Archive for March, 2006

Niagara Benchmarks: Update

Posted on March 27, 2006, under apache, general, niagara.

Since I’ve been posting material up on Niagara, a few other httpd and solaris folk have been chiming in with some more expert opinions. I’ve also received more dder output from various platforms, which I plan to post up when I get a chance.

What I couldn’t wait for though, is to communicate the effect some single changes in our benchmarking setup have achieved. A few days ago I raved about the 5700 requests per second I was getting out of the Niagara box. Turns out that was a load of crap, here’s what I’m getting now;

Requests per second:    15298.68 [#/sec] (mean) 

And here’s what an active ftp.heanet.ie is pushing;

Requests per second:    4445.26 [#/sec] (mean) 

Abandoning siege, and using the latest version of ab is revealing some fundamental limitations in our previous benchmarks and some errors in our assumptions. O.k., so my assumptions. My bad, and I wanted to try and rectify it as quickly as possible. As I scramble together some time over the next few days, we’ll recheck our other results, and see what else is lurking under the hood in terms of performance. We suspect there’s more room for growth.

Thanks to Brian Akins for nailing the problem. Oh, and we’re hearing a lot of very very good things about, and seeing some very nice numbers from, Opteron systems too.

SUN contest form

Posted on March 27, 2006, under general, niagara.

So, the SUN contest form went online today. It does seem to have changed a lot in character since it originally started, but I guess it’s SUN’s hardware to give away. You can find the terms and conditions online too. Anyway, here’s how I filled it out;

First Name: Colm
Last Name: MacCarthaigh
Phone: PHONE
Company/Org: HEAnet
Location: Dublin
Try and Buy Sales Number: No Idea
May we contact you: yes

Describe application workload for all systems tested (ie Dynamic content currently using PHP and JSP, Page images requested using 2 parallel HTTP connections, simulates active users accessing their email via a standard Web browser):

T1000/T2000 Ultra-scalable Apache httpd deployment
Other system(s) Ultra-scalable Apache httpd deployment

Describe hardware configuration for all systems tested (active cores, # of disks, memory, network settings and topology):

Sun Fire T1000/T2000: T2000 with 16 GB of RAM
Other System(s): Dual 1.5Ghz Itanium with 32GB of RAM
Dual 3.2Ghz Xeon with 12GB of RAM

What were the results?

Sun Fire T1000/T2000: See blog http://www.stdlib.net/~colmmacc/category/niagara/
Other System(s): See blog http://www.stdlib.net/~colmmacc/category/niagara/

How is this good/how does it compare to previous results?
Sun Fire T1000/T2000: See blog http://www.stdlib.net/~colmmacc/category/niagara/
Other System(s): See blog http://www.stdlib.net/~colmmacc/category/niagara/

What is the SWaP measurement?

Sun Fire T1000/T2000: The SWaP measurement is highly questionable and very little scientific or statistical information is included on how it is considered relevant. It vastly over-simplifies a complicated metric, and hence is not included in any of my results. I have calculated power usage differences and extrapolated rough costs, as that is reasonably deterministic.

Did you find/solve any bugs? Yes, multiple. These are in the process of being resolved. See blog comments.

What can we do to improve the system/software? Solaris badly needs a credible packaging system, a clone of apt would be ideal.

I wish to make clear that I DO NOT accept all of the terms of this competition. I most certainly do not agree with;

12. Publicity: Except where prohibited, participation in the Contest constitutes a Contestant’s consent to Sun’s use of his/her name, likeness, voice, opinions, biographical information, place of residence and Performance Results for promotional purposes in any media without further payment or consideration. Contestant also agrees to assist Sun in promoting and marketing the Contest.

In particular, Sun may make absolutely no use of my place of residence whatsoever.

External links to posted results or blogs:

http://www.stdlib.net/~colmmacc/category/niagara/

I’m blogging it here just to make sure that my refusal to accept some of the ridiculous conditions is on-record. These wern’t part of the original announcement, in fact seemed a lot simpler and a lot less beurocratic when announced. But we’ll see how the contest progresses anyway.