Benchmarking Tips

This guide will enable you to use a selection of benchmarking tools to make the fairest comparisons possible between different web servers. Testing such as this is essential to determining website capacity and capabilities for web applications.

These are the basic steps that will be covered:

  1. Prepare a Client Server and a Test Server
  2. Install web servers to be benchmarked on Test Server
  3. Test the web servers' general configurations
  4. Run tests from the Client Server with your choice of tools:

Prepare a Client Server and a Test Server

When preparing your servers, keep these principles in mind.

Low Latency

Low latency is best achieved by launching your Test and Client servers in the same zone or country, or on a local network. You can test latency by sending a ping command from the Client Server:

ping -c5 Test_Server
Output:
--- 142.93.185.51 ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 4099ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.504/0.591/0.677/0.062 ms
In this example, we got an average of 0.591ms. You should be looking to achieve numbers lower than 1 ms.

High Bandwidth Network

Make sure the bandwidth between the two servers is enough. You don't want the network become your benchmark's bottleneck. You can easily verify sufficient bandwidth by using the iperf tool.

Install the tool on Ubuntu:

apt-get install iperf
Install the tool on CentOS:
yum install epel-release
yum update
yum install iperf

Run the command from the Client Server:

iperf -c TEST_SERVER_IP -i1

Run it from the Test Server:

iperf -s -i1

The default iperf port is 5001.

Your firewall needs to be open for the default iperf testing port of 5001. Or, you can specify a different port with the -p parameter.

If you have bandwidth results of 1 GB or more, that should be sufficient.

A Powerful Client Server

To fully demonstrate the power of the web servers you are testing, the Client Server needs to be more powerful then the Test Server.

No Proxy or CDN

To avoid any potential bottlenecks on the Client Server, avoid using Proxies, Firewalls, Load Balancers or CDNs in front of the Test Server.

Example of Server Specs

We've found that servers with the following specs are appropriate for benchmarking:

Server CPU Memory NetWork latency Zone
Test Client 2 2GB 2 Gbits/sec 0.59 ms NYC1
Test Server 1 1GB 2 Gbits/sec 0.59 ms NYC1

Install web servers to be benchmarked on Test Server

When setting up your Test Server, it is helpful to keep the following concepts in mind:

Multiple Web Servers on the Same Test Server

Install all of the web servers you wish to test on the same Test Server. You will not be running all of the servers at the same time, but bringing up each one as needed.

Same Modules

If you want to test benchmarks between different types of web servers, you will want to have all modules as identical as possible.

Switching Web Servers

With a Control Panel: It may be easier to test LSWS/Apache/Nginx on a control panel such as cPanel, which has a web server switch function built in, and where all PHP modules are quite similar to each other.

Without a Control Panel: You will probably need to manually stop web server A, and then bring up web server B. You can build PHP modules with remi repo.

Similar Nginx and OpenLiteSpeed PHP Modules

If you're looking to compare OpenLiteSpeed and nginx, you'll want to refer to this chart to make sure that you have similar modules installed between the two servers.

