Benchmark is a piece of software or set of software which is used to assess the relative performance of a computer system.

I have used some Benchmarks and have found a WHT version of the Unix Benchmark for hosting servers to be a reasonable performance calculator.

Below are the steps to download and install the Unix Benchmark :

wget http://members.dslextreme.com/users/andylee/unixbench-4.1.0-wht.tar.gz
gunzip -dvc unixbench-4.1.0-wht.tar.gz | tar xvf -
cd unixbench-4.1.0-wht-2
make
./Run

When you initiate the benchmark run using the ./Run command , you will get a below header at start of the output :


#    #  #    #  #  #    #          #####   ######  #    #   ####   #    #
#    #  ##   #  #   #  #           #    #  #       ##   #  #    #  #    #
#    #  # #  #  #    ##            #####   #####   # #  #  #       ######
#    #  #  # #  #    ##            #    #  #       #  # #  #       #    #
#    #  #   ##  #   #  #           #    #  #       #   ##  #    #  #    #
####   #    #  #  #    #          #####   ######  #    #   ####   #    #


4 1 Based on the Byte Magazine Unix Benchmark
44 11
v v 4 4 1
v v 44444 1 v4.1 revisions mostly by David C. Niemi,
v 4 o 111 - WHT.2 Reston, VA, USA

WHT Variant by Andy A. Lee
See: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=308055

After that the tests will continue to run for some time and will keep generating results for different kind of performance outputs.

Below is a real time output from a low use production VPS based on Virtouzzo :


-bash-3.1#
Execl Throughput 1
Filesystem Throughput 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 1
Filesystem Throughput 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1
Filesystem Throughput 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 1
Pipe Throughput 1 2
Pipe-based Context Switching 1 2
Process Creation 1
System Call Overhead 1 2
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 1

==============================================================
BYTE UNIX Benchmarks (Version 4.1-wht.2)
System -- Linux cpanel.serverXX.net 2.6.9-023stab048.4 #1 Fri Jul 11 17:50:54 MSD 2008 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux
/dev/vzfs 104857600 13230620 91626980 13% /

Start Benchmark Run: Sun Jan 9 11:04:35 EST 2011
11:04:35 up 217 days, 4:12, 0 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

End Benchmark Run: Sun Jan 9 11:16:01 EST 2011
11:16:01 up 217 days, 4:23, 0 users, load average: 11.65, 5.57, 2.64

INDEX VALUES
TEST BASELINE RESULT INDEX

Dhrystone 2 using register variables 376783.7 3476908.5 92.3
Double-Precision Whetstone 83.1 864.0 104.0
Execl Throughput 188.3 1820.4 96.7
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 2672.0 46947.0 175.7
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1077.0 14208.0 131.9
File Read 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 15382.0 300208.0 195.2
Pipe Throughput 111814.6 728487.6 65.2
Pipe-based Context Switching 15448.6 204394.0 132.3
Process Creation 569.3 5585.0 98.1
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 44.8 441.7 98.6
System Call Overhead 114433.5 1015692.2 88.8
=========
FINAL SCORE 110.8
-bash-3.1#

The benchmark will take a good 15-25 minutes to complete, so be patient. The total score depends on the server / vps specifications, a general rule is the higher the score the better it is.

Factors like cpu , memory and disks quality will have affect on the performance results so they will vary depending on the server and vps specifications and is mainly a relative result.

This benchmark performs different type of tests and give performance results like filesystem throughput, system calls overhead , file coy,  file read,  pipe thorough put etc.

e.g. you can run tests on same specifications VPSs on Virotuzzo and OpenVZ platforms, in most of the tests I have performed , I found Virtouzzo VPSs giving bit higher benchmark scores for same specs. But your mileage may vary.

Important Note :  During the test the load on the vps/server will go high , as you can see form the above output. So you should be careful of the timing of running the tests in some production and busy environment.

Have happy Benchmarking : )

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