In the coming months,
we’ll be moving forward with the first stages of the WebXPRT 4 development
process. It’s been a while since we last asked readers to send their
thoughts about web technologies and workloads that may be a good fit for
WebXPRT 4, but we’re still very much open to ideas. If you missed our previous
posts about possible changes for WebXPRT 4, we recap the most prominent ideas
below. We also request specific feedback regarding a potential battery life
- Community members have asked about a WebXPRT 4 battery life test. Any such test would likely be very similar to the performance-weighted battery life test in CrXPRT 2 (as opposed to a simple rundown test). While WebXPRT runs in almost any browser, cross-browser compatibility issues could cause a WebXPRT battery life test to run in only one browser. If this turned out to be the case, would you still be interested in using the battery life test? Please let us know.
- One of the most promising ideas is the potential addition of one or more WebAssembly (WASM) workloads. WASM is a low-level, binary instruction format that works across all modern browsers. It offers web developers a great deal of flexibility and provides the speed and efficiency necessary for running complex client applications in the browser. WASM enables a variety of workload scenario options, including gaming, video editing, VR, virtual machines, image recognition, and interactive educational content.
- Other ideas include using a WebGL-based workload to target GPUs, and simulating common web applications.
We’ll start work on
WebXPRT 4 soon, but there’s still time to send your comments and ideas, so please
do so as quickly as possible!
Last week, we announced that a CloudXPRT v1.1
beta was on the way. We’re happy to say that the v1.1 beta is now available to
the public on a dedicated CloudXPRT v1.1 beta download page. While CloudXPRT v1.01
remains the officially supported version on CloudXPRT.com and in our GitHub
repository, interested testers can use the v1.1
beta version in new environments as we finalize the v1.1 build for official
release. You are welcome to publish results as we do not expect results to
change in the final, official release.
As we mentioned in
last week’s post, the CloudXPRT v1.1 beta includes the following changes:
- We’ve added support for Ubuntu 20.04.2 or later for on-premises
- We’ve consolidated and standardized the installation packages
for both workloads. Instead of one package for the data analytics workload and
four separate packages for the web microservices workload, each workload has a
single installation package that supports on-premises testing and testing with
all three supported CSPs.
- We’ve incorporated Terraform to help create and
configure VMs, which helps to prevent problems when testers do not allocate
enough storage per VM prior to testing.
- We’ve replaced the Calico network plugin in Kubespray with Weave, which helps to avoid some
of the network issues testers have occasionally encountered in the CPS
Please feel free to
share the link to the beta download page. (To avoid confusion, the beta will
not appear in the main CloudXPRT download table.) We can’t yet state
definitively whether results from the new version will be comparable to those
from v1.01. We have not observed any significant differences in performance,
but we haven’t tested every possible test configuration across every platform.
If you observe different results when testing the same configuration with v1.01
and v1.1 beta, please send us the details so we can investigate.
If you have any questions about CloudXPRT or the CloudXPRT v1.1 beta, please let us know!
As we’ve been working
on improvements and updates for CloudXPRT, we’ve been using feedback from
community members to determine which changes will help testers most in the
short term. To make some of those changes available to the community as soon as
possible, we plan to release a beta version of CloudXPRT v1.1 in the coming
During the v1.1 beta
period, the CloudXPRT v1.01 installation packages on CloudXPRT.com and our GitHub repository will continue to include the officially supported
version of CloudXPRT. However, interested testers can experiment with the v1.1
beta version in new environments while we finalize the build for official
The CloudXPRT v1.1
beta includes the following primary changes:
- We’re adding support for Ubuntu 20.04.2 or later, the number one
request we’ve received.
- We’re consolidating and standardizing the installation packages
for both workloads. Instead of one package for the data analytics workload and
four separate packages for the web microservices workload, each workload will
have two installation packages: one for all on-premises testing and one for
testing with all three supported CSPs.
- We’re incorporating Terraform to help create and
configure VMs, which will help to prevent situations when testers do not
allocate enough storage per VM prior to testing.
- We use Kubespray to manage Kubernetes
clusters, and Kubespray uses Calico as the default network plug in. Calico has not always worked
well for CloudXPRT in the CSP environment, so we’re replacing Calico with Weave.
