SPEC cooking up a virtualization benchmark

After power-performance, the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. is turning its eyes to virtualization. SPEC has created a subgroup to develop a benchmark that can measure the performance of virtualization hardware and software. Hardware virtualization functionality is now present in the latest desktop and server processors from AMD and Intel, and companies like VMware and Xen have implemented support for the technology in their virtual machine software. Microsoft also plans to add Intel VT and AMD-V support in a future release of its Virtual Server application. However, aside from proprietary benchmarks like VMware's VMmark, there is not yet a standard way to measure virtualization performance.

SPEC's plan is to remedy this absence, although according to VMware's Technology Development VP Stephen Herrod, the SPEC virtualization benchmark likely won't be ready for "over a year." The SPEC virtualization subgroup includes companies like AMD, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Sun Microsystems, Fujitsu Siemens, and VMware itself.

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