Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0 Performing Well, Great Benefit To Newer Intel Xeon & AMD EPYC Servers

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 7 June 2022 at 09:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 17 Comments.

Last month RHEL 9.0 reached GA as the newest major update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Since then I've been trying out RHEL 9.0 on a few servers. To little surprise, especially for latest-generation Intel Xeon Scalable and AMD EPYC servers, RHEL 9.0 is offering significant uplift compared to the existing RHEL8 series. Here are some Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0 benchmarks comparing the performance to RHEL 8.6.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 GA was released three years ago. As a reminder, it makes use of a heavily patched Linux 4.18 kernel, GCC 8.5 as the default system compiler, and other conservative defaults for its time in being one of the leading enterprise Linux distributions. While there are Red Hat Application Streams and other ways of enjoying newer software components on RHEL8, when looking at the default package set it's certainly rather dated at this point -- especially when running on recent generations of Intel and AMD (and Arm) platforms.

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0 is now a Linux 5.14 based kernel, GCC 11.2.1 as the default system compiler, and a range of other updated packages not on RHEL8 unless being covered by an Application Stream or jumping through other hoops. In this article is a look at the Intel Xeon Scalable Ice Lake and AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan-X" server performance of the out-of-the-box Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.6 up against Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0.

Linux Servers RHEL 8.6 vs. RHEL 9.0

For this initial RHEL 9.0 benchmarking I used my current highest-end reference server platforms for testing: a dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 "Ice Lake" and AMD EPYC 7773X "Milan-X" 2P servers. Intel Optane DC P5800X 800GB NVMe storage was used for both servers and both the Intel/AMD servers were running with 16 x 32GB DDR4-3200 memory. The same hardware was obviously used between the RHEL 8.6 vs. 9.0 benchmarking while on the AMD side it is worth mentioning a new BIOS ended up being applied during the RHEL 9.0 benchmarking run to avoid TSC/watchdog messages on the newer kernel due to that prior pre-production BIOS.

On both servers RHEL 8.6 and RHEL 9.0 were cleanly installed and tested in their out-of-the-box / default configuration. Let's take an initial look at what the RHEL 9.0 default updates mean over RHEL 8.6 for Intel Ice Lake and AMD Milan-X performance.

Related Articles