Highly Scalable Web Applications with Zero-Copy Data Transfer

Presented at: 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2009)

by Toyotaro Suzumura, Michiaki Tatsubori, Scott Trent, Akihiko Tozawa, Tamiya Onodera

Webpage: http://www2009.eprints.org/93/1/p921.pdf

The performance of server-side applications is becoming increasingly important as more applications exploit the Web application model. Extensive work has been done to improve the performance of individual software components such as Web servers and programming language runtimes. This paper describes a novel approach to boost Web application performance by improving inter-process communication between a programming language runtime and Web server runtime. The approach reduces redundant processing for memory copying and the context switch overhead between user space and kernel space by exploiting the zero-copy data transfer methodology, such as the sendfile system call. In order to transparently utilize this optimization feature with existing Web applications, we propose enhancements of the PHP runtime, FastCGI protocol, and Web server. Our proposed approach achieves a 126% performance improvement with microbenchmarks and a 44% performance improvement for a standard Web benchmark, SPECweb2005.

Keywords: Web Engineering

Resource URI on the dog food server: http://data.semanticweb.org/conference/www/2009/paper/93

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