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SPEC SFS97 Press Release

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 97

SPEC Releases Major Upgrade of Industry-Standard Benchmark for Measuring NFS File Server Performance

MANASSAS, Va., December 19, 1997 - The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) has released System File Server Version 2.0 (SFS 2.0), a major upgrade to its industry-standard software for measuring NFS (Network File System) file server performance across different vendor platforms. SPEC SFS 2.0 replaces SPEC SFS 1.1, which has enjoyed widespread industry acceptance since it was introduced in January 1995. Three vendors - Digital Equipment Corp., IBM and Network Appliance - have reported initial results under SFS 2.0.

SPEC SFS 2.0 measures NFS file server throughput and response time. It contains an updated workload that was developed based on a survey of more than 1,000 NFS servers in different application environments. The workload is larger and the response-time threshold is lower than those used in SFS 1.1, reflecting the advances in server technologies over the last few years. Because of these and other changes, SPEC SFS 2.0 results cannot be compared to SFS 1.1 results.

"SPEC SFS 2.0 builds on the strong precedent set by SFS 1.1 as the only vendor-neutral, client-independent, and standardized method for comparing performance across different vendor platforms," says Kaivalya Dixit, SPEC's president. "It is an especially important benchmark given the mass movement within business and industry over the last few years toward client/server-based, open systems environments. SPEC expects SFS 2.0 to be a central tool for NFS file server performance comparison, load planning, system configuration and equipment-buying decisions."

In addition to general code improvements, SPEC SFS 2.0 includes five major enhancements:

  • It measures results for both NFS protocol version 3 and version 2.
  • It adds support for TCP; either TCP or UDP can be used as the network transport.
  • Its operation mix more closely matches today's real-world NFS workloads.
  • The benchmark distribution CD includes precompiled and tested binaries.
  • It has an improved interface to accommodate both accomplished and novice users.

Now that SFS 2.0 is available, SPEC will no longer sell SFS 1.1 licenses. SPEC is providing a six-month period beginning December 19 to allow its members to transition to SFS 2.0. During this period, SPEC will accept, review and publish results from both benchmark versions on its Web site and in its hardcopy newsletter. After six months, results from SFS 1.1 will no longer be accepted by SPEC for publication.


SPEC SFS 2.0 is available immediately on CD-ROM for $900. Upgrades are free for those who have purchased SFS 1.1 licenses within the last three months and $300 for other SFS 1.1 licensees. To order SPEC SFS 2.0 or for more information, contact the SPEC office: SPEC, 10754 Ambassador Dr., Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20109; tel: 703-331-0180; fax: 703-331-0181; email:

SPEC is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC member groups include the Open Systems Group (OSG); OSG Associates, consisting of leading universities and research facilities; the High-Performance Group (HPG); HPG Associates; and the Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group.

Press contacts: Bob Cramblitt, Michelle Perkins; Cramblitt & Company tel: 919-481-4599; fax: 919-481-4639; email: