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Interview with Stephen McNamara, head of blockchain R&D strategy at Huawei

Hyperledger Caliper: A benchmark tool which allows users to measure blockchain performance

Gabriela Motroc

© Shutterstock / ESB Professional

Performance measurement is very important and blockchain implementations are no exception. Although performance is on everyone’s minds, there’s not a commonly accepted blockchain benchmarking tool. This is where Hyperledger Caliper comes into play. We talked with Stephen McNamara, head of blockchain R&D strategy at Huawei and lead maintainer on the Hyperledger Caliper project about this tool and why blockchain users should give it a try.

When you choose to implement a blockchain solution, performance is —naturally— one of the most important concerns. As Francis Nadeau, CEO at HydraLab told us earlier this year, “the implementation of a blockchain solution may require major changes in a company’s processes.” All the more reason to worry about performance!

The problem is that we don’t have a general tool which provides “performance evaluations for different blockchain solutions based on a set of neutral and commonly accepted rules.” Enter Hyperledger Caliper, a benchmark tool for blockchain frameworks which relies on a functioning blockchain implementation as the benchmarking target.

Read more about it here

We talked with Stephen McNamara, head of blockchain R&D strategy at Huawei and lead maintainer on the Hyperledger Caliper project about this tool and why blockchain users should give it a try.

 

JAXenter: What is Hyperledger Caliper and why should blockchain users give it a try?


Stephen McNamara: Hyperledger Caliper is a blockchain benchmark tool which allows users to measure the performance of a specific blockchain implementation with a set of predefined use cases. Working sample code is always useful when approaching a new project so if anyone is interested in trying out the Hyperledger frameworks then Caliper provides an additional set of sample code, configuration etc to help them get going.

JAXenter: What’s under its hood?


Stephen McNamara: Caliper is built from a set of adaptation layers, used to integrate existing blockchain systems into the Caliper framework. In addition, it provides a set of resource monitors and report generators together with a set of performance use cases. It demonstrates how to load transactions, contracts etc into the systems and measure various performance indicators.

JAXenter: Is Caliper the first commonly accepted blockchain benchmarking tool? Why is it important to have a general purpose benchmark tool?


Stephen McNamara: It’s certainly the first to be officially accepted as a Hyperledger project.

JAXenter: Would you go as far as to say that not having a common benchmarking tool is harmful?

Stephen McNamara: Harmful may be a stretch but it’s hopefully a benefit to the developers of Fabric, Sawtooth, Iroha etc. to have a tool they can use in their development cycle to benchmark and baseline their performance.

JAXenter: Are there a lot of people who’ve expressed interest in using it as the benchmark tool?


Stephen McNamara: Interest has been very positive. The framework teams can now integrate Caliper into their CI/CD pipelines and track their performance goals.

Thank you!

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Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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