Windows Server 2019 vs. Linux vs. FreeBSD Performance On A 2P EPYC Server

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 24 December 2018. Page 1 of 7. 15 Comments

When Microsoft rolled out their Windows 10 October 2018 Update they also released Windows Server 2019. Now over the slower holiday period I am finally getting caught up in benchmarking Windows Server 2019. For this initial benchmark comparison is a look at the Microsoft Windows Server 2019 performance against a handful of Linux distributions as well as FreeBSD 12.0 for seeing how this latest Windows Server performance compares on a dual AMD EPYC 7601 server.

This initial benchmarking was done on the Dell PowerEdge R7425 server, which features two EPYC 7601 processors for a combined 64 cores / 128 threads while the server was equipped with 512GB DDR4-2666 memory and each OS was installed to the SSDSCKJB120G7R Intel M.2 SSD (the twenty Samsung 860 EVO SSDs weren't part of this round of OS benchmarking). For those interested in the Intel Core/Xeon performance with Windows Server 2019 against Linux, those results will be coming in the days ahead -- this level of testing is quite time consuming.

For today's tests there is unfortunately no Windows Server 2016 reference point as the Windows Server 2016 install was hanging or indefinitely stuck at the Windows Server installer's loading screen on this particular platform. With the planned Intel tests, at least there I have vetted Windows Server 2016 previously on that same server so will be able to do a 2016 vs. 2019 benchmark comparison there.

One of the new features with Windows Server 2019 is now having the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) similar to Windows 10. I did run some Windows Server 2019 WSL benchmarks for seeing how its performance is as well while using the Ubuntu 18.04 WSL image. From this Dell PowerEdge 2P EPYC server, the following operating systems were each installed and tested in their out-of-the-box configuration and all available stable release updates:

- Windows Server 2019 with all available updates as of testing and of course the NTFS file-system.

- Windows Server 2019 when running under the Ubuntu 18.04 WSL.

- CentOS 7.6 as the latest EL7 state with its Linux 3.10 kernel, XFS file-system, GCC 4.8.5 compiler.

- Clear Linux 26830 as Intel's performance-optimized Linux distribution that is presently using Linux 4.19, EXT4, and GCC 8.2.1.

- Fedora Server 29 with Linux 4.19.9, XFS, and GCC 8.2.1.

- FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE with using the GCC 7.3.0 compiler to be similar to the other operating systems tested rather than Clang 6.0 and the ZFS file-system.

- OpenSUSE Tumbleweed was tested rather than OpenSUSE Leap 15, even though that is aligned to SUSE Linux Enterprise. OpenSUSE Leap 15 was hanging while searching for storage devices on the system during the installation process. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed worked fine on this system and was powered by the Linux 4.19 kernel, Btrfs+XFS file-system configuration, and GCC 8.2.1.

- Ubuntu 18.10 as the latest Ubuntu release with the Linux 4.18 kernel, EXT4 file-system, and GCC 8.2.0 compiler.

On each of the operating systems tested, a wide variety of benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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