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New Spec Tool to Id Most Energy-Efficient Servers

By IDG News Service

March 7, 2013

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SPEC, the standards body for performance benchmarks, recently released a new toolkit that will help customers choose the most energy-efficient server for their needs.

The Server Efficiency Rating Tool (SERT) will be used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide efficiency data for an update to its Energy Star for Servers program. SERT will provide more detailed information for rating systems on efficiency of power supplies and how much power a server draws when it is idle.

"If a customer knows their application is going to be heavy on CPU and memory, for instance, he can look at the data and choose the most efficient server for that workload," says SPEC researcher Klaus Dieter-Lange.

SERT can test both x86 and IBM Power servers with up to eight processors, as well as multi-node servers.

"The server vendors will be forced to design more efficient servers, not just for CPU-intensive workloads but also for memory and storage as well," Dieter-Lange says.

SPEC's biggest challenges are selecting the right workloads to make the tests relevant to many customers, and designing a test suite that the certification labs can operate rapidly and consistently, without requiring specialized engineering skills.

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