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From d...@hornig.net (Douglas E. Hornig)
Subject Solaris Sparc Performance Problem
Date Mon, 23 Apr 2001 13:17:36 GMT
I posed this problem to the good folks on the users list.  While they are a great bunch, and
several offered some suggestions, I was unable to get any help from them so I'm trying the
dev list now.

The problem in a nutshell is that requests I make to tomcat running on a Solaris Sparc from
a Windows client take at least 0.15 to 0.20 seconds.  If I run tomcat on a Linux PC, or use
a Linux PC as a client instead of Windows, the turnaround time is more like 0.01 seconds.

Here are the particulars:

* All machines are on the same 100Mbit ethernet.
* Tomcat is running standalone.
* I tried a couple of different Sparcs, a 420R and an Ultra 5, neither with any load.  No
difference.
* I wrote a simple Java program to use as the test client so there are no browsers involved.
* I tried various different Java VM releases on the Sparcs, 1.2.1 and 1.3.0 with no difference
seen.
* I tried a couple different PCs (NT4 and Win2000) and found the same results.
* Other programmers here reported slowness using VisualBasic as the client instead of Java
(that's how I got started investigating this).  Java Web Server 2.0 also appeared to have
the same problem as tomcat.  I have not personally been able to verify these assertions.
* The results seem very repeatable.
* I used a generic tomcat 3.2.1 for the server and hit the examples/servlet/HelloWorldExample
URL for these tests.

This is a very serious problem for us.  The above mentioned VB client that we're developing
can make dozens of calls to the server per screen, so those 0.2 second delays add up.  I like
Linux a lot myself but the bosses here feel more comfortable with more traditional business
models, and besides shouldn't Java run best on a Sparc with Solaris?  I am perplexed as to
what the problem is and would greatly appreciate any help or ideas I can get.

Thanks in advance,

Douglas Hornig
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, NH

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