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From the Frontiers of Research to the Heart of the Enterprise
O'Reilly Open Source Convention
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
July 22-26, 2002 -- San Diego, CA


Apache

Session

Performance Optimization in Apache 2.0 Development
Brian Pane, CNET Networks

Track: Apache Web Server
Date: Wednesday, July 24
Time: 10:45am - 11:30am
Location: Sea Breeze I

During the creation of the Apache 2.0 HTTP server, the development team has applied a number of techniques to improve the performance and scalability of the httpd. This talk describes the design details of these optimizations, plus the lessons learned about performance tuning in open source projects.

  • Optimization strategy:

    • Know what you want to optimize: picking the right metrics to assess performance
    • Understand the boundaries within which you can optimize: how we managed the tradeoffs among speed, code readability, and backward compatibility
    • Profile early, profile often: frequent code profiling has enabled us to detect problems we never would have expected
    • Take advantage of the power of distributed debugging: performance analysis has scaled well with additional people looking at the code
  • Optimization techniques
    • Algorithmic improvements: changes to the table data structures and SSI parser
    • Optimistic synchronization: thread-safety without locking in the logger
    • Use of new OS features: sendfile, Solaris mtmalloc, atomic operations
    • Memory management: evolution of the pool memory allocator for multithreaded apps
    • Optimizing for resources other than CPU: memory and file descriptor conservation


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