Logo: TUG TORONTO USERS GROUP for Midrange Systems
e -server magazine

November 1996: Volume 12, Number 2

Tips from Jackie

Good-Bye to an Old Friend!

By Jackie Jansen

his is to announce that RAMP-C is retiring from the AS/400 Division after 6 years of service to pursue other business opportunities. We would like to thank RAMP-C for all the support and assistance it has given us over the years. I know that we all felt that we could call upon RAMP-C when necessary to help us in comparing and sizing upgrades, showing performance charts and generally being a spot of colour in dull presentations. I am sure that RAMP-C will enjoy its retirement to the fullest.

At this time it is my pleasure to welcome CPW to the AS/400 Division. CPW (Commercial Processing Workload) comes to us with a great background and track record in performance comparisons. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with CPW. Yes it is true. IBM is retiring our old friend RAMP-C in favour of a new more complex transaction processing workload definition called CPW or "Commercial Processing Workload". CPW is based on the industry standard TPC-C benchmark with some additional workload to more closely represent AS/400 applications. AS/400 customers are processing more complex transactions than in the past. We see this trend continuing as the AS/400 RISC processors provide ongoing dramatic increases in raw power and system scalability. CPW describes a commercial workload with significant database processing. The CPW values may not always accurately characterize the performance of a compute intensive workload. When moving to a RISC model compute intensive workloads will realize a much more significant performance boost than the traditional commercial applications. Both CPW and RAMP-C values are based on commercial workloads.

When compared with a RAMP-C workload, a CPW workload includes more files, much heavier file I/O, journalling and commitment control, and more complex hardware and software instructions. CPW also includes batch jobs running whereas RAMP-C had no batch component. Both RAMP-C and CPW use traditional read/write database access, not SQL access. The basis of RAMP-C was selecting the performance of a B10 to equal 1 unit. This showed that the F45 with a RAMP-C rating of 6.0 could process six times as many RAMP-C transactions as a B10. A B10 is now 2.9 CPW and an F45 equals 17.1 CPW. This implies that an F45 can process almost, but not quite, six times as many CPW style transactions as a B10.

For V3R6 IBM will publish both RAMP-C and CPW numbers. All future performance comparisons will be based on CPW. BEST/1, the AS/400 performance modeler, is still the best measurement tool to analyze an individual system. CPW values are simply a guideline based on an industry standard workload running with a maximum memory and disk. Where possible use your actual workload with BEST/1 for estimating performance on various hardware configurations.

Please take the first opportunity to get acquainted with CPW. You will find CPW a real asset to you when evaluating future hardware. T < G

Jackie Jansen is an AS/400 Specialist and Consulting SE, providing national technical and marketing support for the AS/400 in Canada. Jackie frequently speaks at AS/400 Technical Conferences and User Group meetings.