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The ISP hosting a mostly static web site complains when certain users start to hammer the site at around 30 hits/second. The machine slows to a crawl, apparently. The files can be simple pages with a few graphics, to fairly large files. There are other sites hosted on the server, so this is not good news.

Should Apache be able to take this load? Are there tips that the ISP can use to tune the server for this? Is there anything to tweak on the pages themselves?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Wow... 30 static requests per second should be nothing for a well-tuned Apache. There's something going pretty badly wrong there. Either the machine is running at capacity already, or it's mistuned. My three primary tweaks for Apache are:

  • KeepAlive On
  • KeepAliveTimeout 2 (or 15 if you use the worker MPM)
  • ExtendedStatus Off

I've got more general "make your webserver handle more capacity" tips in this wiki article from my work, and there's a lot more "tweaking Apache" tips in this devside article.

Honestly, though, if your ISP isn't already up on these sorts of things, it's time to be finding a new webhost. Customers shouldn't have to go asking serverfault for tips to pass onto their hosting company.

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One caveat to this answer is that in a shared host people are generally only paying for a share of a server's resources. You can't assume incompetence, they may just need to pay for a bigger share or a dedicated server. –  JamesRyan Aug 7 at 11:32
    
If the ISP can't explain the situation to the customer vis a vis needing to pay for a bigger share, then yeah, you can assume incompetence (in sales ability, if nothing else...). –  womble Aug 8 at 2:32
    
That is plain bad advice. You've told the customer that their ISP is incompetent and now you are saying they are incompetent because the customer listens to you rather than them? –  JamesRyan Aug 8 at 8:59
    
No, I'm saying the ISP is incompetent because they don't communicate with their customer sufficiently such that the customer needed to listen to me, instead of the ISP. If the ISP was competent, they'd be able to explain to the customer that the reason the server is failing to cope with the load is because of $VALID_REASON, and invite the customer to upgrade or take some other action to alleviate the problem. That the user had to resort to asking a question here speaks volumes to the provider's inability to service customer request in a competent manner. –  womble Aug 8 at 11:08
    
Not at all. Customers in general don't read even when you spell it out to them. I bet you 90% that the complaint from the ISP the OP talks about gave the exact reason and offer to upgrade to dedicated hosting. –  JamesRyan Aug 8 at 11:24

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