Performance / Price Soft and PennySort

Joshua Coates, Jim Gray, and Chris Nyberg

Abstract

NTsort is an external sort on WindowsNT 5.0. It has minimal functionality but excellent price performance. In particular, running on mail-order hardware it can sort 1.5 GB for a penny. NT5.0 is not yet available. For commercially available sorts, Postman Sort from Robert Ramey Software Development has elapsed time performance comparable to NTsort, while using less processor time. It can sort 1.27 GB for a penny (12.7 million records.) These sorts set new price-performance records. This paper documents this and proposes that the PennySort benchmark be revised to Performance/Price sort: a simple GB/ sort metric based on a two-pass external sort.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-98-45
Pages7
InstitutionMicrosoft Research
> Publications > Performance / Price Soft and PennySort