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From Fredrik Lindmark <>
Subject Re: The apache CPU race..
Date Wed, 07 Dec 2005 15:46:04 GMT
On Dec 7, 2005, at 10:09 AM, Tom Schindl wrote:
>> Was running prefork apache 2.0.52 earlier. without any of these 
>> symptoms..
>> Im switching to the worker in an attempt to improve the performance,
> I don't think that you gain much performance at least on the mod-perl
> side of the story because a you need:
> a) threaded-perl which is significatly slower in most operation you are
> executing
> b) starting new processes with a threaded perl you cann't use COW which
> is used when forking
> If you need better apache performance i'd use the proxy setup where the
> frontend apache uses the worker mpm (without mod-perl) and my apache in
> the back is full featured apache running in prefork mode.
> Do you really gain that much performance using worker?

I've the vision of gaining it..

I've a program that works over a big range of data and is very extended 
in itself..
During the executation i need to access data from both the databases 
and earlier calculations of that data.
going forward and back towards the database 500-1000 times during a 
run.. is not that efficient.
since much of the data is the same.. i gain a lot on caching it..
Caching analyzes of the data saves me even more, when no cpu is 

this can be done locally inside the prefork process, but then i cant 
share the memory allocated.. i end up having GB of almost equal data in 
each process after running the system for some time.. and until all the 
processes have filled up their cache the speed will be slow for a long 
time... thats why i want to switch to worker.

memcache and other daemons could help out here but they take too much 
time compared to perls internal data memory to access and write. Since 
they are not really fit for complex hash trees without doing a heck of 
data coping forward and back.. i would count on twice the time.
So optimal for me as i see it is to keep the cache close by hand in 
perl to have most efficient output..

If i go down on one process its possible to achive this.. (thats how we 
run right now) with some proxy servers taking away all the user load we 
basicly run execution queue on the backend server. but then we are 
suffering from delay when a big sql query is filed and all others have 
to wait for its result.. etc. I havent tried it during heavy loads.. 
but i guess it wont do well there either.

Optimal would be to share the memory locally inside mod_perl and run 
one process and many threads.
i should have basicly the same speed as a process prefork, and 
non-repeating data in the cache memory. If i eventually need more 
processes to keep the performance, the amount of memory to  is still 
less than the preforks...

Furtheron I've been thinking of having front end proxys to guide the 
user into the process running a certain area. that way i can divide the 
work by areas into different process and the processes would hold just 
the memory used for that area. And i can use the same work memory size 
but divided in a limited amount of processes
its not very dynamic but it adds up some safety to the single process / 
multiple thread model.

> a) threaded-perl which is significatly slower in most operation you are
> executing

I've just heard they are "comparable" in speed.. how big can this 
difference be?

> b) starting new processes with a threaded perl you cann't use COW which
> is used when forking

Its okey, cause i prefer as few processes as possible. if they start on 
zero its just an initial stage they are slow before the cache tree is 
rebuilt again..

One of my concerns are how safe is it really is to run just 1 process, 
and letting the threads do the parallel work..
should i count on more downfalls than letting the processes do the work?


~ F

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