VMmark is a free tool used by hardware vendors and others to measure the performance, scalability, and power consumption of virtualization platforms. If you’re unfamiliar with VMmark 3.x, each tile is a grouping of 19 virtual machines (VMs) simultaneously running diverse workloads commonly found in today’s data centers, including a scalable Web simulation, an E-commerce simulation (with backend database VMs), and standby/idle VMs.
As Joshua mentioned in a recent blog post, we released VMmark 3.1 in February, adding support for persistent memory, improving workload scalability, and better reflecting secure customer environments by increasing side-channel vulnerability mitigation requirements.
I’m happy to announce that today we published the first VMmark 3.1 results. These results were obtained on systems meeting our industry-leading side-channel-aware mitigation requirements, thus continuing the benchmark’s ability to provide an indication of real-world performance.
The recently described Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities have implications throughout the tech industry, and the VMmark virtualization benchmark is no exception. In deciding how to approach the issue, the VMmark team’s goal was to address the impact of the these vulnerabilities while maintaining the value and integrity of the benchmark.
Applying the full set of currently available Meltdown/Spectre mitigations is likely to have a significant impact on VMmark scores. Because the mitigations are expected to continue evolving for some time, that impact might even change. If the VMmark team were to require the full set of mitigations in order for a submission to be compliant, that might make new submissions non-competitive with older ones, and also introduce more “noise” into VMmark scores as the mitigations evolve. While our intention for the future is that eventually all new VMmark results will be obtained on virtualization platforms that have the full set of Meltdown/Spectre mitigations, we have chosen to take a gradual approach.
Beginning May 8, 2018, all newly-published VMmark results must comply with a number of new requirements related to the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. These requirements are detailed in Appendix C of the latest edition of the VMmark User’s Guide.
Before performing any VMmark benchmark runs intended for publication, check the VMmark download page to make sure you’re using the latest edition of the VMmark User’s Guide. If you have questions, you can reach the VMmark team at email@example.com.
VMmark 3.0, VMware’s multi-host virtualization benchmark is generally available here. VMmark3 is a free cluster-level benchmark that measures the performance, scalability, and power of virtualization platforms.
VMmark3 leverages much of previous VMmark generations’ technologies and design. It continues to utilize a unique tile-based heterogeneous workload application design. It also deploys the platform-level workloads found in VMmark2 such as vMotion, Storage vMotion, and Clone & Deploy. In addition to incorporating new and updated application workloads and infrastructure operations, VMmark3 also introduces a new fully automated provisioning service that greatly reduces deployment complexity and time.