Over at Admin HPC, Jeff Layton from AWS writes that while benchmarks remains contentious in the HPC industry, they still can be very useful.
Benchmarks have been used nefariously by both vendors and customers, but they don’t have to be used for evil purposes; instead, they can be very useful to admins. For example, debugging a user’s application when it isn’t running well is always difficult; however, you have an advantage if you have a set of baseline performance benchmarks in your back pocket. An excellent way to start checking for problems is to check the nodes they use. In particular, I would briefly take the nodes out of production and check their performance by repeating the exact same tests used to create the database and comparing the results to the database. I hope I’ve convinced you that benchmarks can be amazingly useful for admins, and even users.