Server Nginx OpenLiteSpeed
PHP version 7.2 7.2
Unix Socket On On
Loaded Config File /etc/php/7.2/fpm/php.ini /usr/local/lsws/lsphp72/etc/php/7.2/litespeed/php.ini
Module module_bcmath module_bcmath
Module module_calendar module_calendar
Module module_cgi-fcgi module_core
Module module_core module_ctype
Module module_ctype module_curl
Module module_curl module_date
Module module_date module_dom
Module module_dom module_enchant
Module module_enchant module_exif
Module module_exif module_fileinfo
Module module_fileinfo module_filter
Module module_filter module_ftp
Module module_ftp module_gd
Module module_gd module_gettext
Module module_gettext module_gmp
Module module_gmp module_hash
Module module_hash module_iconv
Module module_iconv module_json
Module module_json module_libxml
Module module_libxml module_mbstring
Module module_mbstring module_mysqli
Module module_mysqli module_mysqlnd
Module module_mysqlnd module_openssl
Module module_openssl module_pcntl
Module module_pcre module_pcre
Module module_pdo module_pdo
Module module_pdo_mysql module_pdo_mysql
Module module_phar module_phar
Module module_posix module_posix
Module module_pspell module_pspell
Module module_readline module_readline
Module module_recode module_recode
Module module_reflection module_reflection
Module module_session module_session
Module module_simplexml module_simplexml
Module module_soap module_soap
Module module_sockets module_sockets
Module module_sodium
Module module_spl module_spl
Module module_standard module_standard
Module module_sysvmsg module_sysvmsg
Module module_sysvsem module_sysvsem
Module module_sysvshm module_sysvshm
Module module_tidy module_tidy
Module module_tokenizer module_tokenizer
Module module_xml module_xml
Module module_xmlreader module_xmlreader
Module module_xmlwriter module_xmlwriter
Module module_xsl module_xsl
Module module_zend+opcache module_zend+opcache
Module module_zip module_zip
Module module_zlib module_zlib
php.ini

We copy the php.ini file from one server to another, so the contents are identical.

Nginx and OpenLiteSpeed Cache Types

When comparing cache solutions between OpenLiteSpeed and nginx, use these types.

Server Nginx OpenLiteSpeed
Cache type fastcgi_cache LSCache Plugin

Test the Web Servers' General Configurations

For best results, keep these configuration suggestions in mind:

Have a Large HTTP/HTTPS Connection Number

Keep your connections number high.

Maximize suEXEC Max Conn, PHP Child number, and PHP Max number when you are testing PHP-based apps such as WordPress.

Tip

If you are testing other language, e.g. Python, please do increase the Max Connections as well)

Configure all Web Servers the Same

  • Same SSL Ciphers
  • OCSP ON
  • Same Document Root
  • Same level of compression
  • Same number of workers
  • Keep-alive enabled
  • Debug log off

Example Nginx and OpenLiteSpeed Setup

Server Nginx OpenLiteSpeed
Version 1.15.8 1.4.44
Config Port 80/443 80/443
Certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/wp-benchmark.tk /etc/letsencrypt/live/wp-benchmark.tk
doc root /var/www/html /var/www/html
worker_processes 1 1
user www-data www-data
ssl_ciphers ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384 ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA512:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384
Gzip On On
Compression Level 5 5
gzip_min_length 300 300
gzip_types text/plain text/css text/xml text/javascript application/x-javascript application/xml image/svg+xml text/*, application/x-javascript, application/javascript, application/xml, image/svg+xml
keepalive_timeout 15 5
ssl_session_timeout 10m On
ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m On
OCSP On On

See our Benchmarks Shootout spreadsheet for more example configuration information.

Run tests from the Client Server with your choice of tools

These are some recommended benchmarking tools. The parameters we've chosen to use from the Client Server, are intended to simulate real users as closely as possible.

ApacheBench

Installation

Ubuntu:

apt-get install apache2-utils -y
CentOS:
yum install httpd-tools -y

Command

ab -n 1000 -c 100 -k -H "Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate" http://Test_Server_Domain/
Parameters :

  • -n: Number of requests to perform for the benchmarking session
  • -c: Number of multiple requests to perform at a time
  • -k: Enable the HTTP KeepAlive feature
  • -H: custom-header

Documentation: Apache.org

Output:

Server Software:        LiteSpeed
Server Hostname:        Test_Server_Domain
Server Port:            80

Document Path:          /
Document Length:        3749 bytes

Concurrency Level:      100
Time taken for tests:   0.210 seconds
Complete requests:      1000
Failed requests:        0
Keep-Alive requests:    1000
Total transferred:      4048000 bytes
HTML transferred:       3749000 bytes
Requests per second:    4756.31 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       21.025 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       0.210 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          18802.29 [Kbytes/sec] received

Siege

Installation

Ubuntu:

apt-get install siege -y
CentOS:
yum install epel-release
yum install siege -y

Command

siege -c 10 -r 100 -b http://Test_Server_Domain/

Parameters :

