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HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

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HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

We are currently running an older version of Informix on a K250 server, and are being pushed to upgrades to the latest release which I believe is Informix 9.2. This will require us to replace our server with a newer more powerful HP UX Server, is there anywhere I would be able to find the requirements for the server based on the database application and user levels we will be running?

I want to make sure we can get a server that will handle the load we will be putting on this server, and won't need any upgrades for at least 4-5 years.

Any information or links will be much appreciated.

Thanks ~Steve

13 REPLIES
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor
Solution

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

Steve,

We run Informix Dynamic Server Version 7.31.FC4 under both 11.0 and 11i - on an N-class and an L-class respectively. Our production environment consists of about 200 users pounding away against the 4x440MHz, 8GB RAM, N-class. It runs like a champ. If I was looking for a new server today, I would be looking at the rp7410/rp7405 with 4x750MHz or 4x875MHz and 8GB RAM. That should run rings around our current setup.

Does that give you any basis for comparison?


Pete


Pete

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

Pete, I couldn't have asked for a better answer. I greatly appreciate this information. I will bring this up, and hopefully this will be the leverage I need.

once again, thank you
Steve B
George_Dodds
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

We run a 1tb informix database quite happily from 2 L class servers with 3x 440mhz cpu's and 4gb ram.

Of course the xp array helps a bit with storage :)

Ta

George
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

Steve,

Minor correction - I just noted I reported the N-class as being 4x440MHz - it's 6x440MHz. I expect we will need fewer, faster processors in the rp74xx and this could be a good thing with licensing costs being based on number of CPUs. Informix hasn't done this yet, but I'm sure they will.


Pete


Pete
someone_4
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

Hi

In addtion to the server hardware.

Our N class is conncected to a DDS3 Tape drive that I do weekly ignite backups and daily backups of specific directories that contain users scripts. We have 2 8GB disk , one is the primary and the other is the backup mirrored using mirror-ux. Ignite is great!! It has saved my butt many of a time.

Richard
Tim D Fulford
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

We run Informix 9.21 on rp7410 & rp8400. The latest version of Informix is 9.3 & I'd go that way as 9.21 have some "limitations". I do not know when 9.4 is out but it is meant to be soon.

We run OLTP database on 8x750MHz rp7400, using VA7410 as the disk-subsystem (1GB mirrored cache 30x36GB disks) & get about 10,417 transactions per minute max. Our application is the "slow point" & if the database was allowed to do it's stuff it would get about 33,750 transactions per minute. This is not too bad when you compare to tpm-c figure of 92,000 for the same server.

I'd go for the 650 or 750MHz CPUs as the 875's are not really that much betetr. 750's are about 15% better than 650's.

I dont have any tpm-c figures for k250, but about 15,000 sounds about right (k360 16400 using 4x180MHz CPUs).

The rp2470 may fit the your bill (on tpm-c) and is very cheap, but does not have many PCI slots. If you do not need many peripherals then think about this, also it has less internal bandwidth than a rp54xx. (about 1/4)

Putting this lot together, if you want similar server
o rp5470 with 2x650 CPUs does 23897 tpm-c, or 4x650 CPUs is 43292 tpm-c.
o Look at the storage, VA7410 or VA7110 are both good storage dsub-systems. or DS2300 if you do not need disk performance.
o I would go for 1-2 GB/CPU of Memory, I think the rp5470 can take up to 16GB, so LOADS of room there using the rules

Good luck

Tim

-

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

Let's assume I was to go with the RP7400 with 550MHz CPU's, what would your recommendation be? This server is readily available and very cheap, I think this might be the route we go. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

Steve,

I didn't catch how many CPU's of what horsepower you had in your K box, but I can guarantee you that you can get along with roughly half (Iwould prefer to go with more than half) the amount of 550MHz CPUs in an RP74xx box and still improve performance.


Pete


Pete
Tim D Fulford
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

ooh suit you sir!

An excellent choice sir, it is of a fine vintage, and a good pedigree sir.

tpm-c for rp7400 with PA8600 550 MHz
8 cpus ~60,000 tpm-c
4 cpus ~34,000 tpm-c

Sir's previous K class is about 15,000 at a guess sir

May I suggest sir, that sir gets 1GB memory per cpu sir, so assuming sir chooses 4 CPUs that would be 4GB memory. To complement the memory sir, I would highly reccomend a root disk with 5GB swap+dump & /var of 6GB to be able to amply take sir's crash dumps (hopefully sir would not experience this, but better safe than sorry, sir).

May I also point out to sir the advantage of haveing more memory. Informix 9.2+ uses fuzzy checkpoints, thus the checkpoint information is greatly reduced. This gives sir the addded advantage of being able to increase Informix BUFFERS to a far higher value available in 7.3 WITHOUT causing long checkpoints. oooh suit you sir!

