With the release of Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 a few weeks back we decided to run some benchmarks of this operating system against PC-BSD 8.1, OpenSolaris b134, and Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS. For those unfamiliar with Nexenta Core Platform, it is an operating system that combines the OpenSolaris kernel with a GNU user-land provided by the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron" package repository, complete with apt-get support for easy package installation.
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 is based upon OpenSolaris Build 134 with Ubuntu 8.04 packages added in with X.Org Server 188.8.131.52, GCC 4.2.3, the 5.11 Nevada kernel, and a ZFS file-system by default. This is in comparison to our PC-BSD 8.1 (x86_64) installation that came with the KDE 4.4.5 desktop, X.Org Server 1.7.5, GCC 4.2.1, and we used a ZFS file-system from this FreeBSD 8.1-based operating system. Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS is the only Linux variant being tested in this BSD/OpenSolaris comparison and this Lucid Lynx update has the Linux 2.6.32 kernel (x86_64), GNOME 2.30.2, X.Org Server 1.7.6, GCC 4.4.3, and an EXT4 file-system.
The test system was a workstation with a single AMD Opteron 2384 quad-core "Shanghai" processor clocked at 2.70GHz, a Tyan S2927 motherboard, 4GB of ECC Registered DDR2 memory, a 64GB OCZ Agility EX SSD, and an ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card. Benchmarking across the Linux, PC-BSD, and OpenSolaris operating systems was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite.
When starting with the John The Ripper benchmark to measure the traditional DES encryption performance, both Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 and OpenSolaris b134 performed about the same but that is really no surprise considering their virtually identical kernel. PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.1 was 8% faster while Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS was 11% faster than OpenSolaris with this operation.
With the Himeno Poisson Pressure Solver, PC-BSD 8.1 fell behind Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 / OpenSolaris b134, while Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS was the fastest with a 19% lead over PC-BSD.
With LAME MP3 encoding, Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS was again the fastest while PC-BSD 8.1 pulled back into second place and then in last the Nexenta Core Platform / OpenSolaris performance was the same.