Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Want a Third-Rate Server? Put That Other OS On It

  • Feb 08 / 2012
  • 24
technology

Want a Third-Rate Server? Put That Other OS On It

Netcraft has again published it’s hosting survey. It shows that other OS is still far less popular than GNU/Linux. Only 7 out of 43 reports uses that other OS while GNU/Linux counts 28. I dug deeper into the table to have an idea why.

Netcraft keeps statistics on snap: DNS lookup, Connection time and First Byte. I looked at the totals. They also record the transfer rate. Averaging these for FreeBSD, GNU/Linux and that other OS, I found that other OS is last in both categories. Why do people want to pay more for less performance?

OS Average Kb/s Average time
FreeBSD

154

0.34

GNU/Linux

169

0.38

TOS

141

0.52

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux, the OS that works for you and not for M$.

24 Comments

  1. oiaohm

    Phenom
    Main Amazon runs on Oracle
    http://aws.amazon.com/rds/mysql/

    But cloud services there is LAMP. Phenom. Amazon is a large company providing many different services. I was very particular. Cloud Services Amazon uses Lamp.

    Next time double check where someone was referencing.

    Flying Toaster. The big thing that comes into Linux with massive number of users. Is KSM. This is same page compression in memory.

    Windows does not have KSM. So data applications create data memory that is identical between users does not get merged. This leads to huge difference in number of side by side users that can be supported at once. Like 1 meg in each user that is identical really adds up quickly when its merged. Its also supprising how much turning on KSM can slow down firefox using memory.

    Linux does not grow in ram usage as fast as more users are added since duplications are shared.

    The fact a 32 bit Linux can use PAE out to 64G is also dependably another helper. Windows had to lock 32 bit system to 4G because windows 32 bit drivers lot of them are not PAE aware so run PAE memory as you can splat. So yes run a printer driver on a 32 bit windows running PAE over 4G can it can be Russian roulette if it stays running. PAE Linux does 4/0/0/4 spiting. Yes 4G for each user-space applications and 4G for kernel.

    That is just memory management side. There are issues in Windows networking and cpu allocation as well.

    KSM is protected by a VMWARE patent. There are a few other memory management differences on Linux that give Linux the advantage.

    Design differences are in the Linux advantage to scale compared to Windows. Linux scales many times better.

  2. Flying Toaster

    The IT dude was turning green, either from being ill or envious.

    He was likely getting sick of your unsubstantiated nonsense, but that’s just my guess.

    Windows 2008 Terminal Server, max users before slow down ~10 users.

    And I would be eager to know who you actually set up the server, what applications and service you were running, and most importantly, how you quantified such slow-down.

    Otherwise, I believe we would be much better of believing in little green men from flying saucers.

  3. Robert Pogson

    oldman wrote, “Who cares 64 bit is the future. 32 bit is legacy.”

    That’s mostly true except in mobile gadgets where price/performance/weight/durability matter. The comment was made in reply to a point about scalability of TS, nothing more. 32bit TS does not scale very well and it is doubtful that M$ nor anyone else can get 300 users to be happy in 32bit TS whereas GNU/Linux could do so with plain old X and Linux with minor tweaks. The GNU/Linux terminal servers I set up at Easterville ran the 32bit version because of app-availability and we had no problems with 30-40 users on a dual-core server with 4gB RAM. We were not maxed out in RAM, CPU or I/O in a very inexpensive server.

  4. oldman

    “ewww! There are definite indications that 32bit in low RAM is far superior on GNU/Linux than that other OS.”

    Who cares 64 bit is the future. 32 bit is legacy.

  5. Robert Pogson

    That’s consistent with M$’s EULA… What’s that 10-15 machines networking limit about? Perhaps it “TS”. I have used “TS” a few times and it was a slow dog. I have used plain old X many times with XDMCP or SSH and it was snappy even under load.

    M$:
    “On a 32-bit system there is an effective limit of 300 user sessions for typical Knowledge Worker scenarios. (The actual user session limit is affected by the number of applications running in the session, resource consumption by each application, and user activity patterns.)”

    “The low overhead in terms of CPU consumption in the x64 architecture makes it possible for Terminal Services deployments to take advantage of the new generation of high performance 64-bit CPUs (specifically the multi-core configurations) to support a larger number of users on a single server. Synthetic benchmark results were able to support as many as 600 users on a single server. This is well beyond the 32-bit architectural limitations.”

    They claim to have simulated 620 users CPU-limited in 32gB of RAM, 50 MB/user. Why, then, does it take gigabytes to please a single user on a thick client running that other OS??? On the other hand, I have run 30 users quite nicely in 1.5gB 32bit single core on GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux scales better. Largo, FL, runs 400 actual, diverse, users on a single server using GNU/Linux.

    M$ hints at the strange scaling on 32bit systems:
    “The 32-bit system performs significantly better when it uses less than 8 GB of RAM for this Knowledge Worker-specific workload. In an 8 GB RAM configuration, the number of supported users increases by approximately 15% compared to a configuration with 32 GB RAM.”

    “The 32-bit operating system reserves a 2-GB virtual address space for the kernel data structures. This virtual address space is shared by all processes that are running on the system. When this space is exhausted, no new process (or any system object) can be created. This means that new users will no longer be able to log on to the system and that the currently logged-on users will be severely impacted in terms of performance.”

    ewww! There are definite indications that 32bit in low RAM is far superior on GNU/Linux than that other OS.

