SPECmail2009 on Sun Fire X4275+Sun Storage 7110: Mail Server System Solution

Significance of Results

Sun has a new SPECmail2009 result on a Sun Fire X4275 server and Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System running Sun Java Messaging server 6.2.  OpenStorage and ZFS were a key part of the new World Record SPECmail2009.

  • The Sun Fire X4275 server, equipped by 2, 2.93GHz Intel Xeon QC X5570 processors, running the Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2 on Solaris 10 achieved a new World Record 8000 SPECmail_Ent2009 IMAP4 users at 38,348 Sessions/hour. 

  • The Sun result was obtained using  about half disk spindles, with the Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System, than  Apple's direct attached storage solution.  The Sun submission is the first result using a NAS solution, specifically two Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System.
  • This benchmark result clearly demonstrates that the Sun Fire X4275 server together with Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2, Solaris 10 on Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage Systems can support a large, enterprise level IMAP mail server environment as a reliable low cost solution, delivering best performance and maximizing data integrity with ZFS.

SPECmail 2009 Performance Landscape(ordered by performance)

System Processors Performance
Type GHz Ch, Co, Th SPECmail_Ent2009
Sun Fire X4275 Intel X5570 2.93 2, 8, 16 8000 38,348
Apple Xserv3,1 Intel X5570 2.93 2, 8, 16 6000 28,887
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 UltraSPARC T2 1.4 1, 8, 64 3600 17,316

    Number of SPECmail_Ent2009 users (bigger is better)
    SPECmail2009 Sessions/hour (bigger is better)
    Ch, Co, Th: Chips, Cores, Threads

Complete benchmark results may be found at the SPEC benchmark website http://www.spec.org

Results and Configuration Summary

Hardware Configuration:
    Sun Fire X4275
      2 x 2.93 GHz QC Intel Xeon X5570 processors
      72 GB
      12 x 300GB, 10000 RPM SAS disk

    2 x Sun Storage 7110 Unified Storage System, each with
      16 x 146GB SAS 10K RPM

Software Configuration:

    O/S: Solaris 10
    Mail Server: Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2

Benchmark Description

The SPECmail2009 benchmark measures the ability of corporate e-mail systems to meet today's demanding e-mail users over fast corporate local area networks (LAN). The SPECmail2009 benchmark simulates corporate mail server workloads that range from 250 to 10,000 or more users, using industry standard SMTP and IMAP4 protocols. This e-mail server benchmark creates client workloads based on a 40,000 user corporation, and uses folder and message MIME structures that include both traditional office documents and a variety of rich media content. The benchmark also adds support for encrypted network connections using industry standard SSL v3.0 and TLS 1.0 technology. SPECmail2009 replaces all versions of SPECmail2008, first released in August 2008. The results from the two benchmarks are not comparable.

Software on one or more client machines generates a benchmark load for a System Under Test (SUT) and measures the SUT response times. A SUT can be a mail server running on a single system or a cluster of systems.

A SPECmail2009 'run' simulates a 100% load level associated with the specific number of users, as defined in the configuration file. The mail server must maintain a specific Quality of Service (QoS) at the 100% load level to produce a valid benchmark result. If the mail server does maintain the specified QoS at the 100% load level, the performance of the mail server is reported as SPECmail_Ent2009 SMTP and IMAP Users at SPECmail2009 Sessions per hour. The SPECmail_Ent2009 users at SPECmail2009 Sessions per Hour metric reflects the unique workload combination for a SPEC IMAP4 user.

Key Points and Best Practices

  • Each XTA7110 was configured as 1xRAID1 (14x143GB) volume with 2 NFS Shared LUNs, accessed by the SUT via NFSV4. The mailstore volumes were mounted with the nfs mount options: nointr,hard, xattr. There were a total of 4GB/sec Network connections between the SUT and the 7110 Unified Storage systems using 2 NorthStar dual 1GB/sec NICs.
  • The clients used these Java options: java -d64 -Xms4096m -Xmx4096m -XX:+AggressiveHeap
  • See the SPEC Report for all OS, network and messaging server tunings.

See Also

Disclosure Statement

SPEC, SPECmail reg tm of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Results as of 07/06/2009 on www.spec.org. SPECmail2009: Sun Fire X4275 (8 cores, 2 chips) SPECmail_Ent2009 8000 users at 38,348 SPECmail2009 Sessions/hour. Apple Xserv3,1 (8 cores, 2 chips) SPECmail_Ent2009 6000 users at 28,887 SPECmail2009 Sessions/hour.


Modulo my ISP's proxy servers being slow on the update, the link in "See the SPEC Report for all OS..." points at:


which seems to be for the T5220 result rather than the X4275 result, which itself does not seem to have posted just yet. At least as of the time of this comment.

Posted by rick jones on July 03, 2009 at 08:12 AM PDT #

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