Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Oracle on Windows vs. Oracle on Linux

There has been much discussion as to whether Oracle on Windows or Oracle on Linux is a better platform. My opinion has always been that if you are choosing between the two, the platform that better fits into your environment is the better choice. If you are a windows shop and have extensive expertise on Windows and no Linux experience it doesn't make much sense to put a foreign Operating System into your data center. On the other hand, if you are a Unix only shop, and have no in-house Windows expertise, Linux might be a better choice.

In addition, I feel that the way Oracle had developed the Oracle Database Server for Windows using the threading model would turn into an asset once 64-bit Windows is adopted. Remember that 32-bit Oracle on Windows suffers from virtual memory issues that are solved with 64-bit Windows. Thus the liability of using the thread model has turned into an asset (see previous blog).

In order to dispel any rumors or conjecture on whether Windows or Linux works better on the same hardware we recently ran a comparison. This comparison was done using the SwingBench tool. The result of this comparison is provided in a white paper which we have just published on our website. In order to get to this whitepaper follow this link.

Choosing the best OS for your environment involves more than just the performance of the database server. The Oracle Database Server on Windows provides compatibility with Active Directory and your entire integrated environment.

By having a quick read on the benchmark doc given, it sounds like Windows outperforms Linux for Oracle RAC. Huh! A friend of mine had an non-published benchmark, which showed Oracle on Redhat Enterprise is more than 60% better in overall performance than on Windows 2003...
OCFS, ahhh, I feel your pain:
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2 Quick Notes:

PowerPath may still have been a factor if it was installed at all.

They didn't specify what, if anything was done for OS tuning.

Though they state that PowerPath was not configured on the linux side, it still may have caused IO slowdowns if it was installed. I've seen, and verified through testing, that PowerPath can slow down all IO on a system, not just what it's configured to manage. On otherwise identical hardware/OS/software, PowerPath chokes the IO to about 60% of that of the clean system.

OS Tuning:
After reading it, it sounds like their RAC test may have had drastically different results simply by adjusting the "swappiness" of the Linux boxes. This file, located at /proc/sys/vm/swappiness, determines how aggressively the system uses it's swap space.
Not being a windows admin, I'm unsure what is done to adjust how windows uses it's page file. However, since they did explicitly set the size and location of the page file, it doesn't seem that they used purely stock settings on windows.
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