Database performance is much a bit like a major sport, there’s a governing body, the Transaction Processing and Performance Council (confusingly abbreviated to TPC) and they set the competition rules and judge the results. Unlike most sports there’s no season and entrants can compete at any time, using the latest combination of hardware and software. There are four main benchmarks in use but only three apply to comparisons of the back-end database:
- TPC-App. is designed for app servers and web services and makes no comparison of database performance.
- TPC-C. The traditional standard for measuring database performance.
- TPC-E. The newer standard for OLTP performance, but not widely used yet.
- TPC-H. Designed to show performance of decision support solutions
The only ray of sunshine for SQL Server here is the newer TPC-H benchmark, but does any of this matter in the real world. Apparently not because everyone seems to want to virtualise SQL Server and other database to make them more manageable and this is always going to be at the expense of performance. So perhaps TPC will introduce TPC-V to measure this!