USENIX Symposium on Internet Technologies and Systems, 1997
Measuring the Capacity of a Web Server
Gaurav Banga and Peter Druschel
The widespread use of the World Wide Web and related applications
places interesting performance demands on network servers. The ability
to measure the effect of these demands is important for tuning and
optimizing the various software components that make up a Web
server. To measure these effects, it is necessary to generate
realistic HTTP client requests. Unfortunately, accurate generation of
such traffic in a testbed of limited scope is not trivial. In
particular, the commonly used approach is unable to generate client
request-rates that exceed the capacity of the server being tested even
for short periods of time. This paper examines pitfalls that one
encounters when measuring Web server capacity using a synthetic
workload. We propose and evaluate a new method for Web traffic
generation that can generate bursty traffic, with peak loads that
exceed the capacity of the server. Finally, we use the proposed method
to measure the performance of a Web server.
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