How about a disk subsystem sir. I suggest fibre sir VA7110 or VA7410. The 15k rpm disk offer great performance sir & the caching facilities of the VA greatly improves an already excellent performance sir. If sir woul not like to used caching how about the fibre attache JBOD system such as DS2405 sir.

I hope sir has enjoyed his browse & will come back again.

oooh suit you sir!

(If the above makes no sense then look for "fast show" on google & hit I'm feeling lucky)

Tim
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Steve Lewis
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

I know that 550 PA8600s will seems fast compared with your old K class, but if you want it to last 5 years then you really should go for the PA8700s. This is partly because the cpu upgrade path is difficult from 550 upwards. The 8700s have a higher power requirement which means new PSMs and maybe a new motherboard.
750s are a lot quicker than 550s. We estimated 45% faster.
Dont install any less than 4Gb of RAM. If you really go for the 550s then you ought to buy an external disk controller, such as a VA7110/7410 or xpNNNN.

As a slightly different example of a big informix database. I have a 12-way rp8400 with 12Gb of RAM and 2Tb of disk. I struggle to make it use up more than 50% cpu with 24 concurrent batch processes and 2 large instances. The disks (va7410) supply up to 250000 blocks per second (sar). It really is overkill for our purposes and the 12 875Mhz cpus never all get used. Informix oninits spend more time waiting for mutexes or in kernal calls than processing SQL.

You have been given good advice for the servers and storage i.e rp7400/VA7410 and lots of io slots. I would add that you need 2Gbit fibre to get the most out of the io. SCSI is not recommended for support/part replacement reasons. Lastly don't even think about buying any tape drive slower/smaller than an Ultrium. In 64 bit Ids we get up to 400Gb on a single tape.
One of my N4000s with 4Gb of RAM supports 3 Informix instances with 600 concurrently available databases. Try that with Oracle.

Some application suppliers e.g. SAP give you recommendations on server sizes.

Lastly there are many other threads here on the HP forums to do with performance/planning/sizing which should help you plenty.






Steve Lewis
Honored Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

One other thing.
IDS 9.40 is already out and I am using it. It has the big advantage of >2Gb chunk sizes, which IBM call expanded chunk capacity mode; you enable it with an onmode command (why not onconfig?)

It also has LRU cleaning params to 2 decimal places e.g. in the extreme case you could say LRU_MAX_DIRTY 0.02 LRU_MIN_DIRTY 0.01 or whatever, which is good for extremely large LRU/BUFFER combinations.

It also has the SQL statement cache which is a boon for multi-tiered s/w architectures.

If you are migrating to a new machine/storage, then this is a good time to try 9.40.

David Uraneck
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

We moved from K460 for our SAP over Informix 7.30 instance to an rp7410. DON'T get an rp7410 unless you really need the partitioning feature--it's a waste of money! A used N-class (now rp7400) will work just as well and you will get much better value for your money. I know, we just installed a refurbed rp7400 to replace our Q/A machine, and it works fine. Also, the GSP on the rp7410 is much wierd compared to the GSP on the N-class or L-class, and you don't need to call HP field engineers every time you have to deal with it. Keep it simple!

Also, if your DB size is not too large you don't need to go to a fiber fabric SAN. Try to keep it direct connected to your server. Setting up a SAN installation is like a "growth" experience if you are not prepared for what you are getting into. Again, keep it simple--you can always migrate to more complexity when it is required.

Then, most of your peripherals, e.g. DLT tape drives, etc. will not work on rp7400 series which make heavy use of LVD (low voltage SCSI devices). Your HVD (high voltage SCSI) devices will not work here since rp7xx's usually come configured for LVD. Plan on using Ultrium LVD tape drives and have them installed by knowledgable FE's. The LVD cabling and termination can be tricky if you do not know what you are doing.

VA7400 disk arrays take a little getting used to, but are well worth it. Avoid the FC60 disk arrays if you have the funding for the VA7400/7100. They are just easier to administer. We suffered a combo crash of a VA7400 controller and a disk, and I was amazed that it was able to recover--but, it did! A DB restore was not required. It has resilience!

You will be very pleased with the performance improvement in the rp7xxx series compared to your K200 series. By all means pay the extra bucks for the 750MHz CPU's and you will get your 4-5 years use out of them.
Nick Wickens
Respected Contributor

Re: HP 9000 Server for Informix Database

I am in the process of upgrading to Informix 9.3 (although we have just been sent 9.4) and at the same time we are moving from a K370/6 to an RP7410/4 (650Mz) with a VA7410 SAN.

We got an amazing leasing deal from HP via our VAR which was a lot cheaper than purchase and the kits ours at the end of four years anyway !so I would suggest you ask about leasing agreements.
Hats ? We don't need no stinkin' hats !!