I tested the x64 editions of Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1, and the Windows 7 public beta on dual-core and quad-core systems (see the article, "The generation gap: Windows on multicore") by running ten instances each of a database workload, a MAPI message store workflow workload, and a Windows Media Player workload simultaneously. To draw performance comparisons, I measured the time taken to complete each instance of the database and MAPI workflow transaction loops. The Windows Media Player workload was used only to place additional stress on the systems.
The test suite I used, DMS Clarity Studio, makes it easy to configure and execute packages of diverse workloads. Because it's designed to launch and control these workloads in parallel -- and provides an option to create multiple instances of each workload to further increase the complexity of the simulation -- Studio makes it easy to push today's dual-core and quad-core systems to their limits, something I did for this project by involving three of Studio's bundled workload objects: ADO Stress, MAPI Stress, and WMP Stress.
ADO Stress is a platform- and provider-neutral database workload object that uses the ActiveX Data Objects libraries to run transactions against any ADO/OLE-DB accessible data store. For the purposes of this project, I configured ADO Stress to access a locally installed instance of SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition. Using the various options in the ADO Stress dialog, I configured the workload to access SQL Server using the SQL Native Client driver and to use ADO transaction support if available. I set the workload to execute continuously, with a one second delay loop, and to create 10 concurrent instances of itself (each instance being a discrete process) when the test package launched.
MAPI Stress is a platform- and provider-neutral workflow workload object that uses the Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) libraries to run transactions against any MAPI/CDO accessible message store. For the purposes of this project, I used a locally hosted copy of a Microsoft Outlook Mailbox (PST) file. I configured MAPI Stress to generate the maximum number of message objects (approximately 25MB of mixed e-mail and attachment data) per transaction and to execute continuously, with a one second delay loop. As with ADO Stress, I configured the workload to create 10 concurrent instances of itself at package launch.