Building A Benchmarking Test Farm With Phoromatic
There's the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoronix Global, and PTS Desktop Live as our family of free software products to provide extensive benchmarking and automated testing capabilities atop Linux, OpenSolaris, BSD, and Mac OS X operating systems. The Phoronix Test Suite has more than 120 test profiles and 50 test suites with new suites and tests continuing to come in through its extensible architecture, but for organizations with multiple test systems or entire testing farm(s) devoted to performance monitoring and regression tracking, they have had to strap the Phoronix Test Suite atop their own management systems or hack away at simple scripts to deploy our testing software across an array of systems. Today though we are announcing the public beta launch of Phoromatic. Phoromatic is a remote test management system that allows controlling any number of PTS-powered systems through a single web-based interface, which also allows all of the test results to be viewed from a central source. This article provides a first-look and guide for some of the possibilities of Phoromatic from those looking to build a benchmarking test farm or for individuals simply wanting to benchmark computers across the world. We also share in this article what may be coming next to our Linux-focused benchmarking empire.
Phoromatic was originally mentioned during the Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 development cycle, but the web-based service has not gone public in beta until this morning. The Phoromatic module in the Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 client provides a few updates to the Phoromatic support and interested users are encouraged to use the just-released Bardu Beta 2 or newer. This was pushed back from 2.0 Sandtorg due to strapped development resources, waiting for a few internal pts-core API changes in 2.2 Bardu, and then awaiting feedback from various PTS-using companies. The initial public beta of Phoromatic at Phoromatic.com is free and available to anyone to use. This version provides all of the core functionality needed for automating timed, recurring tests across any number of test systems, while many more features will be flipped on and implemented over the coming weeks and months as we receive feedback from its users. Like all other Phoronix Test Suite components, Phoromatic was designed from the ground-up to be able to handle automated performance testing/profiling in a clean, reproducible, and easy-to-use manner with turnkey deployment capabilities.
Whether you are just an individual with a single system or a couple of Linux/BSD/OpenSolaris/MacOSX systems that you want to benchmark or are an IHV/ISV with an entire test farm, setting up Phoromatic is extremely quick and easy. Once creating a Phoromatic account, two key codes are shown from the web-based control panel. With the Phoronix Test Suite (2.2 Beta or later is recommended, ideally the Git package) installed on the test systems, simply run phoronix-test-suite module-setup phoromatic on each of the test nodes and enter these two codes, which associates that test system with the account. Following that, phoronix-test-suite phoromatic.start just needs to be run (or added to any boot scripts, if you wish) on the test node(s) for it to begin communicating with the Phoromatic server and to receive installation commands, test run commands, etc. It is that easy, and after that point, it is all handled from our web-based interface.
The beta version at Phoromatic.com currently supports setting up recurring test schedules with a schedule consisting of a time at which the testing should begin, what day(s) of the week the schedule should run, and what test system(s) to target (and an option for all test systems) with this schedule. Once a schedule has been created, any number of tests and/or suites can be added to that schedule. These tests/suites with any specified arguments will then be run at the specified time on the given systems, assuming the phoronix-test-suite phoromatic.start command is running on the test systems. It is as easy as that. Multiple test schedules are supported and any combination of tests. Once tests being run through Phoromatic are completed, the results are immediately available from the Phoromatic web interface. There is also settings within Phoromatic for being notified via email when new test results are available, to also upload the results to Phoronix Global, etc.
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