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Network Computing: Lies, Damn Lies and Benchmarks

May 24, 1999, 17:33 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Art Wittmann)

"Have you ever heard of Mindcraft? Until April, neither had I. According to the company's Web site..., it specializes in benchmarking Web servers and the like. At its site, Mindcraft describes its expertise in benchmarking, but lately even more space is devoted to defending tests it recently conducted on Microsoft Windows NT and Linux."

"In the tests, Mindcraft pitted NT running Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) against Linux running Apache and Samba. Mindcraft benchmarked both Web performance and file-service performance, and found Web service on NT to be 3.7 times faster than on Linux, and file service to be 2.5 times faster. Needless to say, this result immediately got the attention of the Linux community."

"The Man Behind the Curtain Since the original articles appeared, some facts have come to light. The most relevant is that the tests were conducted under contract to Microsoft and in Microsoft labs. That alone is enough to raise eyebrows. Further, it's been learned that the Linux server in question was not fully tuned. Mindcraft staff apparently were not particularly well versed in tuning Linux servers for performance. When the initial results were released, there was no indication that these tests had been done under Microsoft sponsorship, or that they had been performed at Microsoft's facilities."

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