In addition, we characterize the reference characteristics of workloads similar to the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmarks C (TPC-C) and D (TPC-D), which are de facto standard performance measures for on-line transaction processing (OLTP) systems and decision support systems (DSS) respectively. Since benchmarks such as TPC-C and TPC-D can only be used effectively if their strengths and limitations are understood, a major focus of our analysis is on identifying aspects of the benchmarks that stress the system differently than the production workloads. We discover that for the most part, the reference behavior of TPC-C and TPC-D fall within the range of behavior exhibited by the production workloads. However, there are some noteworthy exceptions that affect well-known I/O optimization techniques such as caching (LRU is further from the optimal for TPC-C while there is little sharing of pages between transactions for TPC-D), prefetching (TPC-C exhibits no significant sequentiality) and write buffering (write buffering is less effective for the TPC benchmarks). While the two TPC benchmarks generally complement one another in reflecting the characteristics of the production workloads, there remain aspects of the real workloads that are not represented by either of the benchmarks.