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SysAdmin: Which OS is Fastest for High Performance Network Applications?

Jun 14, 2001, 19:37 (46 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey B. Rothman, John Buckman)

[ Thanks to Alberto for this link. ]

Everyone loves a benchmarking story, and SysAdmin ventures in with a four-way shootout between Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD and Win2k. The focus of the comparison is "high performance network applications," involving three tests: a real-world e-mail processing series, a file system test, and an application architecture test. We'll spoil the surprise and note that Linux wins.

"In this article, we compare Linux, Solaris (for Intel), FreeBSD, and Windows 2000 to determine which operating system (OS) runs high-performance network applications the fastest. We will describe which software designs to look for from your network software vendor, explaining how each design yields different performance characteristics, and determine which OS platform is best suited for each common network programming design. We present our OS benchmarks with both simulated and real-world tests, then evaluate the results.

We found that the software application's architecture determines speed results much more than the operating system on which it runs. Our benchmarks demonstrate a 12x performance difference between process-based and asynchronous task architectures. Significantly, we found up to a 75% overall performance difference between OSes when using the most efficient asynchronous architecture. We found Linux to be the best performing operating system based on our metrics, performing 35% better than Solaris, which came in second, followed by Windows, and finally, FreeBSD."

We now hand the story over to our readers for appropriate qualifications, quibbles, and insights.

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