I am deciding whether to switch my vanilla server over to a Bukkit server. I did upgrade to the development build of Java 7 which did give me a slight performance boost. Just wondering if anyone has seen noticeable performance or stability difference between the two.
The core CraftBukkit server (Bukkit's implementation) itself is equivalent from my experience.
But since anyone that can copy/paste Java can create a plugin, it really depends on which plugins you use. It pays to do your research here and understand the impact of each plugin you decide to install.
You can sort of rely on the most popular plugins (plugins with threads that have a lot of comments compared to others) to be fairly reliable. If you start delving into lesser used plugins, spend the time to read the entire thread and understand exacly what the developer is trying to accomplish. If you have any coding experience at all, look through the source code to get an idea of what it exactly does.
What I would say in summary is that a significant portion of most servers (small, medium, and large) run CraftBukkit successfully. There are problems for sure, but there are problems with Vanilla also. Nothing's perfect.
The Bukkit server works really well, the Performance of the bukkit server is very good. But it really depends on the mods you might install via the bukkit server.
We have not seen any noticeable performance issues, and it is very stable! The mods might be unstable.
We run on Ubuntu with minecraft on Ramdisk!