Web Server Comparisons

"...factoring out I/O, the primary determinant to server performance is the concurrency strategy."
-- JAWS: Understanding High Performance Web Systems

Some comparisons between various web servers. We look at features, sizes, and performance. The headers in the table are links to explanatory notes below. Bright green entries indicate something unusually good, and red entries are something bad, sometimes with a link to a note explaining why.

Don't get too excited over the performance figures. Most of these servers have enough oomph to keep a T1 saturated, running on a lowly 100MHz Pentium or maybe even a 486. Very very few web applications need more power than that. So, the fact that Apache is not that fast shouldn't be of concern to most people.

Last updated 12jul98.

software features size RPS max users name
name version released active devel model auto conf basic auth chroot throttling tar bytes source files source lines exe small files CGI large files
thttpd 2.03 11jul98 yes select yes yes yes yes 406,016 20 7,229 49,584 720 100 1000+ thttpd
Apache 1.3.0 05jun98 yes pre-fork yes yes no no 4,925,440 149 73,381 397,152 250 90 150 Apache
mathopd 1.2b9 23may98 yes select yes no yes no 112,640 8 3,658 49,088 770 75 500 mathopd
Roxen 1.2.29 10jun98 yes threads yes yes yes no 14,274,560 1,480 247,789 502,284 170 11 50 Roxen
Boa 0.92 23dec96 yes select no no no no 225,280 21 4,103 75,788 475 115 50 Boa
Jigsaw 2.0beta1 08apr98 yes Java threads n/a yes yes no 11,341,824 594 95,744 1,841,601 45 n/a 25 Jigsaw
Acme.Serve - 18may98 yes Java threads n/a no no yes 302,592 27 4,718 79,943 45 n/a 25 Acme.Serve
CERN 3.0A 15jul96 no fork yes yes no no 2,703,360 153 56,028 561,696 115 65 300 CERN
NCSA 1.5.2a-export 12oct96 no pre-fork no yes no no 931,840 77 23,726 196,040 260 70 350 NCSA
Netscape FastTrack 3.01-export-us 02oct97 no threads n/a yes ? no 62,443,520 n/a n/a 1,896,016 - - - Netscape FastTrack
Netscape Enterprise 3.5.1-export-us 02feb98 yes threads n/a yes ? no 130,426,880 n/a n/a 1,977,568 - - - Netscape Enterprise
Zeus 3.1.4 10jul98 yes select n/a yes no yes 3,747,840 n/a n/a 1,367,976 1050 70 500 Zeus

Notes:

Here's a graph of the full data:

Comments:


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