SPECmail2009 on Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 and Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3

Significance of Results

The Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 server running the Sun Java Messaging server 6.3 achieved World Record SPECmail2009 results using ZFS.

  • A Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 server powered by two 1.6 GHz UltraSPARC T2 Plus processors running the Sun Java Communications Suite 5 software along with the Solaris 10 Operating System and using six Sun StorageTek 2540 arrays achieved a new World Record 12000 SPECmail_Ent2009 IMAP4 users at 57,758 Sessions/hour for SPECmail2009.
  • The Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 server achieve twice the number of users and sessions/hour rate than the Apple Xserv3,1 solution equipped with Intel Nehalem processors.
  • The Sun result was obtained using ~10% fewer disk spindles with the Sun StorageTek 2540 RAID controller direct attach storage solution versus Apple's direct attached storage.
  • This benchmark result demonstrates that the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 server together with Sun Java Communication Suite 5 component Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3, Solaris 10 and ZFS on Sun StorageTek 2540 arrays supports a large, enterprise level IMAP mail server environment. This solution is reliable, low cost, and low power, delivering the best performance and maximizing the data integrity with Sun's ZFS file systems.

Performance Landscape

SPECmail2009 (ordered by performance)

System Processors Performance
Type GHz Ch, Co, Th SPECmail_Ent2009
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 UltraSPARC T2 Plus 1.6 2, 16, 128 12,000 57,758
Sun Fire X4275 Xeon X5570 2.93 2, 8, 16 8,000 38,348
Apple Xserv3,1 Xeon X5570 2.93 2, 8, 16 6,000 28,887
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 UltraSPARC T2 1.4 1, 8, 64 3,600 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 SPARC Enterprise T5240

      2 x 1.6 GHz UltraSPARC T2 Plus processors
      128 GB
      8 x 146GB, 10K RPM SAS disks

    6 x Sun StorageTek 2540 Arrays,

      4 arrays with 12 x 146GB 15K RPM SAS disks
      2 arrays with 12 x 73GB 15K RPM SAS disks

    2 x Sun Fire X4600 benchmark manager, load generator and mail sink

      8 x AMD Opteron 8356 2.7 GHz QC processors
      64 GB
      2 x 73GB 10K RPM SAS disks

    Sun Fire X4240 load generator

      2 x AMD Opteron 2384 2.7 GHz DC processors
      16 GB
      2 x 73GB 10K RPM SAS disks

Software Configuration:

    Solaris 10
    Sun Java Communication Suite 5
    Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3

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 Sun StorageTek 2540 array was configured with 6 hardware RAID1 volumes. A total of 36 RAID1 volumes were configured with 24 of size 146GB and 12 of size 73GB. Four ZPOOLs of (6x146GB RAID1 volumes) were mounted as the four primary message stores and ZFS file systems. Four ZPOOLs of (8x73GB RAID1 volumes) were mounted as the four primary message indexes. The hardware RAID1 volumes were created with 64K stripe size without read ahead turned on. The 7x146GB internal drives were used to create four ZPOOLs and ZFS file systems for the LDAP, store metadata, queue and the mailserver log.

  • 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 08/07/2009 on www.spec.org. SPECmail2009: Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 (16 cores, 2 chips) SPECmail_Ent2009 12000 users at 57,758 SPECmail2009 Sessions/hour. Apple Xserv3,1 (8 cores, 2 chips) SPECmail_Ent2009 6000 users at 28,887 SPECmail2009 Sessions/hour.


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