9-Way H2'2021 Linux OS Performance Comparison On Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 14 October 2021. Page 1 of 7. 4 Comments

While we recently looked at autumn 2021 Linux distributions on Intel Tiger Lake for seeing how these various latest distributions are competing on client platforms, in today's article is a look at how well the latest Linux distributions perform when using the latest-generation Intel Xeon Scalable 3rd Gen "Ice Lake" server hardware with two Xeon Platinum 8380 processors. AlmaLinux, Arch Linux, CentOS Stream, Clear Linux, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu were battling it out on this Intel reference server.

The Linux distribution releases being compared for today's performance comparison included:

- AlmaLinux 8.4 for this increasingly popular alternative to CentOS 8 and those looking for a "free RHEL" alternative.

- Arch Linux using its latest October 2021 ISO image and all other rolling-release updates as of testing.

- CentOS Stream for looking at CentOS moving ahead.

- Clear Linux 35100 for Intel's own performance-optimized Linux distribution.

- Debian 11 as the newest Debian GNU/Linux offering.

- Fedora Server 35 Beta for a look at what's coming with that next Fedora release due out later this month.

- openSUSE Tumbleweed for the latest openSUSE rolling-release state.

- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for a look at the current Ubuntu Long-Term Support state on Ice Lake.

- Ubuntu 21.10 in its near-final form for seeing the direction of Ubuntu Linux right now and also not too far off from where it will be come Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

All the benchmarks were carried out on the same Intel reference server featuring dual Xeon Platinum 8380 processors, 16 x 32GB DDR4-3200 memory, and 7.8TB Intel SSDPF2KX076TZ NVMe solid-state drive.

Each Linux distribution was cleanly installed on this server and looking at the default/out-of-the-box performance across these various Linux distributions for seeing how these open-source offerings compare as we approach the end of 2021. Dozens of different benchmarks were conducted each time using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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