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!
We’re happy to announce
that the CloudXPRT learning tool is now live! We
designed the tool 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
The tool features four
primary areas of content:
The Q&A section provides quick answers to the questions we
receive most from testers and the tech press.
The CloudXPRT: the basics section describes specific topics such
as the benchmark’s target platforms, workloads, companion cloud software, and
hardware and software requirements.
The Testing and results section covers the testing process,
metrics, and how to publish results.
The cloud primer provides brief, easy-to-understand definitions of
key cloud computing terms and concepts.
The first screenshot below shows the home screen. To illustrate how some of the pop-up information sections appear, the second screenshot shows part of the Key terms and concepts module in the Cloud primer section.
We’re excited about the new CloudXPRT learning tool! If you have any questions about the tool, or suggestions for additional content to include in it, please let us know!
In addition to
providing practical information about the installation package and minimum
system requirements for the data analytics workload, the paper will describe
test configuration variables, structural components, task workflows, and test
metrics. It will also include guidance on interpreting test results and submitting
them for publication.
As we’ve noted, CloudXPRT is one of the more complex tools in the XPRT family,
with no shortage of topics to explore. Possible future topics include the
impact of adjusting specific test configuration options, recommendations for
results reporting, and methods for results analysis. If there are specific
topics that you’d like us to address in future white papers, please feel free
to send us your ideas!
We hope that the
upcoming 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. Once it goes live, we’ll provide links
in the Helpful Info box on CloudXPRT.com and the CloudXPRT section of our XPRT white papers page.
We want to let CloudXPRT testers know that we’re close to
releasing an updated version (build 1.01) with two minor bug fixes, an improved
post-test results processing script, and an adjustment to one of our test
configuration recommendations. None of these changes will affect performance or
test results, so scores from previous CloudXPRT builds will be comparable to
those from the new build.
The most significant changes in CloudXPRT build 1.01 are as
In previous builds, some testers encountered warnings during setup to update the version of Kubernetes Operations (kops) when testing on public-cloud platforms (the CloudXPRT 1.00 recommendation is kops version 1.16.0). We are adjusing the kops installation instructions in the setup instructions for the web microservices and data analytics workloads to prevent these warnings.
In previous builds, post-test cleanup instructions for public-cloud testing environments do not always delete all of the resources that CloudXPRT creates during setup. We are updating instructions to ensure a more thorough cleanup process. This change applies to test instructions for the web microservices and data analytics workloads.
We are reformatting the optional results graphs the web microservices postprocess program creates to make them easier to interpret.
In previous builds, the recommended time interval for the web-microservices workload is 120 seconds if the hpamode option is enabled and 60 seconds if it is disabled. Because we’ve found that the 60-second difference has no significant impact on test results, we are changing the recommendation to 60 seconds for both hpamode settings.
We hope these changes
will improve the CloudXPRT setup and testing experience. We haven’t set the
release date for the updated build yet, but when we do, we’ll announce it here
in the blog. If you have any questions about CloudXPRT, or would like to report
bugs or other issues, please feel free to contact us!
The CloudXPRT Preview period has ended, and CloudXPRT version 1.0 installation packages are now available on CloudXPRT.com and the BenchmarkXPRT GitHub repository! Like the Preview build, CloudXPRT version 1.0 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. On CloudXPRT.com, the Helpful Info box contains resources such as links to the Introduction to CloudXPRT white paper, the CloudXPRT master readme, and the CloudXPRT GitHub repository.
The GitHub repository also contains the CloudXPRT
source code. The source code is freely available for testers to download and
Performance results from this release are comparable
to performance results from the CloudXPRT Preview build. Testers who wish to
publish results on CloudXPRT.com can find more information about the results
submission and review process in the blog. We post the monthly results cycle schedule on the results
We’re thankful for all the input we received during the CloudXPRT development process and Preview period. If you have any questions about CloudXPRT, please let us know.
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!