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SPEC releases first beta of Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT)

SERT "will enhance the power of the ENERGY STAR label" for servers

GAINESVILLE, Va., September 28, 2011 — The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released the first beta version of the Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT). SERT is a comprehensive toolset that addresses requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR for Servers v2.0 specification.

A rating tool, not a benchmark

Although based on the extensive experience from ongoing development of SPECpower_ssj2008, SERT is not a comparative benchmark and does not provide a composite power/performance score. Instead, it produces detailed information about the influence of CPU, memory and storage I/O configurations on the power consumption of servers.

A big leap forward

"SERT represents a big leap forward from version one of the ENERGY STAR for Servers specification," says Klaus-Dieter Lange, SPECpower committee chair. "It moves the specification from a measure of idle power consumption to a measure of efficiency for a wide range of workloads and load levels."

Providing critical information

"SERT will enhance the power of the ENERGY STAR label, providing critical information on energy use to consumers and institutional purchasers, and helping manufacturers distinguish their products in the market," says Robert Meyers, the EPA's data center product lead. "If widely adopted, it should reduce testing burdens on the server industry and enable more meaningful and consistent comparisons among products sold in different regions of the world."

Cooperative development

The SPECpower committee developing SERT includes representatives from AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft, with veteran SPEC benchmark developer Alan Adamson and post-graduate researcher Christian Koopmann as supporting contributors. The EPA provides high-level policy and directional guidance in biweekly meetings with the SPECpower committee, and other organizations around the world have provided input and feedback.

Organizations were invited to participate in this first SERT beta based on their involvement with ENERGY STAR, their interest in power/performance measurement for servers, and a willingness to provide feedback in areas such as usability, ease of configuration, platform compatibility, and functionality.

Additional information

The ENERGY STAR for Servers v2.0 specification is expected to be completed in mid-2012 and will go into effect in early 2013. To obtain the ENERGY STAR label, a server will have to pass certain idle power requirements and also report the results of active power testing using SERT.

For more information about SERT, to participate in upcoming beta programs, and to review the current version of the SERT design document, visit

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 70 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.


Media contact:

Bob Cramblitt
Cramblitt & Company

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