Apache httpd 2.2.1 finally on the way?

by Mads
March 30, 2006 at 18:13 | categories: httpd

Now that apr 1.2.6 has been announced, Paul Querna has said that he plans on tagging 2.2.1 from the 2.2.x branch on Friday. With a little luck, we could have 2.2.1 by early next week.
There is still a few patches to vote on and backport before then.

T2000 Benchmarking

by Mads
March 24, 2006 at 11:16 | categories: hardware, httpd, solaris, sun

I said that I was going to take httpd for a spin and see how much it could do on a T2000, but Colm MacCarthaigh beat me to it with some impressive numbers.
Later discussion on irc show that the numbers could probably be even better! than what Colm found in his testing - having turning keepalives on makes a whole lot of difference.
So the testing opportunities aren't quite over for me yet. I want to hit the machine on a consistent high load and then start tweaking little bits and pieces to see what happens to resource usage. There's also the beta of Solaris 10 Update 2 which I've been wanting to test anyway.
Many of the ideas I have for tweaking solaris itself came from a tutorial by James Mauro and Richard McDougall at last years LISA where they spoke about "Solaris 10 Performance, Observability, and Debugging". I haven't seen the slides from that talk anywhere but on the conference cd, but solarisinternals.com has a similar set of slides with a few extras. If you ever get a chance to attend a similar tutorial, I highly recommend doing so as I thought it was well worth the whole trip to LISA.

I've written earlier about ideas for using a t2000 at the ASF. Lately we've seen some very heavy hitting of mail-archives.apache.org which has very many gigs of mails spread over quite a few files. A T2000 alone wouldn't do it, but a T2000 on top of a large number of disks (not so much for spaces as for spindles) might very well do the trick. That's another thing that I'm hoping to get a clearer picture of with the T2000 that arrived at work yesterday (worst timing ever as I've got a couple of weeks off) because we plan to hook it up to a spare Hitachi if we can find a couple of extra HBAs.

Unfortunately I'm also hit by the "So many shiny toys, so little time" problem.

Update: Anandtech gets some different numbers from their type of testing. Their numbers doesn't seem quite as favorable as Colms, but they're running a different type of workload.

More SunFire T2000

by Mads
March 20, 2006 at 21:53 | categories: hardware, httpd, solaris

Another ASF committer Dan Diephouse has been running tests on a T2000 with 4x 1 Ghz cores. He has some interesting webservices related benchmarks showing good performance and concludes that "it gets more than 5 times the througput of my Intel 2GHz Dell".
It would be interesting to see what he could get out of it with enough clients and a decent network. Another thing I'd like to see is some graphs for resource usage while running these tests.

Sun sent mail last week to confirm that they'd shipped a T2000 to us. This 60 day trial isn't part of any official project, so it will just be a colleague and me running it through whatever tests we can dream up.
We haven't talked too much about what to test on it other than hooking it up to a couple of T Hitachi storage that a kind customer let us to borrow (thanks!). It will be fun to see what filebench can pull out of a dedicated Hitachi. Maybe not worth much in the greater picture, since this is an older model of Hitachi, but hopefully it will allow me to find some good measuring points with dtrace to deploy in production and use as an early warning system and a debugging aid when running into san performance problems. Another thing will be rolling a couple of customer systems onto the box to see how they behave on it and try to see if it can keep up with a v490.
Last but not least, I hope to take it for a test run of httpd with the event and worker mpms. Solaris is well known to benefit greatly from the worker mpm because of its great threading implementation, so it will be very interesting to see just how far I can take it.
Another couple of interesting things to test will be the in-kernel ssl proxy and the crypto accelerator that the t2000 has built in. Not that I expect to be able to scrape together enough gear to give it any real challenge, but there's the whole Apache httpd integration to take a closer look at. I wonder if either of the two are any good with client certificates and making the cert contents known to the backend.
With a little luck I'll be able to run most of the tests on the beta of Solaris 10 update 2.
Unfortunately I probably can't publish any figures with this being $work related :(

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