So what's a guy to do on Friday night / Saturday? Probably look for something really nerdy to do, right??!?? That's probably the response of most guys right? Okay, maybe not; but when your significant other is still playing in Florida, and the movie theatre is running on partial power and not showing movies, it is easy to become absorbed by something new and shiny. My new toy: YAWS, (Yet Another WebServer for those not in the know). I am a web developer and as such spend a healthy chunk of time leveraging the Apache webserver to serve up the web applications I develop. So when another web server makes performance claims like this (thoughput ( load(x-axis) vs KBytes/second(y-axis)): apachevsyaws.jpg

Our figure shows the performance of a server when subject to parallel load. This kind of load is often generated in a so-called "Distributed denial of service attack".

Apache dies at about 4,000 parallel sessions. Yaws is still functioning at over 80,000 parallel connections.

Intruiged, I upgraded my version of erlang, got myself YAWS up and running, and am now delving into the world of erlang web development. I think I'll write a simple application in both erlang/YAWS and PHP/Apache and run some benchmarks to test these claims myself. To see my YAWS development, tune your browser to my compy. Currently it only has the default site, as my erlang fu is in development. The graph is non-trivial and if it proves to be true, even partially true, that YAWS can handle 20x the number of parallel requests Apache can, that may be just the advantage we need over our competition. More to come…