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Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition by Patrick Killelea

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Configuring Apache and Netscape Web Servers

Server vendors try to tune their servers as best they can for general use before they send them out to you. They certainly want you to get high performance. The reason you might change things is that you know more about your particular needs than they do.

First, here are some general tips that can apply to whatever server you use:

Short pathnames

The less you log, the faster it will go. Shorter pathnames for content are written faster, use less disk space, and provide faster lookup. If you want to see an excellent example, check out Yahoo!’s pathnames. Directories and files are often only a single letter long.

No time conversions

Another trick is to not do any time conversions during the logging step. The Java Web Server, may it rest in peace, used to convert from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to local time on every hit by default, unless you specifically told it not to.

Buffered log files

Most log files for web servers and middleware and other kinds of servers are now buffered, meaning that they are held in memory until a sufficient number accumulate to warrant writing them all out to disk, or until a timer expires. Turn on log file buffering. This provides a substantial performance benefit at the expense of a little memory.

Configuring Apache

Apache, by far the most successful web server, is used on more than half of all web sites. It can be freely downloaded from http://httpd.apache.org/. Apache was derived from the old NSCA server ...

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