[Mongrel] Mongrel and Apache docs?

Charles Brian Quinn me at seebq.com
Tue Aug 1 08:50:25 EDT 2006

I would assume two requests coming in at the same time would really be
the first point you would consider getting a load balancer in some
form or fashion.

If you have a lot of long web requests (searches, big calculations,
etc.) you tie up the web request for any users.  Of course, if the web
request completes in a matter of milleseconds, you've made your user
wait milliseconds.  Probably not a big deal.  Load Balancing has the
connotation of requiring Big Hardware, but can be as simple as
Apache's mod_proxy_balancer looking at incoming requests and deciding
which mongrel instance in a mongrel_cluster to route to.  I personally
have 2 instances running on several low traffic sites, and you can see
in the Apache built in mod_proxy_balancer manager screen that the 2nd
one hardly ever kicks in.

There are some most excellent docs that even tell you how to
mod_deflate and have the Apache instance serve up static content (one
thing that mongrel does well, but not as well as it serves up ruby)
and configure a 3 mongrel_cluster setup.  Coda Hale's comes to mind:


Only using httperf or ab or siege or anything to simulate the kind of
traffic you expect will tell you if you need a load-balancer.  I
wouldn't add one before at least doing that.

On a side note, if you do have long running web requests, might I
suggest using backgrounDRb to free up the web request.

Charles Brian Quinn
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On 8/1/06, Jason Young <jason.young at extension.org> wrote:
> On Jul 31, 2006, at 3:21 AM, Dave Murphy wrote:
> > You will need a load balancer if you're not using Apache 2.2.
> Why exactly?  I have relatively low traffic sites, but I'm not load-
> balancing - and as far as I know (which is one of the biggest self-
> lies in system administration I know) - I'm not having any delivery
> problems.  At what traffic point ls LB really necessary?
> Jason
> --
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Jason Young --  Systems Manager, eXtension
>   http://about.extension.org/wiki/Jason_Young
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