Open-Source Web Servers: Performance on a Carrier-Class Linux Platform
ARIES started as a proof-of-concept project to study if we could build an internet server that has near telecom-grade characteristics using Linux and open-source software as the base technology. We have experimented with the various Linux distributions, web and streaming servers, traffic distribution and load-balancing schemes, distributed and journaling filesystems suitable for HA Linux clusters and redundancy solutions (NFS, Ethernet, Software RAID).
For the future, the work in ARIES will be directed toward augmenting the clustering capabilities of Linux to enable the system to accommodate more types of mobile internet services in addition to the already deployed web server applications looked at thus far. The focus will be to enable the system to reach the optimal utilization of the cluster's resources and to enhance the security aspects required within a mobile internet server. In addition, the project will augment the capabilities of the existing systems by supporting IPv6 technology.
We are keeping all three web servers on our experimental Linux cluster platform. The tested web servers did not scale linearly as we added more CPUs. However, they demonstrated very good performance and near-linear scalability (testing was limited to 12 CPUs). We are currently deploying the latest versions of Apache (2.0.15a), Jigsaw (2.2.0) and Tomcat (3.2).
Based on our tests, we believe that Apache has shown to be considerably faster and more stable than other web servers. We are looking forward to testing and experimenting with the 2.0 release version, which promises a clean code, a well-structured I/O layering and a much-enhanced scalability.
The author would like to acknowledge the Open Architecture Research Department at Ericsson Research for approving the publication of this article, as well as Marc Chatel and Evangeline Paquin, Ericsson Research Canada, for their help and contributions to the benchmarking activities.
Ibrahim F. Haddad (firstname.lastname@example.org) works for Ericsson Research, the Open Architecture Lab in Montréal, researching carrier-class server nodes in real-time all IP networks. He is currently a DSc candidate in Computer Science at Concordia University.