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G-Wan Web Server

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This post on the performance of Node.js vs. G-Wan caught my attention:

What makes something "notable"?

These are some of the points:

  • Node.js is not as great in terms of performance as normally advertised
  • They claim that their web server needs 2,444x less servers than Node.js to run a merely "hello world"
  • Technology media dismisses G-WAN, in spite of all the technical superiority

But what really caught my attention the most was not the product, but the tone of this post. To me it seems to be aggressive, and actually I notice that most of the web site seems to have the same tone. Look at the section that mentions whether it's open source:

G-WAN is a freeware. It means that it is free for all (commercial users included). But some virulent (anonymous) users claim that this is not enough. They exige G-WAN's source code, and, "at no cost".

This kind of tone definitely does not attract a lot of the people, and can have quite the opposite effect, as it comes across as too radical. Of course if they do have a compelling business proposal through their software, they can be somewhat successful at least, but having a more neutral stand could be more fruitful and appeal to a larger audience.

One other interesting thing is their results when running benchmarks on Windows:

Linux was found to be much faster. After years of development this gap is surely larger now because Unix leaves more room for developers to innovate.
IIS 7.0/Windows is by far slower than all – despite being part of the kernel. G-WAN/Windows does better than Apache/Linux and GlassFish/Linux despite the Windows user-mode overhead which is 6x higher than on Linux. But G-WAN/Linux crunches G-WAN/Windows. Yes, Windows is that lame.

No wonder why they discontinued the Windows version back in 2009. I wonder how much it is due to the system and how much because they didn't tune the OS for better performance - or even if they used Windows Server or Windows Client.

And even when it compares to Tomcat, it seems that this G-Wan web server kicks ass:

G-WAN runs an "hello world" with 10x less CPU and 24x less RAM handling 11x more requests in 13x less time than Apache Tomcat… on a 6-Core. Many other languages (PHP, C#, JS...) benefit even more.

Update 11/12/2012: Differently than mentioned above, it doesn't seem that the issue was with OS tuning, but with the OS internals. Please see comment on this post by Timothy Bolton.

Timothy Bolton said...

Just a heads up, the developer of G-WAN was a Windows programmer for about 20 years (at least). I'm not sure if the reasons are detailed on the site or the now defunct forum, but it was something to do with the internal timing on Windows mucking everything up.

So, it isn't as much with tuning it to the OS, as much as it is the OS allowing you to tune it appropriately. G-WAN will adapt to the environment that best suits it. Hopefully that will be embedded devices too (:

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