VMware has released the first public beta of a VM benchmarking tool VMmark. Until now, VMware has refused to allow anyone, via its licensing terms, to benchmark its products -- and publish the results. But here's the first concrete evidence that it's being forced by market pressure into changing its policy. The company's plans to produce it were first revealed last year just before VMworld, the company's annual developer/user conference.

VMmark is intended to measure performance in an enterprise consolidation scenario, said the company's Bruce Herndon in its performance-oriented blog, VROOM!. Herndon said that "it is a benchmark for the entire virtualisation platform and, after outlining system requirements, said: "Primary users of VMmark will be both vendors and power users wishing to characterise various virtualisation platforms."

The benchmark has undergone changes from its original specification, including distribution of virtual appliances for Linux-based workloads, reduction of the memory footprint from 7GB per tile to 5GB per tile, and replacement of the database workload with SysBench running against MySQL.

Dell is already using VMmark and in February published a study titled "Virtualization Performance of Dell PowerEdge Servers using the VMmark Benchmark."

The first beta, which was not freely available, was released on 21 December 2006.

VMware is also working with other vendors to develop an industry standard virtualisation benchmark within the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) organisation.

Find your next job with techworld jobs