[Mongrel] Application performance

Zed Shaw zedshaw at zedshaw.com
Fri Sep 1 18:55:10 EDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-09-01 at 12:54 +0100, Tim Perrett wrote:
> Hey all 
> Im working on improving the speed of my application. Ive taken on board
> everything that has been said on this forum so far, im using httperf to
> benchmark and try to improve performance. However, I have some question
> marks over how best to go about improving performance in certain areas....
> With no caching or such like deployed the application runs at an rather slow
> 35 - 38 req/s. A static file from the server runs at 872 req/s - so im
> rather far behind that. A basic rails app with render text runs at around
> 200 req/s. So realistically there is a lot more tuning to be done to get it
> to a decent level. Im guessing it changes from app to app but if I aim to
> get near 100 req/s that would improve performance to the point of being much
> quicker for users?

First, 35-38 isn't that bad.  If you've already tried tuning it and this
is the best you get then you're probably the tuning density of the app.
Only a redesign or more hardware will really make it faster.  In other
words, you have to move from focusing on little stuff and now look at
big stuff:  design, deployment, load balancers, architecture, etc.

However, have you asked the users?  It might be that 35-38 is just fine.
It might be that you'll never make it fast enough.  What you have to do
is get an idea of people's feeling of the speed of the app, and then see
what you can do to just make them *think* it's faster.

This gets into more messing with human perception than measuring raw
performance metrics, but it's also a very effective way of making things
"faster" without changing much about your app.

A lot of this approach involves getting user feedback, coming up with
ways you think will improve their impressions, doing the changes and
measuring them, then going back for more feedback.  You'll probably
stumble on a few simple little changes that will make things seem tons

Zed A. Shaw
http://www.lingr.com/room/3yXhqKbfPy8 -- Come get help.

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