You really owe it to yourself to take a look at http://www.tpc.org/tpch/results/tpch_perf_results.asp every few months. (It's also a great idea to read the database vendor's disclaimers since you can always learn a trick or two about how the vendors themselves configured the system for peak performance.) TPC is the Transaction Processing Councel. They've brought us wonderful acronyms like TPC-C and TPC-D, which signify commonly used performance benchmarking tests used to validate database and hardware vendor performance capabilities.
In the latest result in the 100GB testing benchmarks, I found two interesting things to note. First, SQL Server held three out of the top ten scores - at a cost of 1/5th to 1/7th of all the other top ten scores! Wow - no wonder SQL Server is the only database platform to post double-digit growth in licenses. It's actually affordable!
Second, for first time in my memory (which stretches back to the middle 1990's), a Chinese hardware vendor has made the list. The Langchao SP3000 came in 8th place running IBM DB2 UDB 8.1 on a high-end Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition box. I think the answer is obvious that we will see more Chinese products on the benchmark lists as the years go buy. The more interesting question in my mind is whether they will be able to break into America's IT shops or will they remain on the outside, like other well known international vendors like NEC, Fujitsu/Siemens, or Sony and Toshiba (both for servers, not laptops or desktops).
What do you think?