File and Web Server
Mindcraft tested the file server and web server performance of Windows NT Server 4.0 on a Compaq ProLiant 3000 and Solaris 2.6 on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450. We also evaluated each servers price/performance, a more important evaluation criterion than raw performance. Price/performance tells you how much money you need to spend to get the performance you want. So, it tells you which is the more cost-effective solution.
We wrote two white papers that provide the details of each test, an analysis of the performance, and the basis for the price/performance calculation:
This summary presents the highlights from both papers.
Windows NT Server 4.0 Has 4.2 Times Faster File-Server Performance and 11.2 Times Better Price/Performance Than Solaris 2.6 with TotalNET 5.2
Mindcraft tested the file-server performance of Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 on a Compaq ProLiant 3000 and SunSoft Solaris 2.6 on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450. We tested the Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing protocol on top of TCP/IP for both servers. The Sun server ran TotalNET 5.2 from Syntax to provide the SMB protocol. We used TotalNET because Sun ships an evaluation copy with its Ultra Enterprise 450. Table 1 shows the peak throughput measured for each system in megabytes per second (MB/S), the price of the systems tested, and the price/performance in dollars per MB/S.
These file servers were tested with the Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation NetBench 5.01 benchmark using its standard disk mix test. Figure 1 shows the throughput we measured plotted against the number of test systems that participated in each data point. Note, while the test suite attempted to use the same number of test systems for a given data point for both servers, the Sun server could only support up to 28 test systems; the rest stopped participating in the test because of file-sharing errors.
The benchmark results show that peak file-server performance of Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 on a Compaq ProLiant 3000 is over 4.2 times that of Solaris 2.6 and TotalNET 5.2 on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450. The Microsoft solution also offers 11.2 times better price/performance than the Sun system, making it a much more cost-effective solution.
Figure 1: SMB File Server Throughput Performance
Windows NT Server 4.0 Is Four Times Faster as a Web Server Than Solaris 2.6 with Sun Web Server 1.0 and Has 10.3 Times Better Price/Performance
Mindcraft tested Windows NT Server 4.0 with its integrated Web services (Internet Information Server 4.0, IIS) on a Compaq ProLiant 3000 and Solaris 2.6 with Sun WebServer 1.0 (SWS) on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 to determine the maximum performance possible from each. Table 2 shows the peak performance we measured for each Web server in HTTP requests per second (RPS), the peak throughput in megabytes per second, the price of each system, and the price/performance in dollars per RPS.
Table 2: Performance Summary
(smaller numbers are better for System Price and Price/Performance, larger numbers are better for the others)
We tested these systems with Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operations WebBench 2.0. We created a workload to model published research on Web usage patterns. This workload also includes a significant amount of dynamically generated Web pages. See A Web Server Comparison for more details.
Figure 2 shows the total number of requests per second for both Windows NT Server (WNTS in the figure) and Solaris-SWS (Solaris in the figure). The x-axis shows the total number of test threads used at each data point; a higher number of threads indicates a larger load on the server. The number of test threads is different for Windows NT Server and Solaris-SWS because we were able to obtain the best performance for each platform with the number of threads shown.
The benchmark results clearly show that a Windows NT Server 4.0-ProLiant 3000 platform is a more cost-effective, higher performance Web server solution than a Solaris 2.6-SWS 1.0-Ultra Enterprise 450 platform. The Windows NT Server platform using ISAPI to respond to dynamic Web requests is four times faster than the Solaris-SWS platform and has 10.3 times better price/performance. Furthermore, the Windows NT Server platform using ASPs is 2.1 times faster and has 5.4 times better price/performance than the Solaris-SWS platform.
Figure 2: HTTP Requests/Second Performance
The information in this publication is subject to change without notice.
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