Oracle Database TCO Compared: 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Processor– Based Systems Versus IBM Power10™ Processor–Based Systems

Analysis conducted by Prowess Consulting finds that Oracle Database running on 3rd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor–based servers offers lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and better relative performance per TCO dollar compared to running on IBM Power10 processor–based servers.

Businesses use Oracle® Database to run some of their most mission-critical, high-performance, and high-availability workloads. Popular systems for enterprise Oracle Database implementations fall into two camps: servers built around proprietary operating systems, such as IBM® Power® Systems running the IBM® AIX® operating system (OS), and systems built around pervasive operating systems, such as industry-standard systems powered by Intel® Xeon® processors running Linux®. Prowess Consulting put these competing system paradigms to the test to see which can provide the best total cost of ownership (TCO) running the industry’s most popular enterprise relational database, Oracle Database.<sup>1</sup> For this study, Prowess compared four-socket IBM® processor–based systems (the only IBM server configuration currently available with IBM® Power10™ processors) and two-socket 3rd Generation Intel Xeon processor–based systems. We found a two-socket Intel® processor–based server powered by Intel Xeon Platinum 8358 processors, compared to a four-socket IBM Power E1080 server, provided:

• As much as 96 percent lower TCO (see Appendix)
• Up to 18.5x better relative performance per TCO dollar (see Table 3)
• Up to 1.2x better performance per Oracle Database license (see Table 3)
• Up to 3.6x better performance per watt (see Table 3)

This study underscores that capital expenditures (CapEx) are just the tip of the investment iceberg. Operating expenses (OpEx) for IBM Power Systems servers running the AIX OS are higher than for more widespread systems running Intel technology, requiring additional expenses including higher labor costs for specialized administrators for managing AIX OS.<sup>2,3</sup> Moreover, running the AIX OS can silo database systems and isolate them from the rest of organizations’ data centers, and it creates a risk of vendor lock-in as the AIX OS is only supported on IBM Power Systems servers. Intel and Oracle offer validated, cloud-ready OS, compute, storage, and networking with full-stack hardware/software-converged systems that reduce complexity when deploying Oracle Database on Intel-based systems.