As noted earlier, the first attempts at standardizing a systems-level benchmark took place in the second half of the 1980s, with the introduction of the debit/credit benchmark, or TP1.

To mitigate deficiencies in the definition of this benchmark and to establish a rigorous basis for systems comparison, a group of computer systems vendors and DBMS vendors formed the Transaction Processing Council (TPC). The TPC aimed to both define a benchmark for transaction-processing systems and to specify rigorous publication rules for the results. Each TPC member is committed to obeying the rules, which require results to be accompanied by publication of a detailed report. Reports are subject to audit.

TPC then published a new benchmark to characterize decision support applications, and then, later, one for Web-based transactional applications. The history of TPC benchmarks can be summarized by the following list (benchmarks shown in bold were current at the beginning of 2002):

» TPC-A (1989): a simple transaction which does one update to a bank
» TPC-B (1990): the “database portion” of TPC-A
» TPC-C (1992): a benchmark involving multiple, complex transactions
» TPC-D (1995): decision support
» TPC-H (1999): decision support
» TPC-R (1999): decision support
» TPC-W (2000): Web-based transaction processing (e.g., electronic commerce, B2B, etc.)

The TPC benchmarks allow systems to be compared in two ways:
» Performance (for example, number of transactions per unit of time)
» Price/performance (for example, total cost of ownership over a threeyear period per transaction per minute)

The benchmark is not specified by source code, and so it is the responsibility of each TPC member who wishes to characterize a system to implement the benchmarks for those systems.

The TPC does not measure systems itself.

As far as the benchmarks are concerned, system cost comprises the cost of acquiring the system from the vendor (hardware and software) along with the costs of maintenance for three years. The transactions called for must be implemented properly, respecting the ACID properties of atomicity, coherence, insulation and durability.

Information on the activities and the standards issued by the TPC, as well as the published results of measurements, is available on their Web site at http://

Source of Information : Elsevier Server Architectures

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