Friday, June 03, 2005

Apple has crummy server performance?

AnandTech: No more mysteries: Apple's G5 versus x86, Mac OS X versus Linux

A very technical analysis finds the G5 to be a reasonable workstation choice, but OS X fares poorly as a server solution.
The server performance of the Apple platform is, however, catastrophic. When we asked Apple for a reaction, they told us that some database vendors, Sybase and Oracle, have found a way around the threading problems. We'll try Sybase later, but frankly, we are very sceptical. The whole 'multi-threaded Mach microkernel trapped inside a monolithic FreeBSD cocoon with several threading wrappers and coarse-grained threading access to the kernel', with a 'backwards compatibility' millstone around its neck sounds like a bad fusion recipe for performance.

Workstation apps will hardly mind, but the performance of server applications depends greatly on the threading, signalling and locking engine. I am no operating system expert, but with the data that we have today, I think that a PowerPC optimised Linux such as Yellow Dog is a better idea for the Xserve than Mac OS X server.
I think they used 10.3 for testing. I wonder how the server results would look with 10.4? Apple made major challenges to the threading model.

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