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SPEC Announces SPECweb99 Benchmark,

Successor to Industry-Standard SPECweb96

New web server benchmark's workload includes dynamic web-page generation

MANASSAS, Va., August 16, 1999 -- The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) announces SPECweb99, a new version of its benchmark for measuring the performance of Web servers. SPECweb99 replaces SPECweb96, an acknowledged worldwide standard for web server performance evaluation. Both benchmarks were developed by SPEC's Open Systems Group (OSG), whose membership includes leading web product vendors and research organizations.

"SPECweb99 builds upon the widely endorsed methodology introduced with SPECweb96," says Kaivalya M. Dixit, SPEC president. "We've updated the framework and workload to reflect industry changes, but we've adhered to the elements that make this a SPEC benchmark: standardized implementation, workload and run rules; full disclosure of information that ensures results can be reproduced; and availability of source code for customized internal testing."

Reflecting Real-World Usage

SPECweb99 is targeted at web server hardware and software vendors and customers seeking performance data for web server purchasing. The new benchmark supports HTTP1.0 and HTTP1.1 protocols. The SPECweb99 workload simulates accesses to a web service provider, where the server supports home pages for a number of different organizations. Each home page is a collection of files ranging in size from small icons to large documents and images. As in the real world, certain files within the home page are more popular than others. The workload simulates dynamic operations such as "rotating" advertisements on a web page, customized web page creation, and user registration.

The benchmark's metric is SPECweb99. It represents the number of simultaneous connections the web server can support using the predefined workload. The SPECweb99 test harness emulates clients sending the HTTP requests in the workload over slow Internet connections to the web server. The benchmark is designed to model conditions that will exist during its lifetime.

The SPECweb99 workload is based on analyses of server logs from a variety of popular Internet servers and some smaller Web sites. Workload files are divided into four classes according to size, from less than 1 KB to slightly less than 1 MB. Access patterns to the files were determined according to the analyses of server logs. The access analyses reflect actual usage for a web service provider, with certain files being more popular than others.

First Results Online

The first set of SPECweb99 performance results is available now on SPEC's web site ( Subsequent results will be posted on an ongoing basis as they are submitted to SPEC's review process. SPECweb99 results are not comparable to those of its predecessor benchmark, SPECweb96. There will be a six-month transition period between the new and old benchmarks. During this period, SPEC will accept, review and publish results from both benchmark versions. Afterward, only SPECweb99 results will be accepted for publication.

SPECweb99 is strictly a web server performance measure; it does not report web client, web client/server, or WAN performance. Future SPECweb releases are expected to address features such as proxy, multimedia and encryption performance.

"We're gratified by the industry acceptance of the SPECweb benchmark," says Gyan Bhal, SPECweb99 release manager, "but we know we have a non-stop job on our hands to keep pace with the rapid evolution of web technologies."

Member organizations involved in the development of SPECweb99 include Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mindcraft, Netscape, Siemens, SGI, Sun Microsystems, and Unisys. Although not a SPEC member, Cisco Systems also contributed.

Available Now

SPECweb99 is available immediately on CD-ROM for $800. A discount is available for universities and other non-profits as well as for SPECweb96 licensees.

The benchmark's developer, SPEC, is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC member groups include the Open Systems Group (OSG), the High-Performance Group (HPG); and the Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group. The membership consists of leading computer hardware and software vendors, universities and research facilities.

For more information, contact Dianne Rice, SPEC, 10754 Ambassador Drive, Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20109; tel: 703-331-0180; fax: 703-331-0181; e-mail: or visit


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