmarks since launch in January 2014. Add the STAC-M3 performance wins to the list!

System x X6 servers from Lenovo are made for analytics. Sporting superior I/O performance, three times more memory than previous generations, and seamless scalability, these systems – and their predecessors based on Enterprise X-Architecture® (EXA) -- already have an impressive history of benchmark wins, many of them with STAC1. Now a new STAC Report™ proves that X6 is “right on the money” for the financial industry. 

The report, posted on January 21, 2015 by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC®), pitted the X6 against the baseline STAC-M3 Benchmark suite using the kdb+ database from Kx Systems. Compared to other systems using kdb+, the x3850 X62 chalked up the fastest scores in seven response-time benchmarks; proved 27%-97% faster than the next best performance in the month-, quarter-, and year-high-bid benchmarks;3 and recorded 86% faster times than the next best performance in the market snapshot benchmark.4

This stack was under test in the audit:

Lenovo System x3850 X6 Server with 1TB RAM
4 x 15-core Intel E7-4890 v2 (IVB EX) @ 2.80GHZ
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.6
Kx Systems kdb+ 3.2
9 x Intel SSD DC P3700 Series
The SSDs were configured as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) with no RAID Configuration5

The key metric in STAC-M3 is query response time. In particular STAC benchmarks test high-speed analytics on time-series data -- tick-by-tick market data, or "tick database" stacks. Technology innovations bring better processing speeds and associated reductions in the cost of processing.  Among innovations that might impact benchmarks are new kinds of non-volatile memory (e.g., flash), new integration methods into the stack, software, new processors, memory, and server architectures; advanced file systems; and more scalable storage systems. STAC-M3 involves stringent testing of all of these factors.

X6 servers aren’t new to awards and accolades. These systems have already gained industry buzz in analytics by a winning a TPC-H business intelligence benchmark. X6 systems also have achieved recognition in the SAP arena by winning two SAP S&D Two Tier benchmarks, hosting the largest SAP HANA system in the world at 100 TB and garnering an impressive 64% market share in SAP HANA systems shipped.

Add the seven new STAC response-time winning benchmarks to the others that the X6 family of rack servers has achieved since its January 2014 launch and the list of wins for this generation of System x EXA server climbs to fourteen.

STAC-M3 benchmarks are governed by user firms in the STAC Benchmark Council. The Council is comprised of more than 250 financial institutions and other “algorithmic enterprises,” as well as 50 vendor organizations. Lenovo has just been granted membership in the Council. This group develops benchmark standards under the direction of user firms such as large global banks, brokerage houses, exchanges, hedge funds, proprietary trading shops, and other market participants. Benchmarks are conducted in challenging areas such as time-series analytics, risk simulations, and processing of very high-speed data. STAC uses these community source standards to provide technology research and testing tools to members of the Council, as well as to make reports such as the latest STAC Report on the x3850 X6 publicly available.

To learn more about X6 solutions for the financial industry and for “algorithmic enterprises,” contact your Lenovo Sales Representative.

To find out more about STAC, click here.

To learn about this STAC-M3 benchmark click here.

To learn more about Lenovo’s X6 portfolio of servers, click here.

To join the Council or upgrade your membership, please contact council@STACresearch.com.

1 System x has been an extremely active service provider garnering a list of benchmarks with STAC since 2011 (and the previous generation of Enterprise X-Architecture, x3850 X5).

2IBM x86 products, including the System x3850 X6, are now products of Lenovo in the U.S. and other countries. IBM will host x86-related content on ibm.com until the site is migrated to Lenovo.

3 (STAC-M3.β1.1T.MOHIBID.TIME, STAC-M3.β1.1T.QTRHIBID.TIME, STAC-M3.β1.1T.YRHIBID.TIME)

4(STAC-M3.β1.10T.MKTSNAP.TIME)

5IMPORTANT NOTE: Most prior configurations tested against STAC-M3 have used RAID 5, since this was the original request of the STAC-M3 Working Group. However, with growing interest in flash and tiered storage, STAC consulted the working group on the philosophy toward RAID in the case of direct-attached SSD storage. The consensus was that SSD configurations with no RAID can be quite relevant to enterprise tick databases. Premium STAC subscribers: See the discussion on this on the STAC-M3 forum at www.STACresearch.com/discussion/2014/09/25/raid-or-not-raid.

Intel and STAC studied the effect of using no RAID or RAID 0 with this SSD-based system, as well as varying other storage-related configuration settings. There were significant effects (up to 2.5x). Premium STAC subscribers: Read the analysis in the STAC Vault at www.STACresearch.com/KDB141211.

About the Author

As a member of the seasoned product marketing team that launched the System x X6 family of servers, Kathy Holoman has a rich history in technology marketing. Prior to joining the Lenovo Enterprise Product Group, Kathy held high-impact global technology marketing roles in four Fortune 100 companies (IBM, HP, EDS, GE) and one Global 500 organization, Schneider Electric. Her mission in life has always been to accelerate the sales process by helping sellers to articulate -- and buyers to understand -- solution positioning, value propositions and competitive differentiators. She translates technology attributes into tangible business value. Kathy’s ability to “tell the story” across a variety of marketing media and a span of several languages has been recognized not only with corporate awards such as the IBM Global Leadership Award, but also with Addy Awards for advertising, two international global events marketing best of show awards, and a top-three graphic design award in a field of more than 17,000. Read more on Linkedin or follow @techiewahoo on Twitter.