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I'm specifically interested in benchmarks that approximate or target real in the wild usage scenarios.

My main areas of focus are latency, network performance (incoming data over sockets). Application areas are messaging and databases (in memory). Not concerned with math, or audio/video/desktop, this is all pure server application.

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Can you elaborate? What in general you want to test? Linux does a awful lot of different things. –  Zoredache Sep 21 '10 at 22:57

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In my travels, I've used the following...

iperf (network), bonnie++ (disk), iozone (disk), unixbench (baseline comparisons), stress (load generation)... to start.

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you may be interested also in ab (apache benchmark) and jmeter to generate stress in web applications and load balancers. –  coredump Sep 22 '10 at 2:45

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