The race for supremacy in the Transaction Processing Performance Council's (TPC's) TPC-C benchmark continued as Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard (HP) posted new results yesterday in the nonclustered TPC-C category. The race has heated up in recent weeks. At the Windows Server 2003 launch last month, Microsoft and HP used Windows 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) to gain the top position with a score of 658,277 transactions per minute (tpm) at a cost of $9.80 per transaction. IBM used DB2 UDB 8.1 and AIX 5L v5.2 to claim the top spot 2 weeks later when it posted a score of 680,613tpm at $11.13 a transaction.

But IBM's stay at the top didn't last long. Yesterday, Microsoft and HP posted results of 707,102tpm at a cost of $9.13 per transaction. As with the previous Microsoft and HP record, the new benchmark used an HP Superdome with Windows 2003, Datacenter Edition and the 64-bit version SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition.

The renewed interest in the TPC-C benchmarks has started a performance war between IBM and Microsoft and its partners. And Microsoft's recent postings have sparked new interest in the benchmark list, which hadn't been updated for several years. Competitors Oracle and Sun Microsystems have stayed out of the current battle, instead choosing to criticize the benchmark's legitimacy, which is ironic because in the past both companies have touted their performance in the benchmark test. At the Windows 2003 launch, Microsoft said it expects UNIX to temporarily regain the performance crown once or twice, but that Windows 2003 has plenty of headroom and the company expects it will eventually take the lead for good.