FreeBSD bind performance in FreeBSD 7

Peter Losher Peter_Losher at
Tue Mar 4 06:17:52 UTC 2008

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

> My beef with the DNS tests was that ISC ran out and bought
> the hardware FIRST, -then- they started testing.  This is
> directly contrary to every bit of advice ever given in
> the computer industry for the last 50 years - you select
> the software FIRST, -then- you buy the hardware that runs it.
> In short, it said far more about the incompetence of the
> testers than the shortcomings of the software.

This is ridiculous.  ISC is one of the most fervent pro-FreeBSD 
companies out there (basing most of our services on the OS, and 
contributing to the FreeBSD community including the busiest CVSup & FTP 
servers and have FreeBSD committers on staff)  I will not stand back and 
watch folks on a public mailing list call us incompetent individuals 
with a anti-FreeBSD bias.

First off the final report was published last Friday at:
(the server this is served from runs FreeBSD)

I was not one of the direct testers (we had a couple PhD's handling 
that, who I know both use FreeBSD on their personal systems), but as one 
of the folks who supported them in their work, I can tell you that the 
stats we gave the FreeBSD folks were from a test sponsored by the US 
National Science Foundation.  We were mandated to use branded HW and we 
tested several models from HP, Sun, even Iron Systems (whitebox) before 
deciding on the HP's.  The mechanism we used are all documented in the 
paper We were also asked to test DNS performance on several OS's.

The short version was 'take a standard commercial off the shelf' server 
and see how BIND performs (esp. with DNSSEC) on it.  We weren't asked to 
get hardware that was perfect for Brand X OS; that wasn't part of the remit.

(We actually use the exact same HP HW for a secondary service where we 
host a couple of thousand zones using BIND including 30+ TLD zones.  Oh 
and it runs FreeBSD)

Yes we found FreeBSD performed poorly in our initial tests. and I talked 
to several folks (including rwatson and kris) about the issue.  Kris had 
already been working on improving performance with MySQL and PgSQL and 
was interested in doing the same with BIND.  Kris went off and hacked 
away and right before EuroBSDcon last September asked us to re-run the 
tests (on the same HW) using a 7.0-CURRENT snapshot, and the end results 
are shown with a 33,000 query increase over 6.2-RELEASE, bring FreeBSD 
just behind the Linux distros we tested.  I know rwatson and kris have 
continually worked on the relevent network stack issues that cover BIND, 
and additional performance gains have been found since then, and working 
on this issue has been a true partnership between the FreeBSD developers 
and ISC.

BIND isn't perfect, we admit that, we have been constantly improving 
it's multi-CPU performance and BIND 9.4 and 9.5 are continuing in that 
effort.  We have several members of our dev team who use FreeBSD as 
their developent platform, including a FreeBSD committer.

So Ted, stop spouting this "ISC is spewing anti-FreeBSD bias" crap, it 
flatly isn't true...

Oh, and this email is coming to you via several of ISC FreeBSD MX 
servers which resolve the name via caching DNS servers 
running FreeBSD, to's MX server over a IPv6 tunnel supplied 
by ISC to the FreeBSD project to help FreeBSD eat their own IPv6 dog food...

Yeah, ISC just hates FreeBSD... <rolls eyes>

Best Wishes - Peter
Peter_Losher at | ISC | OpenPGP 0xE8048D08 | "The bits must flow"

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