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re: nameserver performance problems?

  • From: Paul A Vixie
  • Date: Wed Feb 19 12:42:52 1997

This might actually be relevant to NANOG.  Wow.  Amazing.

>>                                         physical memory = 512.00 megabytes. 
>>                                        available memory = 497.74 megabytes. 
>>                                        using 1958 buffers containing 15.29 
>>                                         _megabytes of memory 
>>                                        AlphaStation 255/300 system 
>>                                        DECchip 21071  
> Hey, that's great.
> So are you seeing performance problems from all the bloat that they
> are allowing to creep into the tables?

None.  Difficult though this is to say after working for DEC during the
"dark times" of the MicroVAX II and DECstation 5000, and after being such
a strong BSD/OS booster in the years since then: the Alpha is amazing, and
Digital UNIX (used to be DEC OSF/1) is not nearly as horrible as Solaris
or HP-UX (or SunOS or Ultrix for that matter).

The above system runs like the wind.  512MB, 333MHz, 256bit memory bus, 4MB
cache, wide SCSI.  I wish I could get sources for Digital UNIX, but I can
use NetBSD (or Linux, I guess) in applications where that's absolutely
needed.  For the most part I've been able to compile any 4.4BSD-ish (or
POSIXish) application without any trouble, and Digital UNIX has a log
structured file system that's hugely faster than stock BSD UFS/FFS.  (My MH
inbox has 2000 messages in it and I can "rescan" in mh-e in 12 seconds.)

My internal net is about 50% Digital UNIX and 50% BSD/OS at this point.
(Whenever someone else is buying, I ask for an Alpha with Digital UNIX.)
If anyone on NANOG is evaluating architectures for high performance servers,
this is the one to check out.  (I have a hard time getting _anything_ to
compile on Solaris or HP-UX.)

Indeed, while I was at DEC (1988-1993), their hardware and software was just
horrid.  And now here I sit, typing this on a DEC HiNote II laptop running
BSD/OS, using a DEC Roamabout wireless ethernet, running X emacs to a DEC
Alpha that's my desktop workstation.  After I left they started doing things
right.  (I used to cry in my beer about this, but now I just drink the beer.)
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