[Mongrel] one mongrel request seems to block cluster

Michael Engelhart mike.engelhart at gmail.com
Thu Feb 14 10:46:12 EST 2008

Hello -

I'm new to setting up a mongrel cluster and ran into a question while doing
some simple performance testing.

I'm using Apache 2.2 as a proxy/load balancer to multiple mongrel instances
(for this test on the same box - a small EC2 compute unit).    I setup the
cluster with 5 mongrel instances.

Last night I ran "siege" against the server and the performance seemed to be
fine while hitting a single rails action.   But the app I'm working on does
a web service request that can take up to 20 seconds to get a response.

So to test concurrent performance for this long process while siege was
running against a simple Rails action I used my browser to hit the page that
called out  to the long running web service.

What happened next was that siege stopped outputting any response
information until my browser returned with the response from the web service

As I said I'm new to this and maybe I'm misinterpreting they way siege works
but it "appeared" to me that ALL the mongrel instances were blocked while
one handled this long running request.    I can't imagine that this is how
it is supposed to work in a properly configured environment but I can't find
any other information from googling as to why this might be happening.   It
could very well just be a configuration problem on my end.  I'm hoping that
this is just siege blocking on it's output :-)

Thanks for any advice.

Best Regards
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