  6. Phenom

    Windows 2008 Terminal Server, max users before slow down ~10 users. Customer needs to allocate funds for 4-5 servers, etc.

    Sitation needed. Some benchmarks would do the job, too.

    My personal touch with Windows Terminal Server demonstrates quite different results, you know.

    You are free to believe what you want as long as it makes you happy. But please try not to enforce your dreams on others. That is rude and disrespectful. Unless you can bring proof.

  7. Robert Pogson

    Excellent comment! Thanks.

    dougman wrote, “Linux Terminal Server, max users run thus far ~50 users – NO SLOWDOWN. Customer needs to allocate funds for only a single server, but I recommended the purchase of a second redundant server for hardware fail over.”

    The only place I have seen a slowdown was when I woke up a whole lab full of PXE booting clients using wake-on-LAN and the booting took twice as long as individual clients because the NIC on the server was maxed-out at 100 mbits/s. Better hardware would take care of that problem. I usually see improved performance because of caching and better/more drives on servers. GNU/Linux terminal servers are a magical force-multiplier for IT guys.

  8. dougman

    I used that line just recently to explain why Windows cannot scale well, whereas Linux can.

    In comparison:

    Customer is a SMB with 50 users, with multiple offices spread around the country. They wanted to decrease their costs and migrate from personal work stations and laptops to thin clients. Fair enough in today’s economy, Linux saves you money.

    Their IT dude pushed for Windows, when I showed them the advantages of using Linux and who is actually using Linux, they were amazed and you could see the light going off in their head.

    The IT dude was turning green, either from being ill or envious. The owners asked the IT dude, “Hey dude, have you heard of this Linux before?”

    Windows 2008 Terminal Server, max users before slow down ~10 users. Customer needs to allocate funds for 4-5 servers, etc.

    The customer choked on prices.

    Linux Terminal Server, max users run thus far ~50 users – NO SLOWDOWN. Customer needs to allocate funds for only a single server, but I recommended the purchase of a second redundant server for hardware fail over.

    The customer smiled and gladly wrote a check.

    Hardware specs are the same, both systems had a full office suite and everyone used Chrome as a browser.

    Anyone that talks down Linux, has a hidden agenda or makes money from Microsoft and wants to continue riding the gravy train.

    D.

  9. Flying Toaster

    I love them because that’s all you’ve got. You don’t get to comment on the steady stream of Linux security blunders because there are none.

    Look – I could sit here all day and go through every Linux-related CVE from Mitre for you, but I have much better things to do than that.

    So now what I’ll leave with you instead this interesting news about an open-source rootkit for Linux. Enjoy!

  10. kozmcrae

    “You don’t like anecdotes?”

    I love them because that’s all you’ve got. You don’t get to comment on the steady stream of Linux security blunders because there are none. Just a little blip now and then. An anecdote.

    You are a joke FT because you embrace and defend a joke.

  11. Andrew

    Learning lots from all this. Phenom says Linux not part of LAMP stack. Thanks

  12. oiaohm

    Flying Toaster. Linux.com and Kernel.org are still cleaning up the mess.

    Full file by file audit with the data stored takes ages.

    Few things came out of this.
    1 shell accounts are evil.
    2 configuration management systems are sane.
    3 don’t presume client computers are not infected.
    4 password less encryption keys not a good idea on servers or clients.

    There are other important lessons. Even Microsoft.com has been breached at times.

    Really you need to double check stuff before you say stupid stuff Phenom
    http://www.mysql.com/customers/view/?id=961 Yep Ebay mysql user for sure.
    Google in the app engine is Mysql.
    Amazon cloud services also contains Mysql.

    Now if I look most likely find a little php in all of them.

  13. Phenom

    Somehow I doubt Amazon or Google or Ebay or any other .com runs it’s lifeblood off of Windows Server…Heck it was hard enough setting up and intranet http and ftp server on Windows 2000/IIS…the LAMP stack was SO MUCH easier….

    Gosh, do you really think any of these is running PHP, or MySQL? That would be much worse than having your expertise on web servers stuck perpetually in year 2000.

  14. Flying Toaster

    FT struggles to defend the Microsoft nightmare security paradigm with Linux security anecdotes.

    You don’t like anecdotes? Then why do you still read Pogson’s blog posts, then?

  15. oe

    Somehow I doubt Amazon or Google or Ebay or any other .com runs it’s lifeblood off of Windows Server…Heck it was hard enough setting up and intranet http and ftp server on Windows 2000/IIS…the LAMP stack was SO MUCH easier….

  16. kozmcrae

    FT struggles to defend the Microsoft nightmare security paradigm with Linux security anecdotes.

    FT, you suck at this. Why don’t you stay on here at Robert’s blog. You’re good for a laugh but not quite as hilarious as @ldman.

  17. Flying Toaster

    And windows 2k8 secretly identifies itself as GNU/Linux servers at NYSE, LSE, Nasdaq and major financial institutions.

    And the Linux Foundation.

    This just keeps getting better and better.

  18. Andrew

    And windows 2k8 secretly identifies itself as GNU/Linux servers at NYSE, LSE, Nasdaq and major financial institutions.

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