Skip navigation

Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

Facebook logo LinkedIn logo Twitter logo

SPEC releases major new version of Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT)

SERT 2.0 adds single-value metric, reduces runtime, improves automation and testing, and increases device and platform support

SERT emerging as international standard for agencies seeking improvements in server efficiency

GAINESVILLE, Va., March 28, 2017 — The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released a major new version of its Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT) software.

The SERT suite rates energy efficiency of single- and multi-node servers across a broad span of configurations. Version 2.0 includes the following major developments:

  • Adds a single-value metric; a composite score that measures server efficiency across different workloads.
  • Reduces run time from four to two hours, saving testing time and costs.
  • Enhances automated hardware and software discovery, simplifying testing set-up.
  • Provides support for additional power analyzers and interfaces to give users more options.
  • Increases support for diverse computing platforms; SERT can now be run on four processor architectures, more than a dozen operating systems, and five Java Virtual Machines.
  • Improves memory subsystem tests for more accurate characterization of memory behavior.
  • Incorporates the improved Chauffeur Worklet Development Kit (WDK) 2.0 benchmark harness, providing greater flexibility for the research community.

Driving energy efficency improvements

Since its introduction four years ago, SERT testing has been a mandatory part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR for Computer Servers specification. It is also under consideration by the European Union's DG ENTR Lot 9 Ecodesign Directive for enterprise servers, the Chinese National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), and Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry's (METI) Top Runner energy efficiency program.

"We are working with international agencies to encourage their adoption of SERT as a global standard for measuring server efficiency," says Klaus-Dieter Lange, chair of the SPECpower committee that develops the SERT suite and the SPECpower_ssj2008 benchmark. "The SERT metric simplifies server comparisons for potential buyers and enables government and regulatory agencies to create thresholds that lead to improvements in energy efficiency."

SERT is built on the experience gained in developing the SPECpower_ssj2008 benchmark, which provides a prime example of how standardized performance measurement can drive server efficiency improvements. SPECpower_ssj2008 scores have increased by more than 17 times over the last nine years.

"It shows the profound effect a standardized measurement tool can have on improving server efficiency," says Lange.

Cooperative development

The SPECpower committee that develops the SERT suite includes representatives from AMD, Dell, HPE, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and the University of Wuerzburg. Veteran SPEC benchmark developers Hansfried Block, Greg Darnell, and Karin Wulf are supporting contributors. The U.S. EPA provides regular high-level policy and directional guidance to the SPECpower committee, and other organizations around the world contribute input and feedback.

Available immediately

The SERT 2.0 suite is available for immediate download from SPEC for $2,800. Discounts are available for qualifying non-profit research and academic organizations. Current SERT licensees are eligible to receive a free upgrade until October 31.

SERT requires a SPEC-accepted power analyzer and temperature sensor.

Visit the SPEC website for more information on SERT.

About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks and tools to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 120 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.


Media contact: Bob Cramblitt, Cramblitt & Company, 919-481-4599;

Product and service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.