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Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation


SPEC Power Committee

This page provides information on the SPEC Power Committee.  If you are searching for information on the SPECpower_ssj2008 benchmark, click here.  If you are searching for information on SERTTM, click here.

About SPEC and the SPECpower Committee

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) was formed by computer industry participants in 1988 to establish industry standards for measuring compute performance.  SPEC has since become the largest and most influential benchmark consortium.  Its mission is to ensure that the marketplace has a fair and useful set of metrics to analyze the newest generation of IT Equipment.

The SPEC community has developed more than 30 industry-standard  benchmarks for system performance evaluation in a variety of application areas and provided thousands of benchmark licenses to companies, resource centers, and educational institutions globally.  Organizations using these benchmarks have published more than 20,000 peer-reviewed performance reports.

SPEC has a long history of designing, developing, and releasing industry-standard computer system performance benchmarks in a range of industry segments, plus peer-reviewing the results of benchmark runs.  Performance benchmarking and the necessary work to develop and release new benchmarks can lead to disagreements among participants.  Therefore, SPEC has developed an operating philosophy and range of normative behaviors that encourage cooperation and fairness amongst diverse and competitive organizations.

More detailed information about SPEC maybe found here.  Information on joining SPEC can also be found here.

The increasing demand for energy-efficient IT Equipment has resulted in the need for power and performance benchmarks. In response, the SPEC community established SPECpower, an initiative to augment existing industry standard benchmarks with a power/energy measurement.  Leading engineers and scientists in the fields of benchmark development and energy efficiency made a commitment to tackle this task.

The SPECpower committee currently has several focus areas:  
  • The Power and Performance Benchmark Methodology document
  • The SPECpower_ssj2008 benchmark (released)
  • The PTDaemon power measurement harness
  • The SERT tool (in development)

About the Power and Performance Benchmark Methodology

The Power and Performance Benchmark Methodology document is intended for performance benchmark designers and implementers who want to integrate a power component into their benchmark. The document may also serve as an introduction to those who need to understand the relationship between power and performance metrics in computer systems benchmarks.  The assumption is that the business model and benchmark application are already selected and may already be implemented.  Guidance is provided for including power metrics in existing benchmarks, as well as altering existing benchmarks and designing new ones to provide a more complete view of energy consumption.  Benchmarks already using this methodology document include:  SPECpower_ssj2008, SPECweb2009, and SPECvirt_sc2010.

About SPECpower_ssj2008

The development  of the first industry-standard benchmark that measures the power and performance characteristics of server-class compute equipment started on January 26th 2006.  In December of 2007, SPECpower_ssj2008 was released, which exercises the CPUs, caches, memory hierarchy and the scalability of shared memory processors on multiple load-levels.  The benchmark runs on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware architectures.  In version 1.10, which was released on April 15th 2009, SPEC augmented SPECpower_ssj2008 with multi-node support (e.g., blade-support).

About PTDaemon

SPEC’s power temperature daemon (also known as PTDaemon) is used by benchmarks to offload the work of controlling a power analyzer or temperature sensor during measurement intervals to a system other than the SUT.  It hides the details of different power analyzer interface protocols and behaviors from the benchmark software, presenting a common TCP-IP-based interface that can be readily integrated into different benchmark harnesses.  Benchmarks already using PTDaemon  include:  SPECpower_ssj2008, SPECweb2009, and SPECvirt_sc2010.

About SERT

The EPA’s Energy Star Development Team is currently working on Version 2.0 of their Computer Server Specification.  Version 2.0 aims to evolve the program by adding a means to measure the overall efficiency of the server while it is performing actual computing work via an Active Mode Efficiency Rating Tool.

The SPECpower committee is currently working on the design, implementation and delivery of the Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT)TM next generation tool set that will measure and evaluate the energy efficiency of computer servers.  If you would like to find more information on SERT, click here.