Bench the Cloud: Tool Lets MSPs Measure Cloud Performance

Bench the Cloud: Tool Lets MSPs Measure Cloud Performance

It's a question I hear all the time: How can managed services providers (MSPs) measure the performance of potential cloud partners, and then recommend the most ideal third-party cloud services to end customers? The answer may present itself HostingCon, a conference this week in Austin, Texas. During the event, The Planet and Web Hosting Talk (a web hosting community) are expected to unveil Bench the Cloud, a service that "gives visibility into the performance of cloud or virtualized server platforms, and provides standardized performance feedback and comparisons." Here are the details.

According to a draft press release viewed by MSPmentor, Bench the Cloud was co-developed by Web Hosting Talk and The Planet. Web Hosting Talk will own and manage the site, and The Planet will become a charter member of Bench the Cloud’s advisory board. An official announcement is expected today.

The two organizations say:

"Bench the Cloud is built on a suite of open-source benchmarking tools and measures three key criteria essential to running cloud applications: CPU performance, disk read and disk write speed. Further information about these three performance indices is detailed in an individualized dashboard. Users can sort and filter the public benchmarks according to provider, virtualization status, total RAM and CPU cores. The application can also be used to test non-virtualized machines, and can be downloaded onto any Linux-based machine."
Web Hosting Talk will hand out invitations to participate in a limited closed beta for Bench the Cloud at its booth at HostingCon 2010.

Cloud Reality Check

No doubt, MSPs have dozens of potential cloud partners from which to choose. And it's certainly difficult to make apples-to-apples performance comparisons without third-party, vendor-neutral tools in place.

At HostingCon, I'll be checking in with Web Hosting Talk and The Planet to learn more about their cloud benchmarking tool. And I'll also touch base with companies like Nimsoft -- which offers a cloud performance dashboard -- to get their reaction to Bench the Cloud.

I'll be curious to learn how quickly Web Hosting Talk plans to open up the Bench the Cloud tool to other cloud providers. The Planet, after all, is a cloud computing specialist. So Web Hosting Talk will need additional partners to ensure the tool is perceived as vendor-neutral.
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