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From "Geoff Millikan" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Apache 2.2 optimization -> Three tips
Date Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:45:20 GMT
> Fair enough, but if your testing was of ~30 requests, and we 
> are believing that
> the typical browser is making 6 simultaneous connections, 
> then it sounds like
> the real magic was 6 * fudge factor of 5 ;-P

LOL, yes, I totally agree and I kept thinking that no optimization guide has
MinSpareServers and StartServers in the 20ies, 30ies or 40ies so I kept
telling myself that there's no way that the "waiting" issues we saw could be
solved by increasing the Servers.  However, we eliminated everything else:
we're on 100Mbit Internet connection in 1 Wilshire, Los Angeles which is one
of the more interconnected buildings in the USA, network optimized (all
hardware Cisco GigE rated), server NIC cards all GigE rated and tuned, file
system optimized (see noatime) and disk buffers optimized on RAID 10, extra
RAM to spare, DNS resolution times tested, etc, etc, etc.  We were going
crazy. We started looking into serving content with Lighttpd or Nginx to try
and get around the issue but didn't want to configure/maintain more web
servers so went back to the drawing board with Apache.

Increasing MinSpareServers and StartServers beyond "normal" is what solved
the issue for us.  

Although it doesn't make sense it seems 5 or 10 or more servers cannot
*simultaneously* both read 35 files off the server and serve them.  Now if
the Client is on dial-up, or mediocre DSL then the extra 500ms to 800ms of
wait time probably wouldn't even be noticed as the last few images streaming
in and the page finishes rendering.  But our office is on a 20 Mbps Verizon
fiber link, and many of our customers are on fast pipes.  So we really do
notice the difference between a web page that "snaps up to attention" and
one that renders 90% with the last few pieces shuffling around.


"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the
government and I'm here to help." - Ronald Reagan, August 21, 1986

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