SUMMARY: Tweaking a big Solaris box for WWW service

From: Bruce Barnett (
Date: Mon Oct 30 1995 - 10:31:20 CST

        Here is a summary of what I learned about tweaking a Solaris
box for high-performance http service.

1. Use Solaris 2.5. (Solaris 2.5 has been clocked at 520 K hits/hour,
   while the same box did ~300 K hits/hour under Solaris 2.4).
   Solaris 2.3 is slower tha 2.4.

2. Use a threaded server (Commercial Netscape, phttpd, apache)

3. Use a httpd server that supports pre-forked operations
   (NCSA 1.4 or higher, apachee 0.8 or higher)

4. Increase the number of simultaneous TCP connections.

   Solaris 2.4:

        ndd /dev/tcp tcp_conn_req_max 32

   Solaris 2.5:

        ndd /dev/tcp tcp_conn_req_max 128

   up to
        ndd /dev/tcp tcp_conn_req_max 1024

   32 is the largest for Solaris 2.4. 1024 is the largest for
   Solaris 2.5. Check memory usage in Solaris 2.5. Allocating too much
   may chew up more memory, so only allocate what you need.

5. Make sure your servers have a backlog greater than the value
   specified in #4 (32 or 1024). This corresponds to the
   library call.

6. Dedicate a disk just to http logging.

7. Don't use NIS+

8. Don't use Automounter

9. If performance still isn't fast enough, it may be neccessary to
   modify some additional system parameters. One person has suggested the
   following modifications in /etc/system (and then reboot):

   * increase UFS buffers - suggested if you have at LEAST 64 MB of RAM
   set ncsize = 25000
   set ufs_ninode = 25000
   set bufhwm = 15000

   * increase support for WWW connections
   set nrnode = 1000

   Another suggests a smaller value for bufhwm (4000 - 6000).
   Caution is suggested, as allocating too much will use up memory
   without providing additional gain. I suggest you experiment carefully,
   and monitor performance and memory allocation for optimum usage.

Regarding http performance testing, three suggestions have been made:

        1. Use the performance tester for phttpd

        2. SPEC's WebPerf benchmark

        3. Netperf has a TCP-CRR test to simulate http traffic


Thanks to
        Bart.Smaalders@Eng.Sun.COM (Bart Smaalders)
        Beech Justin <>
        Dean Roth <>
        Johan Magnusson <>
        Prasad.Wagle@Eng.Sun.COM (Prasad Wagle)
        Rick Jones <>
        Sam Gassel <>
        Vincent DiBernardo <Vincent_DiBernardo@MBnet.MB.CA>
        alanc@godzilla.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Alan Coopersmith) (Richard Fox)
        mukesh@jurassic-248.Eng.Sun.COM (Mukesh Kacker) (Ron Nash)

Bruce Barnett <> uunet!crdras!barnett

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