[nycbug-talk] Serving High Performance Web Sites --- UNIGROUP Meeting 22-MAY-2008 (Thu):
nycbug-list at 2xlp.com
Fri May 16 17:26:19 EDT 2008
On May 15, 2008, at 1:52 PM, forest mars wrote:
> Question for the list, who has made the jump from Apache to a
> faster web server?
I mostly dropped Apache about 4 years ago.
Most of my work since 2003 has been under mod_perl - which for the
unknowing, is a perl interpreter compiled into Apache with various
hooks to turn it into an Application Server.
It works *really* well, and is a pure joy to use -- but speed
improvements are gained with memory use. The 'default' recommended
setup is to run 2 versions of Apache -- one 'Vanilla' on port 80, and
another one (or more) with mod_perl compiled in on the 8*** ports.
While working on an earlier project I worked on ( RoadSound.com ) I
became an early adopter of lighttpd. It was f*ing amazing. Aside
from being tiny and more robust than the other micro-servers, it was
really portable. You could run one lighttpd, proxy that to multiple
ports on the same box with little overhead, and have tons of little
lightys running php apps or whatever in isolated dirs or even jails.
Unfortunately, lighty had a *really* bad memory leak on the proxy
module circa 2006. It didn't close connections or something stupid,
and your process would just grow and grow. Fixing it was de-
prioritized to develop new features and seemingly cater to youtube
and other high profile sites. I got frustrated and looked for new
I found nginx as a joke -- I looked to see what all the russian mp3
porn warez & hacker sites were using. i figured the russians are
resourceful, seem to breed BRILLIANT mathematicians and engineers,
write lean code, and tend to use older tech than us. I also figured
that a lot of those sites run on compromised boxes -- so a server
would have to be small. I rationalized that they might have some
super-fast server systems - and was right. I found nginx by checking
header info for all the 'grey' russian sites -- they all used it.
I wasn't ready to make the jump, but Bob ( Ippolito , Mochimedia )
was -- lighttpd had to be restarted every hour or so on their
cluster. He jumped and raved about it "it just fucking works like it
should!" or something like that. I switched onto it too , and have
been ecstatic ever since. it works like it should, and there just
aren't bugs all that often.
On one of my typical boxes, i have
static content + php fcgi
mod_perl apps ; usually 1-4 different 'master' apaches, and a
handful of children
for my concerns, speed/throughput isn't as important as memory.
nginx takes up no cpu/mem -- which means I can push that to mod_perl
or php. under apache, its something like 20 MB for the parent
process and ~ 10 for each child once they respawn ( they all start
out at 5MB, but seem to max at 20/10 after a few thousand requests )
-- which comes out to 80MB total. with nginx, i get another 70MB of
usable memory for apps. I like that.
in terms of throughput -- IIRC, there are some kernel limits to
FreeBSD in terms of connections, and you need to jump to linux in
order to really get a fast/high octane server.
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