Guest post: Mark Wagner, Head of  Performance and Scalability Working Group

Performance and scalability are two key characteristics of any platform. In a distributed ledger environment such as the Hyperledger projects, both characteristics will directly relate to end user satisfaction and ultimately adoption. Today Hyperledger is announcing the Performance and Scalability Working Group (PSWG) to focus on this area.

The mission of the PSWG is to discuss, research, and identify key use cases and metrics that relate to the performance and scalability of a blockchain and blockchain related technologies. The PSWG will serve as a cross project forum for architects and technologists from the community to exchange ideas and explore the performance and scalability aspects of the technologies, both software and hardware.

The PSWG is starting at the base of the mountain in terms of performance and scalability.  The group will identify multiple key use cases across different vertical markets. For each of the use cases key metrics will be identified. Each metric will be defined along with how it will be measured. This work will lead to defining a framework and measurement criteria.

It is anticipated that the key metrics will vary based on the use cases. In fact, one of the expected results of our work will be to maintain a matrix of the key performance metrics and corresponding data for many different different blockchain and distributed ledger implementations. In the end, this can help end users select a solution that will be a good fit for their specific use cases.

Another angle that the group will tackle is hardware.  We have already seen how specific hardware has changed the Bitcoin field. It will be exciting to see what hardware advances will help in the general blockchain and distributed ledger implementations.

The key will be how to define and implement a consistent and fair test suite for each use case. This is important to the industry and to the end user, as it will provide a fair measure of how a specific implementation will perform in different use cases. This will allow the user (customer) to select the proper implementation for their use case.

This effort is not limited to Hyperledger and it is envisioned that the group will work across the industry to provide a consistent set of metrics and measurements. Anyone can participate and all interested parties are encouraged to join. As more people and organizations join the effort, the group will grow stronger and fairly represent different aspects of the implementations.

If you’re interested in joining, please email hyperledger-perf-and-scale-wg@lists.hyperledger.org. For additional information you can also visit: https://wiki.hyperledger.org/groups/pswg/performance-and-scale-wg. Hyperledger has several other very active Working Groups, learn about all of them here.