Skip navigation

Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

Facebook logo LinkedIn logo Twitter logo

SPEC Releases SPECmail2001 Benchmark

New benchmark is first to reflect real-world mail-server performance!

WARRENTON, Va., January 24, 2001 -- The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) today released SPECmail2001, the first standardized benchmark that measures mail-server performance using a real-world workload. Initial SPECmail2001 performance results are available on the SPEC web site at

"SPECmail2001 furthers our mission to provide reliable, repeatable performance measurement tools for the systems that drive web-based business," says Kaivalya Dixit, SPEC president. "It complements SPECweb99, our web server benchmark, and SPECjvm98 and SPECjbb2000, our server- and client-side Java benchmarks."

SPECmail2001 was developed by mail-server vendors and research organizations to enable performance evaluations for systems supporting the Post Office Protocol (POP3) and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). It is designed for Internet service providers (ISPs) and company IT departments that require performance data to support mail-server purchase decisions. It also allows mail-server and computer systems vendors to test and fine-tune products under development.

"This benchmark fills the void for a widely accepted tool that reflects mail server performance factors in the real world," says Ralf Nolting of Openwave Systems, chair of the SPECmail2001 subcommittee. "It nails down all relevant aspects of mail-server operation, allowing users to confidently compare benchmark results from different vendors." SPECmail2001 models the stress placed on a mail-server system from an ISP's consumer users. It simulates e-mail users' actions such as sending mail, checking for new mail, and retrieving messages. The benchmark profiles the typical mix of message sizes, connectivity bandwidth, origins of received and sent mail, and other factors that are critical to performance. Mail servers under test are required to store a certain number of mail messages and to meet quality-of-service criteria.

Results from SPECmail2001 are based on a messages-per-minute rating that indicates the load the mail server can sustain with a reasonable quality of service. A higher rating indicates a more powerful mail server. In addition to providing data for purchasing decisions, SPECmail2001 results can be used for capacity planning.

SPECmail2001 was designed and implemented by Compaq, Mirapoint, Openwave Systems and Sun Microsystems. Over the past two years, Netscape, Critical Path, SGI, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and the University of Pavia (Italy) also contributed to its development.

"Mirapoint is very excited about the release of SPECmail2001," said Satish Ramachandran, chairman and CEO of Mirapoint. "For the first time, the Internet messaging industry will be able to objectively compare the performance of competing messaging servers. SPECmail2001 will play a significant role in how we communicate the performance of our products to customers and the industry at large."

SPECmail2001 is available immediately from SPEC for $1,800, with a discount price of $900 for universities and other non-profit organizations. Additional information on SPECmail2001 is available in the FAQs document:

About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks for 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:

Press Contacts: Bob Cramblitt, Erin Hatfield
                Cramblitt & Company