X15 alpha release: as fast as TUX but in user space

From: Ingo Molnar (mingo@elte.hu)
Date: Sat Apr 28 2001 - 02:32:33 EST

On Fri, 27 Apr 2001, Fabio Riccardi wrote:

> I'd like to announce the first release of X15 Alpha 1, a _user space_
> web server that is as fast as TUX.

great, the first TUX clone! ;-)

This should put the accusations to rest that Linux got the outstandingly
high SPECweb99 scores only because the webserver was in kernel-space. It's
the 2.4 kernel's high performance that enabled those results, having the
web-server in kernel-space didnt have much effect. TUX was and remains a
testbed to test high-performance webserving (and FTP serving), without the
API-exporting overhead of userspace.

[i suspect the small performance advantage of X15 is due to subtle
differences in the SPECweb99 user-space module: eg. while the TUX code was
written, tested and ready to use mmap()-enabled
TUXAPI_alloc_read_objectbuf(), it wasnt enabled actually. I sent Fabio a
mail how to enable it, perhaps he can do some tests to confirm this

doing a TUX 2.0 SPECweb99 benchmark on the latest -ac kernels, 86% of time
is spent in generic parts of the kernel, 12% of time is spent in the
user-space SPECweb99 module, and only 2% of time is spent in TUX-specific
kernel code.

doing the same test with the original TUX 1.0 code shows that more than
50% of CPU time was spent in TUX-specific code.

what does this mean? In the roughly 6 months since TUX 1.0 was released,
we moved much of the TUX 1.0 -only improvements into the generic kernel
(most of which was made available to user-space as well), and TUX itself
became smaller and smaller (and used more and more generic parts of the
kernel). So in effect X15 is executing 50% TUX code :-)

(there are still a number of performance improvement patches pending that
are not integrated yet: the pagecache extreme-scalability patch and the
smptimers patch. These patches speed both X15 and TUX up.)

(there is one thing though that can never be 'exported to user-space': to
isolate possibly untrusted binary application code from the server itself,
without performance degradation. So we always have to be mentally open to
the validity of kernel-space services.)


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Apr 30 2001 - 21:00:19 EST