On the Interaction Between an Operating System and Web Server
Yates, David J.
Almeida, Jussara M.
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CitationYates, David J.; Almeida, Virgilio; Almeida, Jussara M.. "On the Interaction Between an Operating System and Web Server", Technical Report BUCS-1997-012, Computer Science Department, Boston University, July 16, 1997. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/1613]
This paper examines how and why web server performance changes as the workload at the server varies. We measure the performance of a PC acting as a standalone web server, running Apache on top of Linux. We use two important tools to understand what aspects of software architecture and implementation determine performance at the server. The first is a tool that we developed, called WebMonitor, which measures activity and resource consumption, both in the operating system and in the web server. The second is the kernel profiling facility distributed as part of Linux. We vary the workload at the server along two important dimensions: the number of clients concurrently accessing the server, and the size of the documents stored on the server. Our results quantify and show how more clients and larger files stress the web server and operating system in different and surprising ways. Our results also show the importance of fixed costs (i.e., opening and closing TCP connections, and updating the server log) in determining web server performance.