Apr 5, 2011

Benchmarking with Phoronix Test Suite (I)

The Phoronix Test Suite is an interesting benchmarking platform aimed at testing and measuring the performance of multiple stuff, such as computers, graphics cards, processors, operating systems and so on.

I have used (in my professional work) and talked about this tool several times, but I had never dedicated any article to evaluate it. Let's get going!

For my tests, I am going to utilize an Ubuntu Server 10.10 (64 bits) and Phoronix Test Suite 3.0.1. When you download the application and descompress it, you have two options: on the one hand you can install it over the operating system (install.sh), and on the other, you may directly run the appropiate script (phoronix-test-suite) and carry out all the options that Phoronix provides. Regardless the choice, first of all you must install a serie of necessary dependences.

root@ubuntu-server:~# aptitude install php5-cli php5-gd php5-curl php-fpdf

root@ubuntu-server:~# tar xvzf phoronix-test-suite-3.0.1.tar.gz

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./install-sh

In my case, I will choose the second. Also say that if we are behind a proxy, we have to execute the script with the network-setup option, in order to set the proxy configuration up. In addition, we can check out the information about our system hardware and software.

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite network-setup

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite system-info

Phoronix Test Suite v3.0.1
System Information

Processor: QEMU Virtual 0.12.5 @ 3.00GHz (1 Core), Motherboard: Bochs, Chipset: Red Hat Virtio, Memory: 1 x 2048 MB RAM, Disk: 15GB, Graphics: Cirrus Logic GD 5446

OS: Ubuntu 10.10, Kernel: 2.6.35-28-server (x86_64), Display Driver: cirrus, File-System: ext4

Phoronix supplies a set of suites (cpu, database, kernel, memory, etc.) that in turn, make up a group of tests (compress-gzip, dbench, sqlite, etc.), also known as profiles. In total, we have around more than 60 suites and 130 tests.

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite list-available-suites

Phoronix Test Suite v3.0.1
Available Suites

pts/audio-encoding               - Audio Encoding                   System
pts/chess                        - Chess Test Suite                 Processor
pts/compilation                  - Timed Code Compilation           Processor

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite list-available-tests

Phoronix Test Suite v3.0.1
Available Tests

pts/aio-stress               - AIO-Stress                          Disk
pts/apache                   - Apache Benchmark                    System
pts/battery-power-usage      - Battery Power Usage                 System

If we want to know more details about a concrete suite or test, we can run the following order (in this example, the memory suite consists of three tests).

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite info memory

Phoronix Test Suite v3.0.1
Memory Test Suite

Run Identifier: pts/memory-1.0.2
Suite Version: 1.0.2
Maintainer: Michael Larabel
Suite Type: Memory
Unique Tests: 3
Suite Description: The system memory test suite consists of tests designed to test the computer's system memory (RAM) performance. Among these tests are RAMspeed and Bandwidth.

* pts/ramspeed
* pts/stream
* pts/cachebench

And if we want to install a suite or test, we must add the install parameter to the script. This sentence will firstly resolve and install the necessary dependences and afterwards, download, compile and install the test. If you select a suite, this order will install all tests belonging to the suite.

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite install apache

The following dependencies are needed and will be installed:

- build-essential
Phoronix Test Suite v3.0.1

To Install: pts/apache-1.3.0

Then we are going to see the execution of the apache test (we can also use this command to launch a suite).

root@ubuntu-server:~/phoronix-test-suite# ./phoronix-test-suite run apache
Would you like to save these test results (Y/n): Y
Enter a name to save these results: ubuntu-server
Enter a unique name for this test run: apache

Phoronix Test Suite v3.0.1
If you wish, enter a new description below.
Press ENTER to proceed without changes.

Current Description: Running pts/apache-1.3.0.

New Description:

Apache Benchmark:
Test 1 of 1
Expected Trial Run Count: 3
Running Pre-Test Script @ 15:45:48
Started Run 1 @ 15:45:53
Started Run 2 @ 15:47:34
Started Run 3 @ 15:49:17  [Std. Dev: 2.00%]
Running Post-Test Script @ 15:51:00

Test Results:

Average: 7019.59 Requests Per Second

In the previous output, we can make out that the script has asked for a name to save the results (under this name, we will be able to save other tests) and a specific name for the test. In other tests as follows, we can see that the script requests other types of data, such as the record size, file size and disk test.

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