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c't: Linux and NT as Web Server on the Test Bed

Jun 28, 1999, 10:27 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Fred Mobach)

Thanks to Fred Mobach for this report.

The GNU/Linux versus NT debate is just starting. Last week we saw the results of the Mindcraft III test and as was already stated after the first Mindcraft test, it will have cost a lot of time and money for MS to find a configuration on which NT would beate GNU/Linux in performance.

Perhaps this first test and the following debate triggered the German c't magazine to test GNU/Linux + Apache versus NT + IIS. They took a Siemens Primergy server with 4 Pentium II Xeon CPUs (450 MHz), 2 GBytes RAM and two network boards (Intel EtherPro 100). A fine system of just US $ 50,000.-. Not our usual system at home (you prefer an Alpha or a Sun, I assume). They even tried to test the Mac OS X, but the fatal CGI problem made it impossible.

The good people of c't didn't want you to learn German, so they translated the story to English and you can read it at http://www.heise.de/ct/english//99/13/186-1/.

The test has good and bad news. First the bad news : there's work to be done on the kernel and Apache. Then the good news : many of the tests c't ran prove many of the older benchmarks true, in many situations GNU/Linux + Apache is faster than NT + IIS, on static pages and also on dynamic pages (as nearly everybody knew already). Just in one of the situations NT + IIS was faster : when two 100 Mbps NIC's were used.

As far as I can see the c't article is critical but not biased. Didn't my teachers call this a scientific approach ? Is that the reason I like this article ?

Regards,

Fred Mobach
e-post : fred@mobach.nl