Nginx is some serious voodoo for serving up websites. I’m bowled over by this level of performance for a consumer level Intel box running Ubuntu. And from 200 connections to 1000 connections performance stays high without any big increases in latency. Amazing.

The Low Latency Web

A modern HTTP server running on somewhat recent hardware is capable of servicing a huge number of requests with very low latency. Here’s a plot showing requests per second vs. number of concurrent connections for the default index.html page included with nginx 1.0.14.

With this particular hardware & software combination the server quickly reaches over 500,000 requests/sec and sustains that with gradually increasing latency. Even at 1,000 concurrent connections, each requesting the page as quickly as possible, latency is only around 1.5ms.

The plot shows the average requests/sec and per-request latency of 3 runs of wrk -t 10 -c N -r 10m http://localhost:8080/index.html where N = number of connections. The load generator is wrk, a scalable HTTP benchmarking tool.


The OS is Ubuntu 11.10 running Linux 3.0.0-16-generic #29-Ubuntu SMP Tue Feb 14 12:48:51 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux. The following kernel parameters were changed to increase…

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