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From Anthony Vito <>
Subject Re: Lucene Benchmark - Wintel faster than Unix (?)
Date Thu, 21 Apr 2005 16:42:07 GMT
<why respond>
_Not_ to start wars over pentium/vs/opteron/vs/sparc or
unix/vs/linux/vs/windows. I thought this was a very valid observation.
That confuses many a good man. Also, there are most likely many people
making hardware decisions for Lucene going into production ( I know I
made one ) The better the decisions are, the faster Lucene will run, and
be perceived as the high quality piece of software it is.
</why respond>

On Mon, 2005-04-04 at 07:09, Philipp Breuss wrote:
> Hello,
> we were doing Lucene Perfomance tests with the same index and the same
> amount of data on Sun Unix machines and Windows machines with following
> results:
> Index: 3.1 Mio documents
> Index in RAM
> Server 1:
> Sun V880, 4 CPUs, 8 GB RAM; OS: Unix
> Server 2:
> HP Proliant DL560 G1", 4 CPUs mit je 2,7 GHz, 1 GB RAM; OS Windows 2000
> Results: 
> Average search time Server 1: 5,5
> Average search time Server 2: 1,6s
> The windows machine (server 2) is about 5 times faster than the quite a bit
> more expensice unix machine (server 1). 
> Can anybody explain this?

Sure. There are many many factors at work here. 

1.) pure clock speed. Get the obvious out of the way first. 2.7Ghz
clocks are going to beat the crap out of SparcIII 925Mhz ( That's what's
in the V880 right? ) all day when running little Java programs.

2.) RAM IO subsystem. Those 2.7Ghz clocks are feed by a _much_ faster
bus (although a shared bus) Then the V880 has, and you're blowing the
8Mb cache's on the Sparcs.

3.) Getting more theoretical now... The Sparcs have 32 general purpose
registers. When running Java over a JIT on these chips you lose on the
initialization, and on the execution. It takes longer for the JIT to
paint the registers, and it doesn't do as good of a job because it
doesn't have the time. This has always been a problem with Java on
> Did anybody make similar experiences? 

Yes. I've developed and ran many Java programs on an 8 way V880 with
32gigs of main memory. You _only_ win if your programs and highly
concurrent, and you start to need better then 3+ gig heap sizes. I also
did not have access to a VM with a 64bit data model for the Sparc. I
suspect you don't either. Is this true?

> Which HW+OS confirgurations deliver the best perfomance?

To answer this from a theoretical standpoint, not having lots of
different machines to test.... We can think about what Java needs, and
specifically what Lucene needs. The fastest chips for _most_ Java
applications (especially concurrent ones) is the Opteron. Low latency IO
subsystem, point to point bus, hidden hardware optimized registers that
the JIT doesn't have to paint, MOESI cache coherency... yadda yadda.
Lucene specifically will benefit from a large cache, and a low latency
main memory setup, since it's datasets will almost always blow the cache
except in the tiniest applications. Granted, the difference between Xeon
setups probably isn't enough to warrant _new_ hardware purchases... but
it's something to think about next time when you're trying to get ever
last bit for your dollar.

On a side note against the above benchmark. You could probably turn the
tables very quickly if you timed several(hundreds of) concurrent
searches and started to load the machines down. This is what you pay for
when you buy a V880, a multi user system that can take one hell of
beating and remain stable, and responsive.


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