Transaction Throughput Test - Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is Neal Nelson?
       Neal Nelson is an independent computer consultant. Neal has been operating a software house in the Chicago area since 1973.
Why were these tests created?
       For over 20 years Neal has been performing custom computer tests for large companies and government agencies. Based on the results from these custom tests, which were generally not released to the public, Neal knew that much of the public performance information was either incomplete or patently deceptive.

Neal decided to create a suite of tests that would tell the truth about computer performance. These tests are part of that effort.

Did some major company pay for these tests?
       These tests were created by Neal based on his experience at numerous customer sites. No company sponsered, financed or influenced any part of this effort.
Are these tests necesary? Why not use the data from the Transaction Processing Council?
       As a general rule there are two major problems with the test results published by the TPC.

First many of the TPC tests are run on "benchmark special" configurations like a server with 7,000 disk drives. These test results do not provide any useful information to normal users that are trying to configure servers for daily use.

Second, I am not aware of a single case where the TPC has published a proper "apples to apples" comparison between two similarly configured servers. A comparison where the application software, system software, system tunables and major server components (memory size, clock speed and disk drives) were all held constant. There is a need to know if an Itanimum based server is a better or worse choice than a SPARC based server but this information has not come out of any TPC tests.

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