Internet Web Server Sizing

A web server provides data to browsers by means of the hypertext transfer protocol, HTTP. This protocol runs on top of a TCP connection.

What is important from a performance point of view is the size of the data transfer. The content type does not matter: the load on the server is the same whether the data being transferred is an HTML page, a GIF image, or a Java class.

The most important issue is that normally a complete TCP connection is set up and destroyed as part of each transfer. This cycle increases the response time and stresses TCP in ways that it was not really designed to handle. It has been said that HTTP is an abuse of TCP!

The most common operation by far in the protocol is GET; each request is tagged ...

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