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O'Reilly Network: OpenBSD in a Datacenter Scale Environment

Aug 02, 2000, 06:46 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Jorm)

"Traditionally, BSD has been a high-end server platform prized for its stability, interoperability, and scalability. These points have all come into question recently as commercial Unix vendors such as HP and Sun tout their products as an "enterprise solution" offering scalability superior to free systems such as Linux and BSD."

"OpenBSD specifically has suffered from this label, accented by its lack of SMP support and other high-end hardware compatibility issues. However, my investigations into OpenBSD's use in high traffic environments uncovered the wiretapped.net server, run by Grant Bayley, which serves security, cryptographic, and steganographic data to the Australian community (including the fastest full mirror of OpenBSD in Australia). I took this machine as a case study into OpenBSD in a datacenter scale environment, and after speaking to Grant, I was surprised by the performance of OpenBSD."

"The wiretapped.net archives transmit a daily average of roughly 10GB of FTP traffic on top of Apache traffic for several domains and a large EZ-MLM-based mailing list. This makes it one of the largest FTP servers in Australia, yet by far the most poorly funded. All other servers performing that kind of throughput are large Sun servers operated by universities or corporations. The wiretapped.net machine is a mere K-6 450Mhz/128 MB RAM machine operating off an IDE disk archive."

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