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SPEC to develop standard methods of comparing virtualization performance

WARRENTON, Va., November 8, 2006 - The non-profit Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has formed a new working group to develop standard methods of comparing virtualization performance for data center servers.

Current SPEC member companies committed to developing a new virtualization measurement standard include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and VMware.

Seeking industry input

SPEC is interested in hearing from IT managers and other potential users of virtualization techniques to ensure that the committee understands customer needs and can develop the best possible benchmarking solutions. Organizations that are not currently SPEC members are invited to join the new working group.

"There is growing interest in using virtualization techniques to optimize data center efficiency," says Paula Smith, vice president of SPEC and chair of the new group. "It is clear that customers and vendors will benefit from having an industry-standard benchmark for virtualization."

Defining the methodology

In developing a new virtualization benchmark, SPEC will draw on its expertise in creating widely used system-level benchmark suites such as SPECjAppServer2004 and SPECweb2005.

The group is investigating the use of heterogeneous workloads that are spread across multiple virtual machines on a single server. A key aspect will be defining a methodology to model the dynamic nature of customer workloads in this environment.

SPEC will use its current worldwide standard benchmarks as the basis for generating workloads that are typical of server use. The methods and metrics used by the benchmark will be defined as part of the working group's efforts.

SPEC expects that a wide range of computer server manufacturers, systems integrators, and virtualization software vendors will run the benchmark and report results. Data from running the benchmark tests is targeted for use by IT professionals and decision makers throughout the industry interested in using virtualization to reduce costs and ease IT infrastructure management.

For more information

More information on the SPEC Virtualization Performance working group is available at or by e-mailing

About SPEC

SPEC ( is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks to measure the performance of the newest generation of high-performance computers. Its membership comprises leading computer hardware and software vendors, universities, and research organizations worldwide. For more information, contact Dianne Rice, SPEC, 6585 Merchant Place, Ste. 100, Warrenton, VA 20187, USA; phone: 540-349-7878; fax: 540-349-5992; e-mail:; web:

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