Indians on a short leash

While putting our content on the cluster we discovered a metaphysical cottonball about apaches keepalive setting.

……..First, disable keep-alive. This is the nastiest thing against performance. It was designed at a time sites were running NCSA httpd forked off inetd at every request. All those forks were killing the servers, and keep-alive was a neat solution against this. Right now, things have changed. The servers do not fork at each connection and the cost of each new connection is minimal. Application servers run a limited number of threads or processes, often because of either memory constraints, file descriptor limits or locking overhead. Having a user monopolize a thread for seconds or even minutes doing nothing is pure waste. The server will not use all of its CPU power, will consume insane amounts of memory and users will wait for a connection to be free. If the keep-alive time is too short to maintain the session between two clicks, it is useless. If it is long enough, then it means that the servers will need roughly one process per simultaneous user, not counting the fact that most browsers commonly establish 4 simultaneous sessions ! Simply speaking, a site running keep-alive with an Apache-like server has no chance of ever serving more than a few hundreds users at a time. ……………….

We took that setting out on the WISE Servers and it did seem to make an improvement. …Seem… We are looking to get a stress test against the clustered site, so we can objectively tell any improvements or drawbacks from tunning and configuration trials.

I found some tools, that are to be checked on usablility for our setup.

more to come.

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