I design web-based database systems for a living.
One of my clients uses 2 IBM Netfinity monsters each running 2 CPU’s and a truckload of RAM and RAID Array disk systems. They’re mission critical to the company and they are online on the web 24 x 7.
Both machines were purchased in September of 2000 and they use Windows 2000 Advanced Server. They don’t have to do anything other than run SQL Server thru the webserver interfaces. They talk to each other via ethernet but other than that, every possible measure has been taken to make them invisible to hackers etc.
Is Win2K stable? Both machines have been running now, WITHOUT one single reboot since January of 2001. In that time, they’ve serviced 347 GIGABYTES of user requested data via the web. They both hover around 5 - 10% CPU. I check them daily.
I can’t get over how rock solid those two machines are - in the context of their designated roles.
I’m sure, however, if I was to try using those machines to run a fiersome audio program like Pro Tools for example with incredibly complex audio interfaces etc etc, then I could get 'em to hang probably.
But in the context of being world class database webservers, they’re awesome. 13 months without a reboot - 24 x 7 x 365. That’s pretty impressive.
I’ve spent quite some time learning about all the subtle tricks you can use to “fine tune” Windows 2000. I’m assuming those tricks would extend to Windows XP too.
One thing I’ve learnt is this - if your computer is tuned to provide a service which you aren’t using - then disable it. Also, avoid loading “resident background” programs like AOL Instant Messenger as an example. They all chew up 3-5% CPU even if you’re not using them. It all adds up and makes your CPU run far more inefficiently.