Mindcraft Certified Performance Comparison Report

File and Web Server
Comparison Summary:

Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0
on a Compaq ProLiant 3000
and
Sun Solaris 2.6 on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450

Contents

File Server Summary
Web Server Summary

Comparison Summary

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 server’s 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.

File Server Summary

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.

Table 1: Result Summary
(larger numbers are better for Peak Throughput, smaller numbers are better for the others)


File Server

Peak Throughput

System Price


Price/Performance

Windows NT Server 4.0
Compaq ProLiant 3000

(2 x 333MHz Pentium II, 512 MB)

8.0 MB/S $13,900 $1,737.50/MB/S

TotalNET/Solaris 2.6
Sun Ultra Enterprise 450

(2 x 296 MHz Ultra SPARC, 512 MB)

1.9 MB/S $37,047 $19,498.42/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
(larger numbers are better)

smbthruput.gif (8706 bytes)

Web Server Summary

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)


Web Server


Peak RPS

Peak Throughput

System
Price


Price/Performance

IIS 4.0/Compaq ProLiant 3000
(2 x 333MHz Pentium II, 512 MB)

1337 (ISAPI)
694 (ASP)
17.1 MB/S
8.8 MB/S
$12,250 $9.17/RPS (ISAPI)
$17.65/RPS (ASP)

SWS 1.0/Sun Ultra Enterprise 450
(2 x 296 MHz Ultra SPARC, 512 MB)

336 4.5 MB/S $31,828 $94.75/RPS

We tested these systems with Ziff-Davis Benchmark Operation’s 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
(larger numbers are better)

wbrps.gif (22453 bytes)

 

NOTICE:

The information in this publication is subject to change without notice.

MINDCRAFT, INC. SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED HEREIN, NOR FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE FURNISHING, PERFORMANCE, OR USE OF THIS MATERIAL.

This publication does not constitute an endorsement of the product or products that were tested. This test is not a determination of product quality or correctness, nor does it ensure compliance with any federal, state or local requirements.

The Mindcraft tests discussed herein were performed without independent verification by Ziff-Davis and Ziff-Davis makes no representations or warranties as to the results of the tests.

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Product and corporate names mentioned herein are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


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