New TPC benchmark compares virtual workloads

The TPC-VMS benchmark could give organizations an idea of how well their databases will run in virtual environments

Extending its testing methodologies to the realm of virtualization, the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has introduced a benchmark that allows organizations to determine the responsiveness of database systems operating in virtual environments.

The benchmark, called TPC-VMS (Virtual Measurement of Single-system), is "the first specification in the industry that enables comparison of performance workloads running enterprise database applications across several virtual machines," Wayne Smith, chairman of the TPC-VMS committee, said in a statement. According to TPC, the benchmark could help organizations determine how well a database system, such as a legacy database, would fare in a virtual environment.

TPC-VMS builds on a number of existing TPC benchmarks for measuring database system performance -- TPC-C, TPC-E, TPC-H or TPC-DS. In a test scenario, a user would configure three identical database systems under one of these TPC benchmarks, then run the databases in three virtual containers on a single server.

The TPC's benchmarks are tailored for different types of database workloads. TPC-C and TPC-E test online transaction processing databases. TPC-H tests databases that are used for ad-hoc queries, such as those used for support centers. And TPC-DS tests how quickly database servers process large amounts of data.

The individual TPC-VMS benchmarks based on those other benchmarks are named VMStpmC (for TPC-C workloads), VMStpsE (for TPC-E), VMSQphH (for TPC-H) and VMSQphDS (for TPC-DS).

Thus far, at least one company, Red Hat, has announced it plans to publish the results of how well its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) performs under TPC-VMS.

Founded in 1988, the TPC is a nonprofit organization that provides vendor-neutral benchmarks for testing the performance of transaction processing and database systems. Among its members are Advanced Micro Devices, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, Sybase, Teradata, Unisys and VMware.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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