Vendors Team Up On Benchmarking Virtualization


Dell, AMD, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, SWsoft and VMware formed a working group last October with oversight by SPEC, a standards body for performance benchmarks.

The working group has completed the group's investigatory phase, the first of nine milestones in SPEC's rigorous benchmarking process, said Andrea Eubanks, VMware's senior director of enterprise and technical marketing. The group hopes to complete the process sometime in 2008, she said.

With the SPEC process still in its first stages, friction between the participating vendors is already evident.

While open source operating systems can be readily packaged as virtual appliances, the same can't be said for Windows due to licensing restrictions, Eubanks said.

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"But we expect users to pressure vendors with restrictive licensing schemes to open their licenses to allow this," she said.

Asked if she was specifically referring to Microsoft, Eubanks said, "Yes. That's who I'm referring to."

Separately, VMware on Monday released VMmark, the first publicly available virtualization benchmark, according to the vendor. VMmark is an effort to answer key questions about how to best run a virtualized environment and is free to download from VMware's Web site, Eubanks said.

"For example, our partners need to know, 'What's the best practice for the number of machines I can run on a virtual platform? We've been working on answering this for years," Eubanks said.