Analytics without Boundaries for the Future-Ready Enterprise

Running IBM DB2* on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors powers the next generation of business innovation.

DB2 is IBM’s flagship database product which supports in-memory column store tables for analytics workloads.

Hardware at-a-glance: Intel® Xeon® 8180 Platinum processor

Software tools/libraries: Intel® C++ Compiler

Modern businesses find themselves awash in data, and their best path to a competitive edge comes from analytics that can put that data to work in real time. An IT strategy must enable intelligent, rapid-fire decisions today and prepare for new business models and capabilities tomorrow. Building blocks from IBM and Intel are a solid foundation for ongoing innovation.

IBM DB2* running on the new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors builds on an ongoing history of joint successes and industry leadership. Massive scalability and throughput turns the deluge of data facing every business from a challenge into an opportunity.

For well over two decades, IBM and Intel have collaborated closely to create symbiotic capabilities in their products for the enterprise. With each generation of IBM software and Intel® architecture, business customers extend their capabilities to put data to work, advancing the horizons of capability and opportunity. As business intelligence and analytics have become more central to profitability, real-time database performance has become vital.

Proven Performance for the Data-Fueled Enterprise
Testing reveals that performance increases occur when refreshing the server hardware and the DB2 database platform. For mainstream two-socket servers, refresh of hardware alone from previous-generation systems based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2699 v4 to the Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8180 processor increased performance by approximately 1.51x.1

“In today’s data-driven economy, businesses require solutions that put data to the best use possible. Having the ability to make decisions real-time while planning long-term strategy is critical. That’s why the combination of IBM DB2* V11.1 and the new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors is so compelling. This technology stack puts more power, flexibility, and insight into the hands of business decision makers.”

Refreshing the database platform and the server hardware together drives even greater potential for higher throughput. The test system using the latest DB2 V11.1 on the Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 processor produced a performance increase of 1.81x over the baseline system.1 In a real-life implementation, this improvement could allow more sophisticated decisions based on larger data sets, setting the stage for business innovation.

Compelling results are also available for larger-scale solutions based on four-socket systems. Upgrading the server platform alone from a system just one generation old based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v4 to the Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 processor delivered a performance increase of 1.49x.2 However, the potential for enhanced performance is often greater than 1.5X, as many servers currently deployed in data centers are closer to three years old or older. In fact, upgrading just the hardware from a server based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E7-4890 v2 (introduced in 2014) produced approximately a 2.17x performance increase.2

Just as in the two-socket case, the true potential for greater performance lies in upgrading both the server hardware and the database platform together. Compared to the three-year-old server running the older version of DB2, testing demonstrated approximately a 2.65x increase in throughput on the four-socket system based on the Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 processor running DB2 V11.1.

Always-On, In-Memory Analytics with IBM DB2* Database
DB2 V11.1 is built to power the next generation of demanding, simultaneous workloads, including those for advanced analytics, cognitive, and transactional computing. Its in-memory architecture scales smoothly across large core counts in enterprise servers based on the Intel Xeon Scalable processors, contributing to improved throughput and response times for the full range of leading-edge business applications.

IBM BLU Acceleration* delivers the breakthrough performance advantages of in-memory columnar processing, taking advantage of the latest cache and memory subsystem advances of Intel architecture. By delivering rapid system response, BLU Acceleration safeguards the ability of next-generation business applications to advance real-time business insight, as well as an excellent user experience.

To help satisfy the challenges of the cognitive era, DB2 meets demanding processing requirements head-on, while embracing the full scope of data sources that today’s enterprise applications must draw on, from sensors and mobile endpoints to the data center, web, and cloud.

By loading data continuously from multiple enterprise sources, DB2 keeps data available where it is needed to support fast insight and decision making. Compression using multiple techniques on that data maximizes compression of columnar tables, helping DB2 drive performance up further. Advanced data management and manipulation techniques provide highly efficient use of hardware resources throughout the solution stack.

