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Windows is often the whipping boy when it comes to server platforms. But many in the industry now admit that Windows Server 2003 offers some significant breakthroughs over earlier versions of Microsoft's server software -- a change that could help Microsoft compete more effectively against Unix and Linux servers. Windows Server 2003 is engineered with components that are based on new design practices, like the company's new Internet Information Server 6.0 -- Windows Server 2003's Web server software -- which was rewritten from the ground up to offer better security.
Your article raises good points, but here's a little story for you...
I have some Access database driven sites on a server running Windows Server 2003. These sites are now falling over regularly because (so the server techies have told me) the existing Access drivers cannot cope with the speed at which the requests are being generated.
Windows Server 2003 does offer marked improvements, agreed, but if certain other Microsoft produced items cannot cope with it, does it really help the end users all that much?
We did some performance testing of Oracle and a Java server application running on Red Hat Linux 9.0 and Win Server 2003 on identical hardware via dual-boot. We found that for most things, performance was comparable. However, in certain cases where it seemed the database and SCSI sub-system were being worked hard, Linux performed up to 5x faster! This was a dramatic and completely unexpected finding. Not surprisingly, we went on to choose Linux as our database and Java middleware platform.
We would suggest that anyone thinking of running an Oracle database server +/- a middleware server perform the same testing to find out for themselves if Linux or Win2003 gives better performance on identical hardware.
Some mistake in testing, with 5x advantage it should be leading all tpmc ratings by now (www.tpc.org). Hardly any presence in the benchmarks as of now.
We had reverse experience during one of our Websphere setup.