This week, we made
some changes to the CloudXPRT results viewer that we think will simplify the results-browsing experience and
allow visitors to more quickly and easily find important data.
The first set of
changes involves how we present test system information in the main results
table and on the individual results details pages. We realized that there was
potential for confusion around the “CPU” and “Number of nodes” categories. We
removed those and created the following new fields: “Cluster components,”
“Nodes (work + control plane),” and
“vCPUs (work + control plane).” These new categories better describe test
configurations and clarify how many CPUs engage with the workload.
The second set of
changes involves the number of data points that we list in the table for each web
microservices test run. For example, previously, we published a unique entry
for each level of concurrency a test run records. If a run scaled to 32
concurrent instances, we presented the data for each instance in its own row. This
helped to show the performance curve during a single test as the workload
scaled up, but it made it more difficult for visitors to identify the best
throughput results from an individual run. We decided to consolidate the
results from a complete test run on a single row, highlighting only the maximum
number of successful requests (throughout). All the raw data from each run remains
available for download on the details page for each result, but visitors don’t
have to wade through all that data to find the configuration’s main “score.”
We view the development of the CloudXPRT results viewer as an ongoing process. As we add results and receive feedback from testers about the data presentation formats that work best for them, we’ll continue to add more features and tweak existing ones to make them as useful as possible. If you have any questions about CloudXPRT results or the results viewer, please let us know!
The CloudXPRT Preview installation packages are now available on CloudXPRT.com and the BenchmarkXPRT GitHub repository! The CloudXPRT Preview includes two workloads: web microservices and data analytics (you can find more details about the workloads here). Testers can use metrics from the workloads to compare IaaS stack (both hardware and software) performance and to evaluate whether any given stack is capable of meeting SLA thresholds. You can configure CloudXPRT to run on local datacenter, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure deployments.
Several different test packages are available for
download from the CloudXPRT download
page. For detailed installation instructions and
hardware and software requirements for each, click the package’s readme link. The
Helpful Info box on CloudXPRT.com also contains resources such as links to the
CloudXPRT master readme and the CloudXPRT GitHub repository. Soon, we will add
a link to the CloudXPRT Preview source code, which will be freely available for
testers to download and review.
All interested parties may now publish CloudXPRT
results. However, until we begin the formal results submission and review process in July, we will publish only results we
produce in our own lab. We anticipate adding the first set of those within the coming
We’re thankful for all the input we received during the initial CloudXPRT development process, and we welcome feedback on the CloudXPRT Preview. If you have any questions about CloudXPRT, or would like to share your comments and suggestions, please let us know.
happy to announce that we’re planning to release the CloudXPRT Preview next
week! After we take the CloudXPRT Preview installation and source code packages
live, they will be freely available to the public via CloudXPRT.com
and the BenchmarkXPRT GitHub repository.
All interested parties will be able to publish CloudXPRT results. However,
until we begin the formal results submission and review process
in July, we will publish only results we produce in our own lab. We’ll share
more information about that process and the corresponding dates here in the
blog in the coming weeks.
We do have one change to report regarding the CloudXPRT workloads we announced in a previous blog post. The Preview will include the web microservices and data analytics workloads (described below), but will not include the AI-themed container scaling workload. We hope to add that workload to the CloudXPRT suite in the near future, and are still conducting testing to make sure we get it right.
you missed the earlier workload-related post, here are the details about the
two workloads that will be in the preview build:
- In the web microservices workload, a simulated user logs in to a web application that does three things: provides a selection of stock options, performs Monte-Carlo simulations with those stocks, and presents the user with options that may be of interest. The workload reports performance in transactions per second, which testers can use to directly compare IaaS stacks and to evaluate whether any given stack is capable of meeting service-level agreement (SLA) thresholds.
- The data analytics workload calculates XGBoost model training time. XGBoost is a gradient-boosting framework that data scientists often use for ML-based regression and classification problems. The purpose of the workload in the context of CloudXPRT is to evaluate how well an IaaS stack enables XGBoost to speed and optimize model training. The workload reports latency and throughput rates. As with the web-tier microservices workload, testers can use this workload’s metrics to compare IaaS stack performance and to evaluate whether any given stack is capable of meeting SLA thresholds.
