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Web Performance Tuning by Patrick Killelea

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Servers

Here is a list of the major web servers with a little background on each and some details on the configuration of the Netscape servers. There is a chart comparing features of 125 web servers at http://webcompare.internet.com/chart.html, and there are some benchmark comparisons of web servers at http://www.spec.org. Site rankings are from http://www.netcraft.com/survey/ or http://www.webcrawler.com/WebCrawler/Facts/Servers.html, as of spring 1998. Remember that you can always figure out what server someone is using by telnetting to port 80 of the web server machine and typing in a GET / HTTP/1.0 request.

Apache, easily the most successful web server, is used in about half of the two million known web sites. Apache was derived from the NSCA server via many patches, therefore the name: “a patchy” web server. One of the best features of Apache is its price: it is freely available along with source code. Apache is a preforking server, but performance is very good. A threaded version is in the works for NT. Support, via Usenet newsgroups, is probably better than support for any commercial server.

Apache supports Java servlets and has real-time performance monitoring tools and an optional log format that tells you how long each transfer took. (See http://mod_log_config.html in the server documentation.) Try to ensure that the server has been compiled with the latest C compiler and libraries for your server platform, or compile the server yourself. ...

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