Benchmarking Smile CDR at Scale in AWS
Author: James Agnew
Benchmarks are the worst. Yet, there is a lot of trust afforded to them. As a techie-at-heart benchmarks are the bane of my existence for a few reasons:
They are often cherry-picked measurements: If someone wants to show that their widget is better than your widget, they can usually find a way of comparing them that will put their widget on top even if yours is better in every other way.
They are often hard to reproduce: Most of us don't exactly have an appropriate testing lab available, assuming enough detail about the methodology used is shared.
They are often unreliable indicators of real-world performance: Ultimately, unless you are looking to use the widget in exactly the same way it was tested, can you really rely on the numbers to predict how you will fare?
The numbers often don't even matter: Let's be real here, you will never read a car review that doesn't speak of its top speed or a phone review that doesn't speak of how much RAM it has. I'm sure some people have, but I'm pretty sure I've never run out of memory on my phone and I've certainly never come close to reaching the top speed of any car I've owned. Rather than focus on the speed, where's the benchmark on how easy it is to put your drink back into the cupholder while navigating an unexpected turn?
Instead of artificial numbers, I always prefer to let our actual track record and reputation speak for us. Smile Digital Health's technologies are already successfully deployed by some of the biggest provider and payer organizations, software companies, and government institutions around the world. We have proven our ability to scale as big as needed, over and over.
Benchmarks are ultimately data points, and more data is almost always better than less data. So in that spirit, I have done my best to present a benchmark that avoids the pitfalls above and to provide useful data points.