  • -b: runs the test with NO DELAY for throughput benchmarking
  • -c: Set the number of concurrent users
  • -r: Allows you to run the siege for NUM repetitions

Output:

Transactions:                   6000 hits
Availability:                 100.00 %
Elapsed time:                   4.39 secs
Data transferred:             247.85 MB
Response time:                  0.00 secs
Transaction rate:            1366.74 trans/sec
Throughput:                    56.46 MB/sec
Concurrency:                    3.66
Successful transactions:        6000
Failed transactions:               0
Longest transaction:            0.03
Shortest transaction:           0.00

h2load

If you are specifically testing HTTP2, you may want to give h2load a try.

Installation

Ubuntu:

apt-get update
apt-get install nghttp2-client -y  
CentOS:
yum install epel-release
yum install nghttp2 -y 

For old OS version

You may need to build the h2load if Ubuntu version under 18 or CentOS under 7. Download source from https://github.com/nghttp2/nghttp2.git

Command

h2load -n 1000 -c 10 -t 1 -m 10 https://Test_Server_Domain/

Parameters :

  • -c: Number of concurrent clients
  • -n: Number of requests across all clients
  • -t: Number of native threads
  • -m: The max concurrent streams to issue per client

Output:

starting benchmark...
spawning thread #0: 100 total client(s). 10000 total requests
TLS Protocol: TLSv1.2
Cipher: ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384
Server Temp Key: X25519 253 bits
Application protocol: h2
progress: 10% done
progress: 20% done
progress: 30% done
progress: 40% done
progress: 50% done
progress: 60% done
progress: 70% done
progress: 80% done
progress: 90% done
progress: 100% done

finished in 10.58s, 945.15 req/s, 47.52MB/s
requests: 10000 total, 10000 started, 10000 done, 10000 succeeded, 0 failed, 0 errored, 0 timeout
status codes: 10000 2xx, 0 3xx, 0 4xx, 0 5xx
traffic: 502.82MB (527242343) total, 140.02KB (143384) headers (space savings 95.72%), 501.64MB (526010000) data

Jmeter

Installation

Ubuntu:

apt install openjdk-11-jre-headless -y
CentOS:
yum install java-11-openjdk-devel -y
Common:

You can download it here. This example shows the installation of version 5.1.1, the install process is the same for other versions.

wget http://apache.osuosl.org//jmeter/binaries/apache-jmeter-5.1.1.tgz
tar xf apache-jmeter-*.tgz
cd apache-jmeter*/bin/

