Here is an attempt to build a Price/Performance model for several data warehouse databases.

Added on February 21, 2013: This attempt is very rough… very crude… and a little too ambitious. Please do not take it too literally. In the real world Greenplum and Teradata will match or exceed the price/performance of Exadata… and the fact that the model does not show this exposes the limitations of the approach… but hopefully it will get you thinking… – Rob

For price I used some $$/Terabyte numbers scattered around the internet. They are not perfect but they are close enough to make the model interesting. I used:

Database

$$/TB

HANA

$200,000

Exadata X3

$66,000

Teradata

$66,000

Greenplum

$30,000

Of these numbers the one that may be the furthest off is the HANA number. This is odd since I work for SAP… but I just could not find a good number so I picked a big number to see how the model came out. Please, for any of these numbers provide a comment and I’ll adjust.

For each product I used the high performance product rather than the product with large capacity disks…

I used latency as a stand-in for performance. This is not perfect either… but it is not too bad. I’ll try again some other time and add data transfer time to the model. Note that I did not try to account for advantages and disadvantages that come from the software… so the latency associated with I/O to spool/work  files is not counted… use of indexes and/or column store is not counted… compression is not counted. I’ll account for some of this when I add in transfer times.

I did try to account for cache hits when there is SSD cache in the configuration… but I did not give HANA credit for the work done to get most data from the processor caches instead of from DRAM.

For network latency I just assumed one round trip for each product…

For latencies I used the picture below:

The exception is that for products that use PCIe to access SSDs I cut the latency by 1/3 based on some input from a vendor. I could not find details on the latency for Teradata’s Bynet so I assumed that it is comparable with Infiniband and the newest 10GigE switches.

Here is what I came up with:

Database

Total Latency(ns) Price/Performance

Delta

HANA

90

1,800

HANA (2 nodes)

1190

23,800

13x

Exadata X3

2,054,523

13,559,854

7533x

Teradata

4,121,190

27,199,854

15111x

Greenplum

10,001,190

30,003,570

16669x

I suppose that if a model seems to reflect reality then it is useful?

HANA has the lowest latency because it is in-memory. When there are two nodes a penalty is paid for crossing the network… this makes sense.

Exadata does well because the X3 product has SSD cache and I assumed an 80% hit ratio.

Teradata does a little worse because I assumed a lower hit ratio (they have less SSD per TB of data).

Greenplum does worse as they do all I/O against disks.

Note the penalty paid whenever you have to go to disk.

Let me say again… this model ignores lots of software features that would affect performance… but it is pretty interesting as a start…