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A Measure of Transaction Processing 20 Years Later

Jim Gray


This article quantifies the price-performance improvements on two standard commercial benchmarks (DebitCredit and Sort) from 1985 to 2005. It shows that improvement has exceeded Moore's law – largely due to (1) hardware improvements, (2) software improvements, (3) massive parallelism, and (4) changing from mainframe to commodity economics. Price-performance continues to improve faster than Moore's law but per-processor and peak performance are improving more slowly. The sorting results in particular indicate little progress on per-processor speed in the last decade (probably due to slow improvement in memory bandwidth) and little overall progress since 2000 (when thousands of processors and disks were first used).


Publication typeArticle
Published inIEEE Data Engineering Bulletin
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
PublisherInstitution of Electrical Engineers
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