Ruby web server performance

I’m currently helping a colleague to build a rather large community website using Ruby on Rails. As most Rails developers are well aware, Ruby isn’t exactly the quickest language you can use to build web applications. To get a rough idea of how much users our current code would handle, I decided to run some performance tests.

First, here’s a picture of the page that was used.

Leef je Doel index page

The page has a tagcloud, site statistics and a conditional menu in the upper right corner.

For the benchmark I’m using the following tools

ApacheBench 2.0.40. To fire off a large amount of requests into the webserver.

Mongrel 1.1.3. One of the Ruby web servers

Thin 0.6.4. An alternative to Mongrel.

nginx 0.5.26. A lightweight HTTP server, which will act as a proxy/balancer in front of the Ruby application servers

For the benchmarks I settled on the following scenario’s.

Single instance of Mongrel in development mode

Single instance of Mongrel in production mode

Cluster of 4 Mongrel instances behind nginx

Cluster of 4 Thin instances behind nginx

In a real production environment, you’d never see the single Mongrel instance, and certainly not in development mode. The graph will show you why.

The red bar is for 50 concurrent requests, with a total of 10000. The red blue is for 10 concurrent requests, with a total of 10000.

Benchmark graph

The raw numbers:

  10 concurrent 50 concurrent
Mongrel (development) 4.88 req/s 4.59 req/s
Mongrel (production) 77.15 req/s 67.18 req/s
Mongrel cluster + nginx 130.97 req/s 122.04 req/s
Thin + nginx 156.21 req/s 160.89 req/s

I’m pleased with the results, we still have a lot of stuff we could cache and database queries that could be optimized, so there’s room for improvement. The server that will eventually host the application runs an Apache proxy going to mongrel_cluster. I’m probably going to run some benchmarks later, to see how Apache proxy holds up against nginx.

4 thoughts on “Ruby web server performance

  1. Pingback: Arie’s blog » Blog Archive » Yet another Ruby server

  2. Hi,

    Can you provide the hardware specs please?

    And also, the page you test against, does it fetch its data from the DB or is it hardcoded in a view and/or controller?

    My benchmarks resulted in 2x less performance when my application connects to the DB.

  3. The tests were done on a Dell D830 with Intel T7300CPU, 7200RPM disk and 2GB of RAM.

    The data was fetched from DB once, and from than on it was fragment cached. The only query left at that point was the one checking for the currently logged in user.

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