Engineers build and maintain the systems that the world depends on, from applications and middleware to systems, networks, and storage. The engineers behind today's financial infrastructure are under pressure to improve performance and reduce costs even as they introduce new functionality. With so much riding on their shoulders, engineers need the best information and tools they can get their hands on. STAC helps in a number of ways.
STAC Reports provide insights into the performance and other behavior of the most important new technologies. The result of hands-on testing, these reports provide objective evidence of a given technology stack's capabilities. By supplying 80% of the information that engineers need while requiring 0% of the effort of in-house testing, STAC Reports provide pointers to the products and product combinations that are most worthy of in-house qualification. Some reports are made public, while others are held in the confidential STAC Vault for premium STAC subscribers.
STAC Reports based on official STAC Benchmark specifications are the gold standard for the workloads they cover. The test specifications are driven by engineers at user firms. They are multi-dimensional, revealing the tradeoffs of a given hardware/software combination rather than simplistically boiling things down to a single number. They measure the things that matter to the business and express them in terms that a business person can understand. Audited benchmarks are carried out by a third party (STAC) who have built an unassailed reputation for rigor and lack of bias over several years.
Engineers understand that the devil is in the details. Small differences in a system configuration can mean big differences in performance or other behavior. Premium subscribers to STAC have access to detailed configuration information on all systems for which results are published, whether publically or privately in the STAC Vault. Moreover, most Linux-based configurations also come with a SOS report so that you can zoom in on exactly the micro-level details you want to see.
Premium STAC subscribers have access to the same STAC Test Harness software and product-specific integration components (STAC Packs) that are used to create STAC Reports. This enables them to run the same tests in house, whether that is to baseline existing systems or test new products. STAC Test Harnesses automate mundane testing chores and yield reports in the same format as official STAC Reports. STAC also provides additional tools that enable great freedom to customize tests.
Working groups and special interest groups
Engineers from both user firms and vendor firms gather in STAC working groups and special interest groups to develop benchmark standards, discuss new technologies, and establish research agendas. Participating in these groups enables engineers to influence the research that STAC delivers and to interact with peers. Meetings are usually by teleconference but are sometimes in person.
STAC Summits are large, in-person gatherings to discuss important engineering challenges and the latest solutions for them. STAC Summits go into more depth than typical industry conferences. Engineers attend STAC Summits to pick up tips and network with their peers.
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