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Mindcraft Study Shows Windows NT Server Outperforms Linux


Microsoft Windows NT Server is 2.5 times faster than Linux as a File Server and 3.7 times faster as a Web Server

Los Gatos, California, April 13, 1999: Today, Mindcraft released the results of a study comparing the performance of Red Hat Linux 5.2 (updated to the Linux 2.2.2 kernel) and Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 operating systems. According to the report, Windows NT Server provides over three and a half times the performance of Linux as a Web server. Furthermore, the report shows that when testing Windows NT Server and Linux as file servers, Windows NT Server provides over two and a half times the performance of Linux. The full report, including all of the details needed to reproduce the tests, is on Mindcraft’s Web site at: http://www.mindcraft.com/whitepapers/nts4rhlinux.html .

Using benchmarks from Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation (ZDBOp), the report compares the peak performance levels of both Windows NT Server and Linux configured both as a file server and a Web server. All tests were performed on a standard Dell PowerEdge 6300/400 server with four 400-MHz Xeon CPUs, 1GB RAM (960MB for Linux – this is the default maximum amount of RAM that Linux supports). To simulate a client load, Mindcraft used 144 physical client test systems; half were running Windows 95 and the other half were running Windows 98. Both Linux and Windows NT Server were tuned to perform optimally under each of the two workloads. “We started the tests using standard Red Hat Linux 5.2 but had to update it because it does not support hardware RAID controllers and SMP at the same time,” said Mindcraft’s president, Bruce Weiner. “Linux definitely takes more time and resources to tune and to configure than Windows NT Server. You have to search the Net to find the latest kernel and driver versions to get the highest performance and most reliable modules. Then when you’re done, Linux fails to deliver the same level of performance as Windows NT Server on enterprise-class servers.”

Mindcraft’s report shows that using ZDBOp’s WebBench 2.0 Web server benchmark, Windows NT Server and Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 reach a peak of 3,771 requests/second and 22.4 Megabits /second (Mbps) of throughput. The report goes on to show that Linux and the Apache 1.3.4 Web server reach a peak of 1,000 request/second and 5.9 Mbps of throughput. The WebBench 2.0 tests also revealed that there are problems with Linux/Apache at high client loads. “The Linux/Apache Web server performance collapsed with a WebBench load above 160 client test threads, while Windows NT Server/IIS continued to increase performance up through 288 client test threads without reaching their peak performance,” adds Mindcraft’s Bruce Weiner.

To simulate a file server workload, Mindcraft used ZDBOp’s NetBench 5.01 benchmark. The testing revealed that Windows NT Server performance peaked at 286.7 Mbps with 112 clients, while Linux running Samba 2.0.1 peaked at 114.6 Mbps with only 48 clients. “The integration of the SMB file sharing protocol with the multi-processor kernel is a key performance win for Windows NT Server,” said Weiner.

“Customers benefit every day from the superior scalability of Windows NT Server, which delivers vital file and web services at two to three times the performance of Linux as shown in these benchmarks,” said Edmund Muth, Group Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation. “Empirical data like this helps customers and planners make informed decisions, and showcases the industrial strength technology and mature engineering of the Windows NT Server operating system”.

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