(mySQL) benchmarks strike back

Andrew L. Gould algould at datawok.com
Fri Feb 11 18:21:39 GMT 2005

On Friday 11 February 2005 10:46 am, Jorge Mario G. wrote:
> Hi there
> I just read
> http://software.newsforge.com/software/04/12/27/1243207.shtml?tid=72&
>tid=29%20result and as in any onther benchmark there is a lot stuff
> that
> can be arguable. I would like to know why is that
> happening?
> the problem is that "we" are pushing
> FreeBSD/postgreSQL as a database solution, and I am
> the guy to blame to, because I  was the one who did
> advocacy for FreeBSD, so I'm sure my boss is going to
> ask me.  And you told us to use FreeBSD instead of
> Linux?
> and I do not want to answer him "beastie is way more
> cool"
> I'm doing my own research but some help from here
> would be nice!!!
> Jorge Mario Mazo

Interesting article; but how does it relate to the real world.  I'm not 
saying that the benchmarks aren't valid.  Perhaps Linux has gained 
advantages in performance over FreeBSD -- I don't know, I'm not 
qualified to say.  Regardless, benchmark test results should not be the 
only criteria for selecting an operating system.  Be wary of anyone who 
tells you otherwise.

1. YMMV (Your mileage may vary.)  I've seen benchmarks that favor Linux 
before; but when I've tested Linux using complex queries with large 
databases, the system slowed much more noticeably than with FreeBSD.  
This is based upon my perceptions rather than benchmarks; but it 
reflects the system's effect upon my productivity, which is very real.  
Linux may have improved since then; but it demonstrates that benchmark 
tests do not always reflect what happens outside of the laboratory.  
You should run comparisons using activities that reflect your computing 

2.  Security -- See the link below.  (beware of wordwrap)

3.  Usability -- FreeBSD differs from Linux in many ways.  For me, the 
file system hierarchy and the way the operating system works makes more 
sense to me.  FreeBSD was easier for me to learn and to use.

4.  The Linux distro used was Gentoo, which promotes system 
optimizations.  For example: Whereas most distributions install a 
generic kernel, the Gentoo installation defaults to compiling a new 
kernel that is customized to the hardware.  Did the testers perform 
similar steps with other operating systems?  Also, opinions as to 
whether Gentoo is suitable for a production server are polarized.  
Linux gamers tend to say "yes".  More conservative users often say, 
"no".  Running the benchmarks using SUSE Professional, Slackware or 
Debian (or others) would have provided more comfort to business users.

5. Is MySQL different from PostgreSQL in ways that should affect the 
relevance of the benchmark tests to your situation?  (See item #1.)

Best of luck,

Andrew Gould

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