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SPEC releases SPECmail2009 benchmark

New version includes enterprise-scale mail store workload, SSL/TLS protocol support and improved interoperability

WARRENTON, Va., March 10, 2009 — The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released SPECmail2009, a mail server benchmark that features a new workload derived from a 40,000-user corporate mail store, support for SSL/TLS encryption, and improved interoperability across different platforms.

SPECmail2009 measures a systemís ability to act as a corporate mail server handling e-mail requests based on SMTP and IMAP4. The benchmark concentrates on corporate mail server workloads that range from 250 to 10,000 or more users. It models IMAP business users accessing servers over fast local area networks (LANs) that are used in corporate environments. Two separate metrics measure e-mail servers with and without secure network connections.

The new benchmark is based on the characteristics of a real enterprise mail store, including the distribution of folders, messages and MIME parts. Using data from several sources, the workload simulates requests to the mail server and the arrival of new mail during a peak hour of operation.

"Apple, Citrix Online, and Sun have done a lot of work to create an extremely realistic workload, provide measurement for encrypted and unencrypted operations, and improve the overall interoperability and stability of the benchmark," says Yun-seng Chao, chair of the SPEC mail server committee. "Users should feel confident that this benchmark will help them make mail server decisions that will hold up in the real world."

SPEC expects that vendors of e-mail server products will use SPECmail2009 to optimize products under development and to compare performance against competitors. IT managers will use it for product evaluation and to configure mail servers for better efficiency.

SPECmail2009 replaces SPECmail2008 and results from the benchmarks are not comparable. With the release of SPECmail2009, SPECmail2008 is being retired and submissions for it are no longer accepted. SPECmail2001 continues to be available for measuring performance of ISP-class servers.

SPECmail2009 is available immediately from SPEC for $1,800; discounts are available for qualified non-profit and educational institutions. Licensed SPECmail2008 users receive a free upgrade.† More details and order information are available at or through e-mail at

About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 80 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide. For more information, visit or contact the SPEC office by phone: 540-349-7878, fax: 540-349-5992, or email:

Media contact:

Bob Cramblitt
Cramblitt & Company

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