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As I mentioned in my last blog, we have been developing VMmark 2.0, a next-generation multi-host virtualization benchmark that models not only application performance in a virtualized environment but also the effects of common virtual infrastructure operations. This is a natural progression from single-host virtualization benchmarks like VMmark 1.x and SPECvirt_sc2010. Benchmarks measuring single-host performance, while valuable, do not adequately capture the complexity inherent in modern virtualized datacenters. With that in
mind, we set out to construct a meaningfully stressful virtualization benchmark with the following properties:

  • Multi-host to model realistic datacenter deployments
  • Virtualization infrastructure workloads to more accurately capture overall platform performance
  • Heavier workloads than VMmark 1.x to reflect heavier customer usage patterns enabled by the increased capabilities of the virtualization and hardware layers
  • Multi-tier workloads driving both VM-to-VM and external network traffic
  • Workload burstiness to insure robust performance under variable high loads

The addition of virtual infrastructure operations to measure their impact on overall system performance in a typical multi-host environment is a key departure from
traditional single-server benchmarks. VMmark 2.0 includes the execution of the
following foundational and commonly-used infrastructure operations:

  • User-initiated vMotion 
  • Storage vMotion
  • VM cloning and deployment
  • DRS-initiated vMotion to accommodate host-level load variations

The VMmark 2.0 tile features a significantly heavier load profile than VMmark 1.x and consists of the following workloads:

  • DVD Store 2 – multi-tier OLTP workload consisting of a 4-vCPU database VM and three 2-vCPU webserver VMs driving a bursty load profile
  • OLIO – multi-tier social networking workload consisting of a 4-vCPU web server and a 2-vCPU database server
  • Exchange2007 – 4-vCPU mailserver workload
  • Standby server – 1 vCPU lightly-loaded server

We kicked off an initial partner-only beta program in late June and are actively polishing the benchmark for general release. We will be sharing a number of interesting experiments using VMmark 2.0 in our blog leading up to the general release of the benchmark, so stay tuned.