Performance modeling and control of web servers

University dissertation from Lund Institute of Technology : Department of Communication Systems

Abstract: This thesis deals with the task of modeling a web server and designing a mechanism that can prevent the web server from being overloaded. Four papers are presented. The first paper gives an M/G/1/K processor sharing model of a single web server. The model is validated against measurements ands imulations on the commonly usedw eb server Apache. A description is given on how to calculate the necessary parameters in the model. The second paper introduces an admission control mechanism for the Apache web server basedon a combination of queuing theory andcon trol theory. The admission control mechanism is tested in the laboratory, implemented as a stand-alone application in front of the web server. The third paper continues the work from the secondp aper by discussing stability. This time, the admission control mechanism is implemented as a module within the Apache source code. Experiments show the stability and settling time of the controller. Finally, the fourth paper investigates the concept of service level agreements for a web site. The agreements allow a maximum response time anda minimal throughput to be set. The requests are sorted into classes, where each class is assigneda weight (representing the income for the web site owner). Then an optimization algorithm is appliedso that the total profit for the web site during overload is maximized.

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