The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming entire industries, the way companies do business, and it impacts all of us on a personal level as well. Analyst firm IDC forecasts by the year 2021, global IoT spending will total nearly $1.4 trillion as organizations continue to invest in the hardware, software, services and connectivity that enable the IoT.

From an organizational standpoint, using IoT devices to gather and analyze massive amounts of data is already becoming cornerstone in virtually every industry including finance, healthcare, manufacturing and utilities. And businesses that leverage this data – and effectively derive new insights through analytics – have a substantial competitive edge.

Yet until now, comparing performance and price/performance for various IoT deployments and configurations has been impossible. But there’s some good news. A new benchmark created by the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) – named TPC Express Benchmark IoT (TPCx-IoT) – is now available, and enables you to compare performance and total cost of ownership (TCO) for gateway systems.

IoT Gateway
– Transaction Processing Performance Council

Why Gateways?

There are several aspects to the IoT. The TPC chose to focus its initial IoT benchmark standard on gateway systems because there is a real challenge in characterizing performance in terms of data ingestion rate and real-time analytics, which impacts power plants, electric substations, branch offices, manufacturing plants and more.

Gateway systems are positioned between the devices at the edge of the network (including sensors), and the back-end data center, and perform functions such as data aggregation, data persistence and real-time analytics. The data (in many cases filtered data) will be then sent to the back-end data center for historical analysis and model building, etc.

The TPCx-IoT benchmark workload has broad applicability – it can be used to assess systems that require high data inject and concurrent queries, evaluating NoSQL databases, evaluating optimal platform for hosting NoSQL databases and more in a vendor-neutral manner.

Of course, along with new opportunities come new challenges. Namely, how to characterize performance and total cost of ownership (TCO). And this is where TPCx-IoT can help.

Benchmarking Your Gateway System

Details for the full TPCx-IoT specification and downloadable kit are publicly available on our website, but in a nutshell, here are some key characteristics:

  • The TPCx-IoT benchmark is the industry’s first standard for IoT, a major step in enabling fair competition.
  • The full kit is provided whether you are an industry user or in academia. To publish benchmark results, you are required to use the kit as it is, and the result must be certified by the TPC.
  • TPCx-IoT uses realistic datasets based on sensor data from modern electric power substations.
  • The benchmark is designed for IoT gateways, but can be used for any use-case that requires massive ingestion of data and real-time queries.

We hope you’ll download the benchmark and let us know your thoughts. Please send any feedback to

Raghunath Nambiar is chairman of the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s IoT benchmark committee and CTO of Cisco UCS