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From Jason Clary <>
Subject ZD Net tests, IRIX, and MAX_SOCKETS
Date Mon, 20 Jan 1997 08:19:47 GMT

Hey guys.. i was reading this article in ZD Net's Internet Magazine
and I noticed that their unix server running IRIX 6.3 on an SGI O2
workstation with 180mhz R5000 processor, 128meg of ram, and 2gb harddrive
that its copy of Stronhold only managed to serve 100 requests/second
on average while on NT, MS IIS, NS Enterprise, and Commerce Builder
all managed over 500/s.. IIS was nearly 1000.

I was wondering if anyone knows if IRIX has a max socket limit in
the kernel like linux and SunOS do.  I believe most unix systems
are set to 256 socket maximum at boot time and can only be changed
via kernel rebuild.  I would expect the sockets to be taken up fully
in this case at around 100 requests/s in which case requests w ould
start waiting.

If this is the case, we should have a serious talk with ZDNet about that
as its giving ALL unix web servers a bad name, not just Apache/Stronghold
but all the others as well.  And its giving Unix a bad name.  I've
got a linux box running on a 486dx4100 that can do 100 requests per second
which makes this seem crazy.

Anyways, anyone running IRIX please take a look and see if its the same
sort of deal as on linux and SunOS where you recompile with 1024+ sockets
to get better performance on a net server.

NT, since the socket layer is not in the kernel, can allocate descriptors
on the fly... It also doesn't map them into its VFS like most unix systems
do and the descriptors aren't actualy interchangeable with file descriptors
like they are on unix so it doesn't suffer from this limit.  Although it
suffers in other ways because of the resource intensive nature of NT's
user interface.

If this is, indeed, the problem thats giving Apache such a bad benchmark
on their tests, it should be pointed out and corrected immediately.



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