Virtualization Technology News and Information
SPEC Forms Cloud Benchmarking Group

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has formed a new group to research and recommend application workloads for benchmarking cloud computing performance.

The group functions under SPEC’s Open Systems Group (OSG) and is working in cooperation with other SPEC committees and subcommittees to define cloud benchmark methodologies, determine and recommend application workloads, identify cloud metrics for existing SPEC benchmarks, and develop new cloud benchmarks.

Current participants in OSGCloud include AMD, Dell, IBM, Ideas International, Intel, Karlshuhe Institute of Technology, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware. Long-time SPEC benchmark developer Yun Chao is a supporting contributor. The group collaborates with the SPEC Research Cloud group, which is working on gaining a broader understanding of cloud behavior and performance issues.

A major shift

While cloud performance takes into account many of the same characteristics as current SPEC benchmarks – throughput, response time and power, for example – it also brings into play new metrics such as elasticity, defined as how quickly a service can adapt to changing customer needs.

“Cloud computing is on the rise and represents a major shift in how servers are used and how their performance is measured,” says Rema Hariharan, chair of OSGCloud. “We want to assemble the best minds to define this space, create workloads, augment existing SPEC benchmarks, and develop new cloud-based benchmarks.”

Call for wider participation

The group targets three types of users for the workloads and benchmarks it will create:

  • Hardware and software vendors providing products that enable cloud services.
  • Cloud providers – entities that offer cloud services, such as IaaS, PaaS or SaaS.
  • Business customers who would use benchmark results to help them select cloud providers.

OSGCloud has already developed a 50-page report that details its objectives, benchmark considerations, characteristics of a cloud benchmark, and tools for creating metrics.

“We have gotten off to a great start in creating guidelines for benchmarks with clearly defined, standardized metrics, but we would like to see wider participation, especially from cloud providers and users,” says Hariharan.

For more information

For more information on OSGCloud and to download the report on cloud computing, visit


Published Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:50 PM by David Marshall
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