CloudXPRT Preview provides OEMs, the tech press, vendors, and other testers
with an opportunity to work with CloudXPRT directly and shape the future of the
benchmark with their feedback. We hope that testers will take this opportunity
to explore the tool and send us their thoughts on its structure, workload
concepts and execution, ease of use, and documentation. That feedback will help
us improve the relevance and accessibility of CloudXPRT testing and results for
years to come.
If you have any questions about the upcoming CloudXPRT Preview, please feel free to contact us.
month, Bill announced
that we were starting work on a new data center benchmark. CloudXPRT
will measure the performance of modern, cloud-first applications deployed on infrastructure
as a service (IaaS) platforms—on-premises platforms,
externally hosted platforms, and hybrid clouds that use a mix of the two. Our
ultimate goal is for CloudXPRT to use cloud-native components on an actual
stack to produce end-to-end performance metrics that can help users determine the
right IaaS configuration for their business.
we want to provide a quick update on CloudXPRT development and testing.
- Installation. We’ve completely automated the CloudXPRT installation process, which leverages Kubernetes or Ansible tools depending on the target platform. The installation processes differ slightly for each platform, but testing is the same.
- Workloads. We’re currently testing potential workloads that focus on three areas: web microservices, data analytics, and container scaling. We might not include all of these workloads in the first release, but we’ll keep the community informed and share more details about each workload as the picture becomes clearer. We are designing the workloads so that testers can use them to directly compare IaaS stacks and evaluate whether any given stack can meet service level agreement (SLA) thresholds.
- Platforms. We want CloudXPRT to eventually support testing on a variety of popular externally hosted platforms. However, constructing a cross-platform benchmark is complicated and we haven’t yet decided which external platforms the first CloudXPRT release will support. We’ve successfully tested the current build with on-premises IaaS stacks and with one externally hosted platform, Amazon Web Services. Next, we will test the build on Google Cloud Hosting and Microsoft Azure.
- Timeline. We are on track to meet our target of releasing a CloudXPRT preview build in late March and the first official build about two months later. If anything changes, we’ll post an updated timeline here in the blog.
you would like to share any thoughts or comments related to CloudXPRT or cloud
benchmarking, please feel free to contact
A few months
ago, we wrote about the possibility of creating a datacenter XPRT. In the
intervening time, we’ve discussed the idea with folks both in and outside of the
XPRT Community. We’ve heard from vendors of datacenter products, hosting/cloud
providers, and IT professionals that use those products and services.
thread that emerged was the need for a cloud benchmark that can accurately
measure the performance of modern, cloud-first applications deployed on modern infrastructure
as a service (IaaS) platforms, whether those platforms are on-premises, hosted
elsewhere, or some combination of the two (hybrid clouds). Regardless of where
clouds reside, applications are increasingly using them in latency-critical,
highly available, and high-compute scenarios.
datacenter benchmarks do not give a clear indication of how applications will
perform on a given IaaS infrastructure, so the benchmark should use cloud-native
components on the actual stacks used for on-prem and public cloud management.
We are planning to call the benchmark CloudXPRT. Our goal is for CloudXPRT to address the needs described above while also including the elements that have made the other XPRTs successful. We plan for CloudXPRT to
- Be relevant to on-prem (datacenter), private, and public cloud
- Run on top of cloud platform software such as Kubernetes
- Include multiple workloads that address common scenarios like web
applications, AI, and media analytics
- Support multi-tier workloads
- Report relevant metrics including both throughput and critical
latency for responsiveness-driven applications and maximum throughput for
applications dependent on batch processing
workloads will use cloud-native components on an actual stack to provide
end-to-end performance metrics that allow users to choose the best IaaS
configuration for their business.
building and testing preliminary versions of CloudXPRT for the last few months.
Based on the progress so far, we are shooting to have a Community Preview of
CloudXPRT ready in mid- to late-March with a version for general availability ready
about two months later.
coming weeks, we’ll be working on getting out more information about CloudXPRT
and continuing to talk with interested parties about how they can help. We’d
love to hear what workflows would be of most interest to you and what you would
most like to see in a datacenter/cloud benchmark. Please feel free to contact us!