Web Server Performance

Websites based on the LAMP stack - Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP - are very popular. Few people write html/PHP code from scratch these days, so we turned to a Drupal 7.21 based site. The web server is Apache 2.4.7 and the database is MySQL 5.5.38 on top of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Drupal powers massive sites (e.g. The Economist and MTV Europe) and has a reputation of being a hardware resource hog. That is a price more and more developers happily pay for lowering the time to market of their work. We tested the Drupal website with our vApus stress testing framework and increased the number of connections from 5 to 300.

We report the maximum throughput achievable with 95% percent of request being handled faster than 1000 ms. 

Drupal Website

Let us be honest: the graph above is not telling you everything. The truth is that, on the Xeon D and Xeon E5, we ran into several other bottlenecks (OS and Database related) before we ever could measure a 1000 ms 95th percentile response time. So the actual throughput at 1 second response time is higher.

Basically, the performance of the Xeon D and Xeon E5 was too high for our current benchmark setup. Let us zoom in a bit to get a more accurate picture. The picture below shows you the 95th percentile of the response time (Y-axis) versus the amount of concurrent requests/users (X-axis). We did not show the results of the Atom C2750 beyond 200 req/s to keep the graph readable.  

We warm up the machine with 5 concurrent requests, but that is not enough for some servers. Notice that the response time of the Xeon D between 50 and 200 requests per second is lower than at 25 request per second. So let us start our analyses at 50 request per second. 

The Xeon E3-1230L clock speed fluctuates between 1.8, 2.3 and 2.8 GHz. It is amazing low power chip, but you pay a price: the 95th percentile never goes below 100 ms. The highly clocked Xeon E3s like the 1240 keeps the response time below 100 ms unless your website is hit more than 100 times per second. 

The Xeon D once again delivers astonishing performance. Unless the load is more than 200 concurrent requests per second, the server responds within 100 ms. There is more. Imagine that you want to keep your 95th percentile. response time below half a second. With a previous generation Xeon E3, even the 80W chip will hit that limit at around 200-250 requests per second. The Xeon D sustains about 800 (!) requests per second (not shown on graph) before a small percentage of the users will experience that response time.  In other words, you can sustain up to 4 times as manyhits with the Xeon D-1540 compared to the E3.   

Java Server Performance ElasticSearch
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  • AkulaClass - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Nice stuff. Realy good to see them bringing power consumption down pr. Performance. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Nice way to confuse people. Codename Yosemite Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Who would this confuse? Apple fans because of the OS witht he same codename?

    LOL. Believe me they don't know, or care... Most of them aren't even aware of what a "server" chip is, or even what a "server" is used for.
    Reply
  • IanHagen - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Rails developer checking in to remind you that a great chunk of the Rails community develop using OS X to deploy on Linux and hence is aware of "server chips". Even though you said that "most" Apple users don't know what a server chip is and that's accurate, the same could be said about Windows or even Linux common users. Stop patronizing.

    All being said, I agree with you. Who could possibly confound the Xeon D's codename coincides with OS X's 10.10 name?
    Reply
  • WinterCharm - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    First of all, your implication that apple fans don't know jack shit about servers is a broad generalization, and a stupid one at that.

    Second of all, anyone who knows enough to even consider buying a Xeon and a motherboard that supports it and the ECC memory, probably knows enough to not get confused. And plenty of mac users know what server chips are and what they're used for.

    Nice trolling though.
    Reply
  • adithyay328 - Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - link

    That's not entirely true, but I will agree that people a lot of the people who use Apples( No discrimination intended) only continue to use Apple due to their lack of tech knowledge( like knowing Android is the king :) . And, yes, they probably won;t know what servers even are. Reply
  • jeffsci - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    Geographic code names are the norm in the computing industry (I think because they cannot be copyrighted) and they end up being reused. For example, Intel Seattle is/was a motherboard and AMD Seattle is/was an ARM64 processor. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_codena... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Microsoft_co... etc. if you would like to look for more examples :-) Reply
  • RaiderJ - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Any places in the US that the motherboard is available for purchase? Quick checks looks like it's mostly sold out or otherwise unavailable? Reply
  • ats - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Availability comes and goes. Xeon D has been a big hit in the large scale deployment markets and they've been soaking up a lot of demand for it, both bare and combined on motherboards like the supermicro offerings severely limiting retail availability. But it is available in retail but quantities are limited. Quite a number of people over at servethehome have gotten their hands on them. If you want one, you'll likely have to keep checking the major sites like newegg, amazon, et al for them to come back in stock. Retail boards are generally in the $800-1000 range atm (basically going for full list but then again bare motherboards with 10gbe tend to go for 600+ so its still a good buy and simple new 10gbe cards tend to go for $300-500). Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    How come they call this a SoC if there's no integrated module to drive even a simple display, and they apparently need a discrete PCIe graphics card for that D-SUB output? Reply

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