GreatResponder.com – 2010-07-22 – Hosting vendors The Planet and Web Hosting Talk have teamed up to develop a free, online tool that provides benchmarking data for cloud service providers. Bench the Cloud provides standardized performance metrics and direct comparisons of cloud or virtualized server platforms. Though co-developed, Web Hosting Talk, a Web hosting community of over 240,000 registered members,“owns” and manages the site.
Based on open-source test and measurement tools, Bench the Cloud evaluates cloud applications on three major criteria; CPU performance, disk-read and disk-write speed. Users can access an individualized dashboard with this data, and can sort and filter these criteria according to provider, virtualization status, total RAM and CPU cores. Users can also download the tool onto any Linux OS machine.
“We contributed real-world feedback into building this industry-first tool with Web Hosting Talk,” said Carl Meadows, senior product manager for cloud solutions at The Planet. “We’ve seen first-hand from our customers the time spent researching various cloud providers, and the amount of confusion and misinformation that exists in the marketplace. Our goal in participating is to provide additional value to customers by offering a quick, transparent view of the strengths, weaknesses and performance of solutions — a virtual ‘Consumer Reports’ for the cloud. Customers can now objectively compare solutions before purchase, and make their first pick the right one.”
It sounds like a great idea, but it’s likely to invite criticism from providers who may complain of “apples to oranges” comparisons, or who feel the metrics lack sufficient context to give customers a full appreciation of optimal cloud service or compute requirements. But provided the metric database is accurate and current, Bench the Cloud could serve as an excellent starting point for customers looking to the cloud, giving customers greater confidence in experimenting with these services, and helping them set realistic expectations. It could also spur adoption by giving the user community better insight into what these providers offer in terms of price vs. performance, enabling users to identify just the right compute service for a given price point, and mix and match offerings accordingly, instead of being locked into one provider or overpaying for unused resources.