Analysis of IBM System x3850 M2 Performance and Scalability with VMware vSphere 4 and SAP Solutions

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January 13, 2010

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This paper provides an overview of the performance and scaling characteristics of the IBM System x® 3850 M2 running an implementation of an SAP® business solution in a virtualized environment using VMware® vSphere (TM) 4. Together these components comprise a highly scalable, flexible, and reliable virtualization infrastructure for mission-critical applications. This paper highlights how IBM X-Architecture® technology contributes to excellent performance scaling for a high server consolidation ratio.These benefits are demonstrated using a production-class 64-bit software stack consisting of Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. SAP software includes SAP NetWeaver® 7.01 (ABAP) with a Unicode kernel and Enhancement Package 4 for SAP® ERP 6.0. Performance and scalability data are presented for both scale-up and scale-out scenarios. The scenarios highlight the relationship between CPU utilization and user response time, the importance of processor cache for the SAP application workload, and the ability of the vSphere scheduler to allocate resources equitably among multiple virtual machines running concurrently.At the conclusion of the paper, tuning and optimization best practices are presented for implementing an SAP application workload on the IBM System x3850 M2 using IBM X-Architecture technology in a VMware vSphere 4 enviroment.