“The new Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors are the most compelling platform advance in a decade, and the advances built into DB2 V11.1 showcase just how valuable upgrading the whole solution stack can be. This is a golden opportunity for joint customers of IBM and Intel to get huge return on investment from combined hardware and software refresh.”

Pervasive Performance from the Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors
Based on a new microarchitecture built using 14-nanometer process technology, the Intel Xeon Scalable processors represent the most significant set of platform improvements in the past 10 years. With significant performance advances per core and up to 28 cores per socket, this compute engine delivers breakthrough capabilities for enterprise applications based on DB2. As businesses find themselves awash in data, this latest IBM and Intel solution stack provides the means for that data to illuminate potential competitive advantages.

The Intel Xeon Scalable processors’ redesigned memory subsystem provides very low latency, making it a key contributor to performance increases for the memory-intensive workloads associated with DB2-based applications. The hardware platform provides six memory channels per processor, for a 1.5X increase in bandwidth compared to the four channels in its predecessor. With support for up to 24 DIMMs of DDR4-2667 RAM, the processor enables servers to scale upward to avoid becoming memory bound, even when handling very large data sets.

The robust memory subsystem holds clear benefits for large enterprise databases. Radical boosts to performance are possible by placing massive DB2 datasets into system memory while ensuring that internal bandwidth is sufficient to handle the accompanying demands.

View the infographic ›

With an eye to their futures, businesses now have a simple path to powering better decision making using vast amounts of data. By upgrading their analytics solutions to DB2 V11.1 running on server hardware based on the new Intel Xeon Scalable processors, enterprises can embrace the potential of opening their solutions to rapid operations on massive data. At the full range of system sizes ranging from two to eight sockets, the increases in throughput available from hardware and software refresh covers the gamut of solution scale.

Performance drives insight, and the competitive advantage often goes to the competitor who identifies opportunities first. In a world where those opportunities lie hidden in vast seas of data, analytics powered by IBM and Intel offer a path to success.

Product and Performance Information


Workload: 300 GB BD Insights, 12 users, geomean of three runs; performance metric: queries per hour (QpH).

Baseline: 2x Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2699 v4 @ 2.2 GHz; 256 GB DDR4-2400 RAM (16x 16 GB); Intel® SSD DC S3700 Series (800 GB); Red Hat Enterprise Linux* 7.3; BIOS: 86B.0271. R00.1510301446. Raw score: 3774 QpH.

New: 2x Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8180 processor @ 2.5 GHz; 384 GB DDR4-2667 RAM (24x 16 GB); Intel SSD DC S3700 Series (800 GB); Red Hat Enterprise Linux* 7.3; BIOS: 86B.01.00.0412.020920172159. Raw score with DB2* v10.5.08: 5717 QpH. Raw score with DB2 v11.1.1.1: 6848 QpH.


Workload: 3 TB BD Insights, 12 users, geomean of three runs; performance metric: queries per hour (QpH).

Baseline: 4x Intel® Xeon® processor E7-4890 v2 @ 2.8 GHz; 1.5 TB DDR3-1600 RAM (96x 16 GB); IBM XIV storage; SUSE Linux* Enterprise Server 11.3; BIOS: 86B.0038.R02.1307231126. Raw score: 530 QpH.

Intermediate generation: 4x Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8890 v4 @ 2.2 GHz; 1.5 TB DDR4-2133 RAM (96x 16 GB); Intel® SSD DC S3700 Series (800 GB); Red Hat Enterprise Linux* 7.3; BIOS: 335.R00. Raw score: 774 QpH.

New: 4x Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8180 processor @ 2.5 GHz; 1.5 TB DDR4-2667 RAM (48x 32 GB); Intel® SSD DC S3700 Series (800 GB); Red Hat Enterprise Linux* 7.3; BIOS: 086B.0119. R05.1701181843. Raw score with DB2 v10.5.08: 1151 QpH. Raw score with DB2 v11.1.1.1: 1407 QpH.


Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit