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I won't claim to be an expert (by any means) either, but I will add some
quantitative facts based on one of my Linux (1.1.59) servers.
This machine is a Pentium 120Mhz w/64 Meg RAM. On an average day it:
receives 150,000 HTTP/CGI hits
receives 3,500 e-mail messages
processes and sends 30-40,000 e-mail messages
retrieves 10,000 URLs
all of the database processing associated with the above
These are averages - peaks are significantly higher for everything except the
I don't _have_ another platform to compare it to, but I am quite happy with the
performance. One note -- a memory upgrade is coming soon -- when Linux starts
using VM, it slows _way_ down... We end up dipping into VM every 5-6 days,
notice the slowdown, and reboot.