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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  • extide - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    So, I was thinking last night, that this chip is THE PERFECT enthusiast chip! All Intel needs to do is release an unlocked and socketed version (although that would be complex because there is currently no platform for it ...) although if we could get at least an unlocked version on an enthusiast style board it would be awesome.

    Think about it:
    8 Broadwell cores -- Great!
    12MB L3 -- Great!
    24 Lanes PCIe 3.0 -- More than 16 or even skylakes rumored 20, pretty good. You could do things like 16x + 8x, or 8x + 8x + 4x + 4x (the two 4x being m.2 ssd's) which would support CF or SLI quite well and some fast ssd's.
    2ch DDR4 -- plenty for gaming and most enthusiast applications
    Dual 10GbE -- Just added Gravvy here, but would def help adoption of 10g in the enthusiast realm.

  • extide - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    Also, I forgot to add:

    This would be a great intermediate between the current regular consumer stuff (LGA 115x) and HPDE (LGA 2011x) -- A lot of people really see the LGA 2011 platform as overkill, even for enthusiasts, and it gets so expensive, with quad channel ddr4 and all that. This chip just seems to make so much sense. Now if intel priced it no more than the $500 mark, that would be awesome. Imagine, if AMD was more competitive, we might actually have that5 scenario.... Hopefully Zen is just great!
  • Namisecond - Saturday, June 27, 2015 - link

    Intel's tray price for this chip is listed at $199 for the 4-core and $581 for the 8-core. The price for the CPU+motherboard is almost $1K for the 8 core. which indicates the problem is not in the price of the chip itself.

    If you want cheap and low power consumption, I'd direct you to the S1150 platform with Xeon E3 V3 "L" series (13-45W) processors.
  • spikebike - Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - link

    For a home machine, small server, workstation, or similar the Xeon D 1520 looks even better. Faster clock, 1/3rd the price, same maximum ram, ecc, etc. Sure it's got 4 cores/8threads instead of more, but for many use cases that's not a big limitation. In quite a few cases spending the $400 different on RAM or SSDs will make a bigger difference. Reply
  • hifiaudio2 - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    Where can you get a 1520? Google searching is not finding anything for sale... Reply
  • hifiaudio2 - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    If I cannot find the 1520 for sale, what is the best bang for the buck i3 and MB combo (want to use ECC ram as well) for a Media server/transcode/nas? Low TDP, etc.. Reply
  • jaziniho - Thursday, June 25, 2015 - link

    Any word on whether HP plan to make a Moonshot cartridge featuring Xeon D? the 45W TDP seems to match up with some of the previous chips they have used. Reply
  • jeffsci - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    Why do the results use a variety of OSS compilers? For an Intel Xeon processor, the Intel compilers are the most reliable. Is Open64 actively developed for Intel processors? And switching from GCC 4.8 to 4.9 with different flags...how is this even remotely scientific? Reply
  • needforsuv - Saturday, July 11, 2015 - link

    so they just done to the 'regular' 4/8 i7/e3 what they did to the C2D in making the C2Q but more sophisticated I like it now wheres that lga 115x 8 core Reply
  • tabascosauz - Sunday, July 19, 2015 - link

    I hope that Mr. de Gelas will continue to learn and improve as a writer, because the grammar in this article is, in numerous places, rather iffy and AT has traditionally excelled in delivering detailed, grammatically correct content. Reply

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