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Does anyone have any experience with both?
Being a moderator has it's privileges and I'm going to lay the ground rules for this one. Let's limit the discussion to only reliable specs, not heresay. And don't start bashing either of the two platforms.
I run on a Windows Server with mySQL as well, and the underlying guts of the server are what matter for speed. CPU cycles, RAM, Cache and services.
After comparing apples to apples that way, the queries themselves matter and memory leak issues.
Beyond that, I don't think it makes a hill of beans difference. If you are comparing time, also include the time saved by having a graphical windows interface for doing some of the other tasks.
What I mean -- if you are comfortable with Windows or Linux - stay with it. Don't switch from one to another just become someone tells you the one you're not using is faster/better.
In the long run, knowing how to manage one system extremely well is better than only knowing a little bit about all of them.
Specifically, if you know windows really well, keep running MySql on Windows. If you know Linux well, stay with that.
If you have performance problems then learn how to tweak all the settings on the platform and operating system you are using.
Then, if you need more speed - as much as this sounds simplistic, just throw more hardware at it.
It is a lot easier (and in the long run cheaper) to just throw more ram in the server, use a faster hard disk/controller, and use a faster CPU than to switch architectures.
Although not as elegant, because servers are cheap and every few months are getting faster and cheaper, the overall cost to throw more hardware at a decent performing system to make it faster is the simplest approach.
You do need to have your system reasonably under control. A badly configured system will not improve if you throw more at it - but otherwise this is actually a pragmatic approach that works for the vast majority of sites/servers that don't need to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of the existing setup.
I'll give a little more background. Last month I bought a new Dell 1800 with dual 3.0 ghz Xeons, fast SCSII's and a truckload of RAM. I've seen numerous reviews tauting how great this setup was for running MySQL. Then again, all the reviews talked about this hardware running Redhat, so I'm wondering if that should tell me something.
The server generates pages for a web directory which gets about a million pageviews per day (Each pageview is about 7 separate queries). I've nearly cut the processing time in half with this new server, but I'm wondering if it could do better.
Thanks for your input, whichever side of the fence you are on!
Anyways, you have three elements, hardware, os, and sql code.
I would suggest that you ensure that the sql code is optimal for your usage. That way it is optimal independent of hardware or os no matter what decision you may make in the end.
BTW, have a look at the raid config. Raid 10 everything and use a raid controller that has battery backed cache. I don't think the PERC2/3 series had battery backups. Not having it means that log commits are slowed down.