Last thursday (april 12th 2007), VMware released the public beta of VMmark.
VMmark is the first benchmark for quantifying the performance of virtualized environments. It features a novel tile-based scheme for measuring the scalability of consolidated workloads and provides a consistent methodology that captures both scalability and individual application performance. VMmark is meant to measure the performance of hardware platforms running virtualized environments.
VMmark is intended to measure performance in an enterprise consolidation scenario. More importantly, it is a benchmark for the entire virtualization platform. Appropriately configured CPU, memory, network, and storage are recommended. In its current form, it still requires some degree of effort to set up and run effectively. Users should have an MSDN subscription (or equivalent) in order to set up and run the Windows workloads. Licensed copies of SPECweb and SPECjbb are also required.
VMware anticipates that the primary users of VMmark will be both vendors and power users like system integrators, consulting agencies, and some customers.
The dare devils among us can download the VMmark-kit containing the VMmark User’s Guide, the configuration files, and much of the software needed to run VMmark. With help from Novell they shipped three pre-configured vm’s for the linux workload.
Users running windows have to create their own workloads based on the instructions provided in the manual. This (not shipping windows workload vm’s) probably has something to do with licensing. Speaking of licenses in order to legally use this software you have to have licenses for some parts used as stated above. Not a very big problem because the companies where VMware is aiming at with this software probably already have those licenses in place. VMware has plans to automate more parts of the installation in the 1.0 version.
Looking at the download page, it really looks like vmware focusses mainly at the linux area, because the downloadable version of the vmware kit is in a tar.gz-format.