Best practice for a web farm?
brianm at dealnews.com
Sun Feb 3 22:21:52 UTC 2008
>> My point: if you want your web nodes to *take a beating* (and I've seen
>> this happen repeatedly from spambots and trackback botnets) don't put
>> memcache on your webnodes. Put your memcache on nodes that are well
>> protected from memory starvation ...like dedicated boxes or an NFS server.
> Funny, my webnodes don't do that... Regardless, anything I say is
> assuming the rest of your system is tuned properly. If your webserver
> will run out of RAM before it runs out of CPU, you obviously don't have
> RAM free to put memcached there.
I agree with dormando here. There is something Rasmus Lerdorf told me a
long time ago that I laughed at the time. He suggested starting all the
apache processes that server will ever use at start up and not having a
chance to have a siege on your apache daemon. IMO, having Apache
attempt to fork hundreds of children on demand is really bad for your
server. I have adopted this system for our servers at dealnews.com and
my personal servers I run.
We run Apache with the worker MPM and mod_PHP. We are cowboys in some
people's eyes for doing that. But, it works quite well when you control
Yes, that is 1,024 MaxClients. And yes, they run all the time with no
problems. Each processes uses about 100MB of ram each. So, Apache
uses 1.6GB of RAM and never grows. If we need more power than that, we
need to buy another server or refactor something.
Each of these server has a 512MB memcached instance running on them and
have a total of 4GB of ram. They never hit swap. They maintain 1GB+ of
free RAM at all times.
These servers are our front facing servers. They don't do heavy CPU
work. They serve static content and light weight scripts like
redirects. Their main job is serving as a caching proxy. We have a
custom application proxy that uses PHP and memcached to serve nearly all
of our pages. It is much like perlbal for dormando.
On our appliation servers, we run with these settings:
Each apache process on these servers uses about 30MB. So, at the most,
Apache would use 300MB of RAM. We have a PHP memory limit set to
ensure that our scripts can't exceed our memory as well. These servers
have a 256MB memcached instance on them. So, like the others, they have
1GB+ free at all times.
In all cases, like dormando said, if you are running out of RAM before
you run out of CPU, you are doing it wrong.
For the record, I am not telling you to use Apache Worker, but I would
suggest you not dismiss it as bad until you have tested out your
application with it. It saves us loads of RAM since the PHP engine uses
the shared memory of the process instead of each child having its own
block of memory.
When you care enough to spend the very least.
More information about the memcached