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SPEC releases new server virtualization benchmark

SPECvirt_sc2013 provides heavier and more dynamic workloads that reflect new levels of traffic for virtualized servers in the real world

GAINESVILLE, Va., May 22, 2013 - The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released a new version of its SPECvirt benchmark that reflects the heavy volume and sudden peaks of traffic faced by datacenter servers used for virtualized server consolidation.

The new SPECvirt_sc2013 uses real-world workloads and SPECís proven performance- and power-measurement methodologies to enable vendors, users and researchers to compare system performance across multiple hardware, virtualization platforms, and applications. It was developed by the SPEC virtualization subcommittee, whose members and contributors include HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Red Hat and VMware.

Growing importance and demands

Since its release in July 2010, SPECvirt_sc2010 has become an industry standard for measuring the performance of virtualized servers, with dozens of results reported on the SPEC website and in research papers, press releases and marketing materials worldwide.

In the nearly three years since that first benchmark, virtualization has increased in importance as the demand for content over the Internet and within corporate networks continues to accelerate. The market-research firm IDC reports that by 2014, 70 percent of server workloads will be run on virtual systems of some type.

Modeling real-world behavior

"Organizations around the world are virtualizing servers to handle significantly heavier and more dynamic traffic," says Paula Smith, chair of the SPEC virtualization subcommittee. "We are responding with workloads that model similar behavior, requiring virtual machines with more memory and virtual CPUs to meet the benchmark's quality-of-service requirements."

SPECvirt_sc2013 provides four workloads based on real-world traffic faced by a web server, a Java application server, an IMAP server and a batch server. A harness on the client side controls the workloads and implements the methodologies for power measurement derived from the SPECpower_ssj2008 benchmark.

The new SPECvirt benchmark better replicates the type of multi-tiered applications and database environments that run on enterprise-class virtualized servers. Each virtualized database server in SPECvirt_sc2013 is shared by as many as four application-server virtual machines.

In addition to major performance upgrades, the SPECvirt web server workload has been modified to require SSL (HTTPS) between the client system and the web server. This change mirrors the greater emphasis on security in real-world transactions.

Available now

SPECvirt_sc2013 is available for download on the SPEC website for $3,000; discounts are available for qualified non-profit and educational institutions. More information and initial benchmark results are available at

About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises nearly 100 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.

Media contact:

Bob Cramblitt
Cramblitt & Company

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