[nycbug-talk] who has made the jump from Apache to a faster web server?

N.J. Thomas njt at ayvali.org
Thu May 15 14:45:47 EDT 2008

* forest mars <compustretch at gmail.com> [2008-05-15 13:52:36-0400]:
> Question for the list, who has made the jump from Apache to a faster web
> server?

At one shop I was at, they were serving banner ads to various sites. The
ads themselves were typically jpg/gif/png images on the order of about
10kb. We were using Apache 1 at the time to serve these and had no

Then one day someone uploads a 100kb ad. The filters they had in place
at the time checked to see if the banner size was correct and the file
was not corrupted, but didn't flag the size.

The size alone wouldn't have been a problem, except that the ad began
running on a VERY high traffic site. So we went from x connections per
second to about 10x connections per second, serving a file that was 10
times larger than normal.

Apache ground to a crawl shortly thereafter. Luckily, it was running on
a FreeBSD server, so nothing stopped, it was just very slow.

After we analyzed the problem, we used lighttpd to serve up the banner
ads. The load (with logging turned off) went down to almost nothing, and
we didn't have to change anything else.

I'm told that the traffic has increased significantly since them, but
they haven't touched the lighttpd setup -- it's doing just fine.

NB: I was told by someone that it was possible to strip down Apache to
the point where it was as fast and lean as lighttpd, but I've never
tried it.


N.J. Thomas
njt at ayvali.org
Etiamsi occiderit me, in ipso sperabo

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