Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The missing benchmarks

When puchasing computer hardware, unless you get your hands on the equipment before you purchase, you have to rely on past experience, experience of others, or benchmarks, to see if they have enough capacity for your users needs.

There is a large wealth of information you can use to judge server capacity. There is also plenty of information for storage capacity. One place that is almost always overlooked is network devices. I have seen many people in the past, blindly using the vendors advertised specifications to determine their needs. The assumption that they have Gig ports on a switch and the vendor claims the backplane is "HUGE", does not mean that you can assume that the actual performance will be "wire" speed.

If you are in the market for network hardware at the moment, before you go too far you should have a sober look at Simon Bullen's blog on Cisco's 3750. I have always had my doubts about Cisco equipment in the past, and the reasons why people choose it over other vendors. It would be nice if we could have somewhat neutral benchmark standards body like to produce a set of network equipment benchmarks. My searching so far only finds vendors (or their proxies) competitive benchmarking their opposition, and of course whipping their ass. You would not expect less.

While independent results from people like Simon are fantastic. It would be nice to see network vendors put their crown jewels on the benchmarking chopping block for all to see. The nice thing about this is if they don't post results for certain equipment, they may be selling you a brumby.

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