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CHAPTER 8: Load Balancing Your Web Site > Measuring Web Server Performance

Measuring Web Server Performance

Before you can get started on speeding up your web server, you first need to know its currently capability. How else are you going to tell if the steps you took to speed it up actually worked? There are several tools and packages available to benchmark your web server: some are expensive, others are free. One that has proved to be helpful is the tool called httperf. Optionally, you can use ab, which comes with Apache.

httperf is a very powerful command-line Linux tool that can be used to establish a (high) number of connections to a web server to give you an impression of your server's performance. Not only is it flexible enough to send along specific headers (such as the Accept-Encoding header), there's also a perl wrapper available called autobench, which allows you to increase the number of requested connections per second on each iteration and writes the output to a tab-separated file that can be used to create nice charts to make your results more visual (using the bench2graph tool).


  

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