VMware, along with our partner HP, are excited to announce the world’s first TPC-VMS benchmark result!

Many organizations and their operations teams are still not confident that databases can be virtualized successfully.  It has been VMware’s experience though that performance should no longer be a barrier to continued adoption of database workloads on vSphere.  By leveraging this 3rd party, audited benchmark, we hope to increase customer confidence that vSphere is the best platform for all your enterprise applications.

Let’s take a look at this benchmark

Who is the Transaction Processing Performance Council (

The TPC is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry.  Its membership consists of:


What is TPC-VMS?

This TPC defined benchmark models a database consolidation scenario by running an OLTP workload in 3 virtual machines side by side.  The benchmark demands 3 virtual machines rather than one to validate resource allocation and arbitration of the virtual platform thus ensuring a true high performance consolidation scenario is evaluated.  The primary metric is the lowest of the 3 OLTP workload scores.


  • Databases constitute a large number of existing environment workloads and the industry is looking for a benchmark to aid in comparisons.
  • Databases are perceived to suffer from high virtualization overhead and poor performance so a benchmark can help expose that if it does exist.
  • The benchmark results are audited by certified TPC experts thereby ensuring transparency, fairness and integrity.

Basically it’s promoting database virtualization.

The Configuration Details:

The test bed consisted of the following configuration:

Virtual Machine Workloads

  • 3x TPC-E virtual machines
  • 10 vCPU, 80GB RAM each
  • Windows 2012 Standard
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1
Hosting Infrastructure
  • HP Proliant DL385 G8 Server
  • AMD Opteron 6386SE – 2.8GHz, 256GB RAM
  • VMware vSphere Enterprise
  • Significant disk sub-system (over 100k IOPS)

The Result:

The TPC-VMS benchmark score is the lowest of the three VMStpsE scores (in bold) which were: 457.55, 468.11, 470.31

  • VMS-TCP-E Throughput: 457.55 VMStpsE
  • Price Performance: $571 USD per VMStpsE
  • Date: August 26, 2013
  • Complete Results:

HP has also done native TPC-E benchmarking on the exact same infrastructure as the TPC-VMS test bed.  Those results were:

  • TCP-E Throughput: 1416.37 tpsE
  • Price Performance: $183 USD per tpsE
  • Date: May 15, 2013
  • Complete Results:

TPC rules prevent direct comparison of two differing benchmark results, as after all, they are different benchmarks with a different methodologies even though they rely on similar TPC-E workloads.   Still, this should be reassuring to customers that database consolidation scenarios are not only viable, but extremely efficient as well with little virtualization overhead.

The Takeaways:

  • HP and VMware published the world’s 1st TPC-VMS benchmark result.
  • Compliant and audited by a 3rd party.
  • While not a direct comparison, you can see how database consolidation scenarios could achieve near native capabilities on the same hardware.
  • Confidence you can virtualize databases today without performance penalties.
  • VMware continues to be an industry leader.

About the Author

Mark Achtemichuk

Mark Achtemichuk currently works as a Staff Engineer within VMware’s R&D Operations and Central Services Performance team, focusing on education, benchmarking, collaterals and performance architectures.  He has also held various performance focused field, specialist and technical marketing positions within VMware over the last 7 years.  Mark is recognized as an industry expert and holds a VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX#50) certification, one of less than 250 worldwide. He has worked on engagements with Fortune 50 companies, served as technical editor for many books and publications and is a sought after speaker at numerous industry events.  Mark is a blogger and has been recognized as a VMware vExpert from 2013 to 2016.  He is active on Twitter at @vmMarkA where he shares his knowledge of performance with the virtualization community. His experience and expertise from infrastructure to application helps customers ensure that performance is no longer a barrier, perceived or real, to virtualizing and operating an organization's software defined assets.