Testimonial : LSWS as web app frontend instead of Apache
I'm in charge of the Lab of a high value Application Service Provider. Our company provides online solutions and services in the field of Knowledge Management to other companies. Our customers entrust their strategic data and decision tools to us (sorry if my English is not too clear :? ) so we must have the most reliable web application infrastructure.
At the beginning, we used LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, mod_php). But it revealed poor performance (PHP-MySQL communication cost - useless overhead) and difficult to maintain (page oriented programming does not fit big, real, complicated applications). Besides, using SQL DB for data persistency is crazy by itself, when you don't need to share data with other apps. And by the way, PHP has many surprising shortcomings and dirty style. The best part was LInux, and we keep with it.
While some of our products still use LAMP for historical reasons, we decided to switch to more appropriate language (Python) and approach : we developped our own network (and web) application middeware for persistent applications. For performance reasons we decided to use non blocking I/O for the middleware (and we did right...) and asynchronous event-driven paradigm.
Our new middleware offered us great satisfaction to serve dynamic content. Whereas we could have used it standalone (it has its own basic web server), it was not so performant on static pages (obviously) and in production we need several application servers running (one per client for security) and advanced web functionnalities (TLS, access control, tuning, ...). So we chose Apache as a front-end (with mod-proxy)
As we had ourselves chosen non blocking I/O, we were suspicious about the multi-process/thread model of apache. So we began to search for a non blocking I/O web server, which would also be lighter than apache (we don't need all the bells and whistles of that web plant).
So we found LSWS. Then we made some benchmarks of our application server behind LSWS... waow ! We used Siege, which is a very good benchmark tool for web applications (it simulates users, with session support, login, behavior, ...).
Apache broke at 200 simultaneous users !! We were very disappointed... LSWS standard got up 400 simultaneous users (and our web app too !!!), as well in reverse proxy as in FastCGI mode.
More over, installing and configuring LSWS is very easy and pleasant. As a bonus, PHP applications were boosted too... !
Well, we then switched all the Lab to LSWS. We dare not upgrade the current production servers now, but he new ones will work with LSWS, sure (when LDAP user DB will be supported by LSWS)
Thank you for the good work !
Thank you for the nice testimonial!
I'd like to add some comments about the scalabilities of LSWS and the backend web apps. Not only LSWS itself scale very well, but also it can increase the scalability of backend web apps to the same level, by pipelining request sequentially through limited number of concurrent backend connections. This architecture is almost impossible for pre-fork web servers. If more scalability is needed, just upgrade to our Professional or Enterprise Edition without worrying about the web app. :-)
LDAP authentication will be implemented soon, don't change your mind by that time ;-)
Looking forward more good news from you.
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