I am a Sys Admin and my company needs to evaluate new server hardware to run our various java web apps on. I am relatively new and don't have a very good understanding of how the apps do their work. So my question is how can a sys admin that doesn't know java develop accurate benchmark tests that are representative of our real application workload.

Is answer simply "the sys admin cannot do this. the app developer needs to profile their app and provide a simulation tool based on the profile that generates similar load. sys admin can then just run the load generator on various hardware and compare"?

I'd love to hear what folks are doing for such things.