Command

Start JMeter in command line mode

./jmeter.sh -n -t examples/TESTPLAN.jmx
Example of the Test Plan file

bash <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <jmeterTestPlan version="1.2" properties="5.0" jmeter="5.0 r1840935"> <hashTree> <TestPlan guiclass="TestPlanGui" testclass="TestPlan" testname="Test Plan" enabled="true"> <stringProp name="TestPlan.comments"></stringProp> <boolProp name="TestPlan.functional_mode">false</boolProp> <boolProp name="TestPlan.tearDown_on_shutdown">true</boolProp> <boolProp name="TestPlan.serialize_threadgroups">false</boolProp> <elementProp name="TestPlan.user_defined_variables" elementType="Arguments" guiclass="ArgumentsPanel" testclass="Arguments" testname="User Defined Variables" enabled="true"> <collectionProp name="Arguments.arguments"/> </elementProp> <stringProp name="TestPlan.user_define_classpath"></stringProp> </TestPlan> <hashTree> <ThreadGroup guiclass="ThreadGroupGui" testclass="ThreadGroup" testname="Thread Group" enabled="true"> <stringProp name="ThreadGroup.on_sample_error">continue</stringProp> <elementProp name="ThreadGroup.main_controller" elementType="LoopController" guiclass="LoopControlPanel" testclass="LoopController" testname="Loop Controller" enabled="true"> <boolProp name="LoopController.continue_forever">false</boolProp> <intProp name="LoopController.loops">-1</intProp> </elementProp> <stringProp name="ThreadGroup.num_threads">10</stringProp> <stringProp name="ThreadGroup.ramp_time">60</stringProp> <boolProp name="ThreadGroup.scheduler">true</boolProp> <stringProp name="ThreadGroup.duration">300</stringProp> <stringProp name="ThreadGroup.delay">0</stringProp> </ThreadGroup> <hashTree> <HTTPSamplerProxy guiclass="HttpTestSampleGui" testclass="HTTPSamplerProxy" testname="HTTP Request" enabled="true"> <elementProp name="HTTPsampler.Arguments" elementType="Arguments" guiclass="HTTPArgumentsPanel" testclass="Arguments" testname="User Defined Variables" enabled="true"> <collectionProp name="Arguments.arguments"/> </elementProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.domain">hostname</stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.port">80</stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.protocol">http</stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.contentEncoding"></stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.path">/</stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.method">GET</stringProp> <boolProp name="HTTPSampler.follow_redirects">true</boolProp> <boolProp name="HTTPSampler.auto_redirects">false</boolProp> <boolProp name="HTTPSampler.use_keepalive">true</boolProp> <boolProp name="HTTPSampler.DO_MULTIPART_POST">false</boolProp> <boolProp name="HTTPSampler.BROWSER_COMPATIBLE_MULTIPART">true</boolProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.embedded_url_re"></stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.connect_timeout"></stringProp> <stringProp name="HTTPSampler.response_timeout"></stringProp> </HTTPSamplerProxy> <hashTree/> <HeaderManager guiclass="HeaderPanel" testclass="HeaderManager" testname="HTTP Header Manager" enabled="true"> <collectionProp name="HeaderManager.headers"> <elementProp name="" elementType="Header"> <stringProp name="Header.name">Accept-Encoding</stringProp> <stringProp name="Header.value">gzip, deflate, sdch</stringProp> </elementProp> </collectionProp> </HeaderManager> <hashTree/> </hashTree> </hashTree> </hashTree> </jmeterTestPlan>

Parameters :

  • -n: Specified HNeter is to run in command line mode
  • -t: Name of the file that contains the Test Plan

Output:

summary +      1 in 00:00:00 =    2.5/s Avg:    58 Min:    58 Max:    58 Err:     0 (0.00%) Active: 1 Started: 1 Finished: 0
summary +  45568 in 00:00:25 = 1851.0/s Avg:     1 Min:     0 Max:    17 Err:     0 (0.00%) Active: 5 Started: 5 Finished: 0
summary =  45569 in 00:00:25 = 1820.8/s Avg:     1 Min:     0 Max:    58 Err:     0 (0.00%)
summary + 107678 in 00:00:30 = 3589.4/s Avg:     1 Min:     0 Max:    18 Err:     0 (0.00%) Active: 10 Started: 10 Finished: 0
summary = 153247 in 00:00:55 = 2785.0/s Avg:     1 Min:     0 Max:    58 Err:     0 (0.00%)

wrk

wrk is a modern HTTP benchmarking tool capable of generating significant load when run on a single multi-core CPU.

Installation

Ubuntu:

apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev git -y
CentOS:
yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'
yum install -y openssl-devel git 
Common:
git clone https://github.com/wg/wrk.git wrk && cd wrk
make

Command

wrk -c100 -t1 -d10s http://Test_Server_Domain/
Parameters :

  • -c: Total number of HTTP connections to keep open with each thread
  • -t: Total number of threads
  • -d: Duration of the test

Output:

Running 10s test @ http://Test_Server_Domain/
  1 threads and 100 connections
  Thread Stats   Avg      Stdev     Max   +/- Stdev
    Latency    19.62ms    0.98ms  34.28ms   93.53%
    Req/Sec     5.11k   179.79     5.31k    91.00%
  50870 requests in 10.00s, 542.09MB read
Requests/sec:   5084.80
Transfer/sec:     54.19MB


Last update: July 7, 2020