Elisabeth Stahl on Benchmarking and IT Optimization

Law & Order: Special Benchmarks Unit

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Long ago my dream was to become a math teacher. Or a doctor. Or a computer programmer, whatever that was. But never, never, never a lawyer.

So it’s very interesting that I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the law.

Maybe it’s the Trayvon Martin shooting case. Maybe it’s the sensational John Edwards trial. Maybe it’s the Tyler Clementi surprise verdict. Or maybe it’s just the latest John Grisham book I just finished.

In any case I’ve been thinking a lot about the law. A lot about the law . . . and benchmarks.

  • Like how important it is to read the fine print legal disclaimers so you know exactly what is tuned and what is measured. Some vendors may not perform a valid comparison when comparing systems. I saw a presentation recently that stated “Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel microprocessors.” Very interesting.
  • Like how important it is to peruse all the court documents. Hard to believe but some vendors allegedly hide server product plans from clients for financial gain.
  • Like how important it is to understand legal clauses containing prohibitions on running certain benchmarks. Some hardware/software vendors expressly prohibit others from publishing benchmarks with their software using severe license restrictions around performance evaluations. Could the software possibly run better on other hardware? And the question becomes “What are they trying to hide?” In fact, years ago a New York Supreme Court ruling barred this practice. “Such clauses censoring speech and criticism chill not only consumers’ speech, but also prevent academics, consumer advocates, and technology experts alike from openly and freely discussing software products,” said then New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer — who ironically faced his own legal circus years later.

So if I had gone to law school I might have a better handle on these legal intricacies with benchmarks. But then I probably wouldn’t know how to program or how to be an IT Specialist. You just never know. I recently read an article in the newspaper about a lawyer who just left the legal profession. He wanted to make more of a difference and found that he really loved his new profession. His new job was in a school. Teaching. 6th grade. Math.


The postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of IBM or IBM management.

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Written by benchmarkingblog

May 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Posted in HP, Intel, Oracle

Tagged with , ,

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