At the start of the
beta period, we will share a link to the v1.1 beta download page here in the
blog. You’ll be free to share this link. To avoid confusion, we will not add the
beta download to the v1.01 downloads available on CloudXPRT.com.
As the beta release
date approaches, we’ll share more details about timelines, access, and any additional
changes to the benchmark. If you have any questions about the upcoming
CloudXPRT v1.1 beta, please let us know!
published an updated CloudXPRT Data Analytics workload package that fixes a
problem during the package installation process. CloudXPRT uses the Helm utility, which serves
as a package manager for the Kubernetes container orchestration system. Helm accesses files in a
default repository, and the version of Helm that we originally used with
CloudXPRT tries to access files that are no longer available. We fixed the
problem by updating the code to use the latest version of Helm.
This update does not change
how the benchmark workload runs, and has no impact on benchmark results. We
apologize if this bug caused headaches for any testers during installation, and
we appreciate your patience as we worked on a fix.
As a reminder for
testers interested in experimenting with the CloudXPRT Data Analytics workload,
the Overview of the CloudXPRT Data Analytics Workload paper is now
available. You can find links to the paper and other resources in the Helpful
Info box on CloudXPRT.com and the CloudXPRT section of our XPRT white papers page.
If you have any questions, or have encountered any obstacles during testing, please let us know!
Today, we expand our portfolio
of CloudXPRT resources with a paper on the benchmark’s data analytics workload.
While we summarized the workload in the Introduction to CloudXPRT white paper, the new paper goes into much
In addition to providing practical information about the data analytics installation package and minimum system requirements, the paper describes the workload’s test configuration variables, structural components, task workflows, and test metrics. It also discusses interpreting test results and the process for submitting results for publication.
CloudXPRT is the most
complex tool in the XPRT family, and the new paper is part of our effort to create more—and better—CloudXPRT documentation. We plan to
publish additional CloudXPRT white papers in the coming months, with possible
future topics including the impact of adjusting specific test configuration
options, recommendations for results reporting, and methods for analysis.
We hope that the Overview of the CloudXPRT Data Analytics Workload paper will serve as a go-to resource for CloudXPRT testers, and will answer any questions you have about the workload. You can find links to the paper and other resources in the Helpful Info box on CloudXPRT.com and the CloudXPRT section of our XPRT white papers page.
If you have any
questions, please let us know!
CloudXPRT is undoubtedly
the most complex tool in the XPRT family of benchmarks. To run the cloud-native
benchmark’s multiple workloads across different hardware and software platforms,
testers need two things: (1) at least a passing familiarity with a wide range
of cloud-related toolkits, and (2) an understanding that changing even one test
configuration variable can affect test results. While the complexity of CloudXPRT
makes it a powerful and flexible tool for measuring application performance on
real-world IaaS stacks, it also creates a steep learning curve for new users.
Benchmark setup and
configuration can involve a number of complex steps, and the corresponding
instructions should be thorough, unambiguous, and intuitive to follow. For all
of the XPRT tools, we strive to publish documentation that provides quick,
easy-to-find answers to the questions users might have. Community members have asked
us to improve the clarity and readability of the CloudXPRT setup,
configuration, and individual workload documentation. In response, we are
working to create more—and better—CloudXPRT documentation.
If you’re intimidated
by the benchmark’s complexity, helping you is one of our highest priorities. In
the coming weeks and months, we’ll be evaluating all of our CloudXPRT
documentation, particularly from the perspective of new users, and will release
more information about the new documentation as it becomes available.
We also want to remind
you of some of the existing CloudXPRT resources. We encourage everyone to check
out the Introduction to CloudXPRT and Overview of the CloudXPRT Web Microservices Workload white papers. (Note
that we’ll soon be publishing a paper on the benchmark’s data analytics
workload.) Also, a couple of weeks ago, we published the CloudXPRT learning tool, which we designed to serve as an information
hub for common CloudXPRT topics and questions, and to help tech journalists,
OEM lab engineers, and everyone who is interested in CloudXPRT find the answers
they need as quickly as possible.
Thanks to all who let us know that there was room for improvement in the CloudXPRT documentation. We rely on that kind of feedback and always welcome it. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding CloudXPRT or any of the other XPRTs, please let us know!