Recent advances in Cloud Computing present challenges to those who create and manage performance benchmarks. A performance benchmark tends to rely on physical consistency – a known hardware configuration, a known software configuration and consistent measurements from run to run. These aspects are not typically present in Cloud Computing. Other aspects change, too. For the consumer, the computation of Total Cost of Ownership shifts to a computation of ongoing expense. Concepts of service and reliability also change from the end-user perspective.
For an organization like the Transaction Processing Performance Council, the expansion of clouds into the commercial, run-your-business space presents new challenges that must be addressed if viable benchmarks are to be created in this important sector of the computing industry. This paper explores these challenges and proposes methods for addressing them.