Chapter 12.  Internet Information Server Performance

No other technology has experienced growth like that experienced by the Web. A few simple web sites started to appear back in 1993, and by early 1994 there were fewer than 1000 web sites on the Internet. According to surveys by Netcraft, Nielsen Media Research, and CommerceNet, in December of 1999 there were at least 9.5 million web servers on the Internet, 120 million web users, and 60 million web shoppers. In a statement explaining the high Internet valuations, William W. Priest, the chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Asset management, referenced a chart produced by the Dallas Fed. “It looked at inventions and the amount of time they took to reach 25 percent of the population,” says Priest. “Nothing reached that level faster than the Internet. It took the Internet about 7 years to reach 25 percent of the population, whereas for some of the biggest inventions in the past it took about 30 years.”

Furthermore, the Internet model of information distribution has entered every organization in the form of an intranet. More and more companies and institutions are using intranets for distributing information across the organization and enhancing collaboration among divisions. This tremendous growth of the Internet and intranets has made the web server a critical application for almost every organization. At the same time, workloads imposed on web servers tend to be bursty and hard to characterize, making tuning of those servers ...

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