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This paper presents a new portable high-performance Web server architecture, called asymmetric multi-process event-driven (AMPED), and describes an implementation of this architecture, the Flash Web server. Flash nearly matches the performance of SPED servers on cached workloads while simultaneously matching or exceeding the performance of MP and MT servers on disk-intensive workloads. Moreover, Flash uses only standard APIs available in modern operating systems and is therefore easily portable.

We present results of experiments to evaluate the impact of a Web server's concurrency architecture on its performance. For this purpose, various server architectures were implemented from the same code base. Results show that Flash with its AMPED architecture can nearly match or exceed the performance of other architectures across a wide range of realistic workloads.

Results also show that the Flash server's performance exceeds that of the Zeus Web server by up to 30%, and it exceeds the performance of Apache by up to 50% on real workloads. Finally, we perform experiments to show the contribution of the various optimizations embedded in Flash on its performance.

Peter Druschel