Virtualization

VMware develops benchmark for Virtual Machines


It appears that VMware is leading the effort to offer a new benchmark that will measure the performance of virtual machines. In fact, it has just unveiled the industry’s first benchmark designed to measure the performance of enterprise workloads on virtualized environments.

Currently considered both to be the pioneer as well as the current market leader in x86 virtualization, it really should come as no surprise.

According to Andrea Eubanks, a senior director for enterprise and technical marketing at VMware, the problem with traditional benchmarks is that they were designed to test how one workload performs on a single server.

These traditional tools become totally useless when confronted with a production virtualized environment. In such a scenario, there will typically be at least several applications running on the same physical piece of hardware.

Hence what VMware did is to use several existing benchmarks that allow for running multiple, heterogeneous workloads in parallel to provide for a score to measure the system performance. In effect, this allows users to compare the performance and scalability of different virtual environments and platforms.

According to eWeek:

The VMmark benchmark scales by running multiple, so-called "tiles" until the host machine reaches saturation. Each of these tiles is a set of six workloads, including a data base server, mail server, Web server, Java transaction server, and a standby server, for failover or quick deployments.

The final score is based on the performance of the workloads at a given number of tiles. The two main benefits … is that the VMmark benchmark can show the right number of VMs a system can support, and it can give a proper measurement of the VMs density of a physical server.

In fact, Dell and SUn Microsystems have already published results based on the beta version of the benchmark. You can read more from the VMware press release on VMmark.

Do share with us about how your company uses virtual machines.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

3 comments
paulmah
paulmah

Do share with us about how your company uses virtual machines.

Hammer70
Hammer70

We've been running a production ESX server for about two years now. For the most part, running an ESX server has been a very good experience. There's been the odd quirk here and there (usually fixed with a patch) and only one (recent) issue that took a bit of time to resolve ... well it's still unresolved, but I hope to implement the fix today. I say only 90%, because we do have troubles running a couple of terminal servers on the box. The server specs include: Quad Xeon 2.7 GHz processors, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage on a SAN. Each terminal server has a dedicated processor assigned to it and 1 GB of RAM. Each server has between 15 and 20 active clients on at peak times. The response time can be very slow, especially if one user decides to open up a particularly complex Excel spreadsheet and perform some calculations. This is just one example and it doesn't happen all the time, but enough to make it annoying for anyone else on the server. The other two processors are shared by six other servers; including two domain controllers, a BlackBerry server, ISA server, exchange server and a proprietary app server. We have no issues with the other servers. I have tweaked the hardware specs various ways for the past 18 months, but that hasn't done anything. Anyhow, I'm a big advocate of server virtualization and hope to take a peak at this new tool in the near future. I just caution anyone wanting to run a terminal server (or two). I'll assume there's a number of organizations that have run in to the same issues as we have and an equal number that have had zero problems.

m.finlay
m.finlay

We are looking to implement ESX but have been advised not to virtualise our 3 Citrix servers for performance reasons.

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