Virtual Server Infrastructure

SPEC Releases New SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 Benchmark

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation’s (SPEC) Virtualization Committee released the SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark, a new multi-host benchmark for measuring the performance of a scaled-out datacenter. The SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark uses real-world and simulated workloads to measure the overall efficiency of virtualization solutions and their management environments. The new benchmark complements the existing SPECvirt_sc 2013 server consolidation benchmark, which is designed for a single-host environment.

Today’s datacenters use clusters of servers to ensure reliability, availability, serviceability, and security. Adding virtualization to a clustered solution enhances server optimization, flexibility, and application availability while reducing costs through server and datacenter consolidation. While the SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark enables analysis of these more complex multi-host environments, it is much easier to use than the SPECvirt_sc 2013 benchmark, providing a single virtual machine (VM) template to set up its harness and workloads. The SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark supports multiple hypervisor vendor solutions and ships with support for RHV 4.x and vSphere 6.x and 7.x.

“The ongoing evolution of virtualized environments has made it imperative that suppliers and buyers have a fair, vendor-agnostic tool for measuring the performance of solutions that power virtualized multi-host infrastructures,” said David Schmidt, Chair of the SPEC Virtualization Committee. “The SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark is easy to use and creates an excellent foundation for examining and comparing performance in these complex environments that are increasingly becoming the norm.”


The SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark provides a methodical way to measure a virtualization platform’s performance in a dynamic virtualized datacenter environment. It models typical, modern-day usage of virtualized infrastructure, such as VM resource provisioning, cross-node load balancing (including management operations such as VM migrations), and VM power on/off. The benchmark exercises datacenter operations under load and dynamically provisions new workload VMs from a preconfigured template or powers on existing VMs. As the load reaches maximum capacity of the cluster, hosts are added to the cluster to measure scheduler efficiency and maximize throughput.

The SPECvirt Datacenter 2021 benchmark feature overview:
  • Multi-host benchmark – Minimum of four hosts required, scales in increments of four.
  • Datacenter operations model – Multi-workload benchmark measures performance of hypervisor infrastructure, including how the hypervisor manager controls resources.
  • VM resource management – Handled by the hypervisor manager, including scheduling policies. Workload VMs powered on or deployed during benchmark.
  • Ease of use – Single preconfigured template VM to set up harness and workloads. No tuning of guest OS/software necessary.
Five real-world and simulated workloads –
  • OLTP database, based on HammerDB benchmark
  • Hadoop/Big Data cluster, based on BigBench benchmark
  • Simulated departmental mail server
  • Simulated departmental web server
  • Simulated departmental collaboration server

About SPEC
SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains, and endorses standardized benchmarks and tools to evaluate performance for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 120 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.

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