For as long as there's been a Web, people have been trying to make it faster. The maturation of the Web has meant more users, more data, more bells and whistles, and consequently longer waits on the Web. Improved performance has become one of the most important factors in determining the usability of both the Web in general and of individual sites in particular.
Web Performance Tuning is about getting the best performance from the Web. This book isn't just about tuning the web server software; it's also about getting optimal performance from a browser, tuning the hardware (on both the server and browser ends), and maximizing the capacity of the network itself.
Web Performance Tuning hits the ground running, giving concrete advice for quick results--the "blunt instruments" for improving crippled performance right away. The book then takes a breath and pulls back to give a conceptual background of the principles of computing performance. The latter half of the book approaches each element of a web transaction--from client to network to server--to examine the weak links in the chain and how to strengthen them.
Using simultaneous downloads to locate bottlenecks
Adjusting TCP for better web performance
Reducing the impact of DNS
Upgrading device drivers
Using alternatives to CGI
Locating the web server strategically
Minimizing browser cache lookups
Avoiding symbolic links for web content
Chapter 1 The Blunt Instruments
Improving Performance from the Browser Side
Improving Performance from the Server Side
Chapter 2 Capacity Planning
Capacity Planning Is Preemptive Performance Tuning
Questions to Ask
How Much Bandwidth Do You Need?
How Fast a Server Do You Need?
How Much Memory Do You Need?
Architecture Scaling Options
Chapter 3 Web Performance Measurement
Parameters of Performance
Benchmark Specifications and Benchmark Tests
Web Performance Measuring Tools and Services
Chapter 4 Case Studies
Example Performance Problems, Diagnoses, and Solutions
Methodology for Performance Consulting
Chapter 5 Principles and Patterns
Principles of Performance Tuning
Patterns of Performance Improvement
Tuning in Depth
Chapter 6 Client Software
Brief History of the Web Browser
How Browsers Work
Browser Tuning Tips
Figuring Out Why the Browser Is Hanging
Chapter 7 Client Operating System
Chapter 8 Client Hardware
Chapter 9 Network Hardware
Lines and Terminators
Network Modeling Tools
Chapter 10 Network Protocols
Power and Protocols
The Protocols of the Web
Chapter 11 Server Hardware
How Server Hardware Is Different
Network Interface Card
Chapter 12 Server Operating System
Unix and the Origin of the Web
Processes and the Kernel
The Windowing System
Versions and Patches
Configurable OS Parameters
Unix OS Monitoring Tools
Unix Versus NT as the Web Server OS
Chapter 13 Server Software
Inside Web Server Software
Common Server Parameters
Chapter 14 Content
Chapter 15 CGI Programs
CGI Internals and Performance Problems
General CGI Tips
CGI Language-Specific Optimization Tips
CGI Database Access Performance
Chapter 16 Java
What Java Does for You
Java Compared to Native Code
Why It’s Getting Better
Performance Tips: What You Can Do
Chapter 17 Databases
Do You Really Need a Relational Database?
Appendix Netscape Enterprise Server 3.0 Tuning
What Is perfdump?
Using perfdump Statistics
Benchmarking the Netscape Enterprise Server
Appendix Apache Performance Notes
Hardware and Operating System Issues
Runtime Configuration Issues
Compile-Time Configuration Issues
Detailed Analysis of a Trace
The Preforking Model
Appendix Solaris 2.x—Tuning Your TCP/IP Stack and More
Patrick Killelea currently works for a major on-line brokerage, but he won't say which one. He spends his days writing monitoring and load testing tools, and proclaiming the web to the be the one true front end because of its simplicity, portability, and performance. He thinks Microsoft is not to be trusted with your back end. Patrick knows there are huge web performance improvements yet to be realized using the details of existing open protocols. He is a fan of T/TCP and hopes one day to set up a connection and deliver an entire web page all in a single packet. Patrick spends his evenings playing with his wife and kids, and is interested in etymologies, obscure religions, and pan-seared salmon with mixed greens and a nice merlot. He likes to get e-mail about web and Java performance issues. Please visit his web site at patrick.net.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal on the cover of Web Performance Tuning is a sword-billed hummingbird. There are over 300 species of hummingbird, all found only in the New World. All of these species are easily identifiable by their long, tubular bills and iridescent feathers. The iridescence is a refraction effect that can be seen only when light is shining on the feathers at certain angles. Hummingbirds range in size from the bee hummingbird which, measuring 2 inches long and weighing less than an ounce, is the smallest of all birds, to the great hummingbird, which measures about 8.5 inches long.
Hummingbirds are so named because of the humming noise made by their rapidly moving wings. On average, hummingbirds flap their wings 50 times a second; some species can flap as many as 200 times per second. The wings are flexible at the shoulder and, unlike most birds, they are propelled on the upstroke as well as the downstroke. Because of this flexibility, hummingbirds can hover, fly right or left, backwards, and upside down. Most hummingbirds have tiny feet that are used only for perching, never for walking. Hummingbirds will fly to travel even a couple of inches.
Hummingbirds expend a great deal of energy, and need to feed every 10 minutes or so. They feed on nectar, for sugar, and small insects, for protein. Their long, tapered bills enable them to retrieve nectar from even the deepest flower. Pollen accumulates on the head and neck of hummingbirds while they gather nectar. They then transfer this pollen to other flowers and thus play an important role in plant reproduction.
Hummingbirds appear frequently in Native American legends and mythology, often as representatives of the sun. According to some folk beliefs, they can bring love. Since Europeans first spotted these beautiful, colorful little birds, they have often appeared in the art and literature of the Old World, as well. Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book, using a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover layout was produced with QuarkXPress 3.32 using the ITC Garamond font. Whenever possible, our books a durable and flexible lay-flat binding, either RepKover or Otabind. If the page count exceeds the maximum bulk possible for this type of binding, perfect binding is used.
The inside layout was designed by Edie Freedman and modified by Nancy Priest. Text was prepared in FrameMaker by Mike Sierra. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were created in Macromedia Freehand 7.0 by Robert Romano. This colophon was written by Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary.