Transaction Processing Performance Council announces benchmark for hyper-converged infrastructure



The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) announced on Wednesday immediate availability of TPCx-HCI, the first application system-level benchmark for measuring the performance of hyper-converged infrastructure clusters.

TPCx-HCI enables direct comparisons of price and performance between hyper-converged infrastructure platforms, which include hypervisors for virtualized computing, software-defined storage, virtualized networking and commodity servers.

TPC members that contributed to the development of TPCx-HCI include Cisco, DataCore, Dell, HP Enterprise, Huawei, Microsoft, Nutanix, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware.

The TPC is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry. The TPC currently has 21 full members: Actian, Cisco, DataCore Software, Dell, Fujitsu, HP Enterprise, Hitachi, Huawei, IBM, Inspur, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nutanix, Oracle, Pivotal, Red Hat, SAP, Teradata, TTA and VMware; and three associate members: China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Ideas International, and the University of Coimbra.

TPCx-HCI stresses the virtualized hardware and software of converged storage, networking, and compute platforms under a demanding database workload, and has two primary unique characteristics.

The benchmark has an elastic workload that varies the load delivered to each of the virtual machines (VMs) by as much as 16 times, while maintaining a constant load at the cluster level. Sustaining optimal throughput for this elastic workload on a multi-node HCI cluster would typically benefit from frequent migrations of VMs to rebalance the load across nodes. This property measures the efficiency of VM migration as well as the uniformity of access to data from all the nodes.

In the Data Accessibility test of TPCx-HCI, a node is powered down ungracefully, and the benchmark continues to run on the other nodes. The test sponsor must disclose a throughput graph for this test, demonstrating the impact on performance, as well as report the recovery time to regain resilience.

“When compared to legacy solutions, hyper-converged infrastructure promises both simplicity and flexibility,” said Reza Taheri, chairman of the TPCx-HCI committee and principal engineer at VMware. “At the same time, creating a benchmark for hyper-converged systems and all of their integrated components posed a significant challenge. I’m thrilled that some of the best and brightest minds from leading competitor companies in this market segment came together under the umbrella of the TPC, to accomplish a common objective, enabling us to deliver this benchmark in just 7 months.”

Until now, the only available benchmarks for the hyper-converged infrastructure market have been the simple storage-only micro-benchmarks that measure input/output operations per second (IOPS). TPCx-HCI measures the performance of a complex application at the system level, and was crafted in direct response to demand from the user community.

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