This research introduces novel container performance metrics and proves that these metrics are beneficial in the development of automatic tuning systems. Hadoop and Spark show different patterns in the static and dynamic values of container creation rate, container completion rate, container average response time and relative standard deviation of response-time(RSD). By applying five kinds of machine learning algorithms, container creation rate was found to be the most sensitive metric to identify and classify the workload type at an average accuracy of 83%. RSD can be used to detect workload transitions with an average accuracy of 74%. Our research results will decrease tuning overhead and promote the development of automatic tuning systems.