March 29, 2005

A case for software benchmarking

I do not normally hold much truck with benchmarking, at least for such public tests as TPC-C (the standard for transaction processing) and TPC-H (for data warehousing). These are typically marketing figures – the tests are artificial, limited, and vendors with big bucks can throw enough money at the tests to ensure that they do well. Thus, for example, I did not publicise IBM's TPC-C figure for the latest release of DB2 last year, despite the fact that it was more than twice as good as any previous figure. No, to my mind the only useful benchmarks are those that are performed specifically for individual customers with their data and their workload. But these, of course, are expensive to run.


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