I'm trying to benchmark and load test various web server setups (mod_php vs php as fastcgi, max/min worker/thread configuration, and so on). I'm starting with ab, but would be interested in other recommended tools for this job. The web server is a Linux server, but I can run Windows based testing tools from my desktop machine if need be.
I'm also interested in any recommendations as to technique. For example:
I'm assuming I'll get more useful results running from a separate machine doing nothing else (as opposed to running on the same machine as the web server, or on my desktop machine as a background process). Is this correct?
Likewise, I figure I can reduce the effects of network issues on the testing by putting that machine in the same data center on a private IP.
I'll want to setup more than just a single file to get any sort of real test (can I even do this with ab?).
Any other tips?