Scaling down from MS to open source

We just moved a service that was running on the Microsoft stack (Windows Server 2008, .NET, MSSql Server, IIS) to an open source stack (Ubuntu Server, php, Codeigniter framework, apache2, postgres).

We now run the service on a cloud server with dual cpu and 256MB ram (Yes, that’s megabytes).

The old server ran on dual core with 2GB of ram.

Mysql on 32bit processor vs 64bit processor

Here is the continuation of the experiment done previously on Mysql on Windows vs Linux. After doing more analysis and observation, it appeared that the difference in speed for the benchmark tests were not related to Windows and Linux but were related to the processor. The previous test just happened to have AMD 64s on the Linux machines and Intel Xeon 32bits on Windows. We hypothesized that the increased throughput of the 64bit processors resulted in about half the time required to return the same query run on a 32bit machine.

View the previous results

So we decided to test the same query again on a Windows machine with an AMD 64 X2. This time the result for the query took 7.35 second, almost the same as the other AMD 64s running Linux.

One more test to run the query on a Windows Intel 64bit chip machine would better solidify our hypothesis.

Mysql on Windows vs Linux

I was working on optimizing a Mysql database today and accidentally stumbled upon a benchmarking exercise. The original Mysql database is hosted on a Windows Server 2003. I develop on a Mysql database server running on Ubuntu Linux. The Linux server ran the same query twice as fast as the Windows server without using caching or anything. I know that Linux does I/O caching on its own as well so I even tried running the query after a fresh reboot to rule out that factor. Then I got help from a colleague and started tweaking with the my.cnf/my.ini to make sure they were the same and each time, the results came back about the same. Mysql on Windows was consistently slower than Mysql on Linux.

Then we decided to load the database onto other servers for more data points on this Mysql performance test. We ran the same query returning 429 rows of data with 13 table joins and a couple of sub-queries. All queries were run on the command line client on the servers themselves to avoid network lag.  All servers are running Mysql 5.0.x.

Results

1. Ubuntu Linux: 0.70 seconds
2. CentOS: 0.78 seconds
3. Windows 2003 Server: 1.40 seconds
4. Windows 2003 Server: 1.42 seconds

Server hardware

1. Ubuntu Linux
AMD ATHLON 64 X2 4200+
2GB DDR400
200GB 7200RPM SATA/150

2. CentOS
Dual Opteron 240
2GB DDR ECC
120GB 7200RPM SATA/300

3. Windows 2003 Server
Dual Xeon
2GB DDR ECC
7200RPM PATA

4. Windows 2003 Server
2 Dual Xeon (4 CPUs)
8GB DDR ECC
3 73GB 10,000RPM SCSI in RAID 5

A followup to the benchmark that clarifies the cause of the differences