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SPEC 2021 Year in Review

By David Reiner, President

As all of us at SPEC continue into a very busy 2022, I'd like to reflect on what we accomplished during 2021, which, despite the continued headwinds from the pandemic, was an exciting and productive year at SPEC.

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Searching for Workloads — Help Shape the Next SPEC CPU Benchmark Suites

By James Bucek, SPEC CPU Chair

SPEC exists to develop benchmarks that vendors, businesses, and individuals can trust to make key purchasing decisions based on fair comparisons between different systems or solutions. One way we do this is bringing together representatives from a variety of companies, including competitors, to design benchmarks that fairly represent real-world workloads.

For SPEC CPU, an equally important aspect of creating better benchmarks is that we base them on actual applications or workloads in use today, not just representative workloads. This separates SPEC CPU from many of the common micro-benchmarks and gives a user more confidence in the workloads behind the benchmark, as well as greater assurance that the results produced are standard and reproducible, allowing for more accurate comparisons between solutions.

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Illustration of the five workloads that comprise a tile
New SPECvirt® Datacenter 2021 Benchmark, for Complex, Multi-Host Environments

By David Schmidt, Virtualization Committee Chair

The SPEC Virtualization Committee has released the SPECvirt® Datacenter 2021 benchmark, a new multi-host benchmark for measuring the performance of a scaled-out datacenter.

While distributed computing has become the dominant infrastructure in datacenters today – providing reliability, availability, serviceability and security – virtualization is the key to optimizing this infrastructure and providing increased flexibility and application availability, while also reducing costs through server and datacenter consolidation. As such, suppliers and buyers require a fair, vendor-agnostic tool for measuring the performance of the solutions they use to power these more complex, multi-host environments.

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SPEC SERT Suite performance bar chart
Server Performance — At what cost?

By Klaus Lange, SPECpower Committee Chair

From their hardware and firmware, to their software and applications, modern servers are increasingly complex. When one considers the incredible variety of computational and data-centric tasks that servers are designed and deployed to provide, the provisioning of these machines cannot be done properly or completely without accounting for energy efficiency. Beyond the initial hardware and software investments, beyond the costs to house these servers, what level of power-efficient performance can be expected and how does that compare across different architectures and configurations?

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SPECviewperf 2020 splash screen
SPECviewperf® 2020 v2.0, Keeping Pace With an Evolving Industry

By Ross Cunniff, SPECgpc Chair

The Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (GWPG) proudly announced the SPECviewperf® 2020 v2.0 benchmark in June, just eight months after the initial release of the 2020 version. In addition to the time we invested in ensuring SPECviewperf keeps pace with our evolving industry, SPECviewperf 2020 2.0 truly reflects the best of SPEC’s ability to leverage competing members to create and update a benchmark that benefits everyone, the vendors, enterprise customers and end users alike.

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