Vmware has launched a new tool to test the performance of virtualised systems, which in the past has been difficult to pin down despite the benefits of virtualisation.
VMmark measures the performance of applications running in virtualised environments. But the company admits it has been no easy job to find an accurate way to come up with a standard benchmark that accurately represents the enormous variety of customer environments running on virtualised systems. It has taken "two years of engineering design, collaboration with partners and review of extensive customer survey data" to develop the benchmark, the company said.
In order to produce the benchmark, VMware has avoided the relatively easy approach of measuring the performance of virtual applications software running on specific machines. Instead, the benchmark measures the scalability of heterogeneous virtualised workloads. According to VMware: "It provides a consistent methodology so benchmark results can be compared across different virtualisation platforms."
The result is that, by using the benchmark, companies should be able to "make appropriate hardware choices, and compare the performance and scalability of different virtualisation platforms", VMware said.
AMD, Dell, HP and Novell have endorsed the benchmark. "We are pleased VMware chose Suse Linux Enterprise Server as part of this standardised virtualisation benchmark," said Holger Dyroff, vice president of Suse Linux Enterprise product management at Novell.
VMmark is available purely on x86 servers. It requires 2 CPUs, 6GB of RAM, 80GB of disk space and a 1GB NIC to run. Operating system requirements include Windows SP1 Enterprise Edition (32-bit) Virtual Server or Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10 (32-bit).
Colin Barker reported for ZDNet UK from London