VMware changes VMmark requirements

Still in beta, the upcoming benchmarking methodology for virtualization platforms from VMware, VMmark, received some critics about requirements needed to perform measurements, leading the company to slightly change it.

Quoting from the VMware Performance Team blog:

We heard from almost everyone that the memory footprint of 7GB per tile should be reduced.

Looking at the trends in the mid-range space, the feedback makes sense. Many current two-socket, 4-core systems have only 8 DIMM slots. One would have to break the bank buying 4GB DIMMs to get 8GB/core and 4-core chips are arriving. Ultimately, I hope the hardware vendors add more memory slots to address this looming imbalance. But for now, if we are going to measure these types of systems, we’ll need to reduce the memory usage of VMmark.

Three of the workloads in a VMmark tile, the web, file, and standby servers, together consume only 1GB of memory. They are already pretty lean, so squeezing memory from them would have limited benefits. The remaining three workloads, the database, mail, and java servers, use 2GB each. Databases tend to like a large, well-tuned buffer cache. I’d rather leave that one alone since it is a fairly typical database size. That leaves the java and mail server VMs as candidates. If we cut both of those VMs down to 1GB each, the total memory footprint drops to 5GB. In this configuration, 3 tiles will fit into 16GB, which should max out a current 2-socket, dual-core system using the cheaper 2GB DIMMs while leaving plenty of headroom for quad-core with 4GB DIMMs…

Read the whole article at source.