We’ve been running LiteSpeed on all our servers with Intel Xeon 5430’s for quite a few days now and I figured it was time to post my thoughts on this whole thing.
On all our servers we’re seeing a reduce load on the web server side of things with respect to serving web pages. More specifically there has been a reduction in CPU in a substantial manner and also a reduction in memory but not as much as CPU. The reason being the caching LiteSpeed does which is great we have tons of memory on our servers anyways so it’s going to great use. To my surprise anyways users have actually seen a reduction in response times from the server as well. Several users have seen us response time graphs from their monitoring showing a substantial reduction. The lowest response time by Apache was now the highest for LiteSpeed. Overall LiteSpeed has shown almost a 50% reduction in web page response time so rather than 500MS response users are seeing 250MS for example.
On the PHP side of things there has been an improvement in CPU usage as well. We had very few comments about PHP serving because frankly PHP has always been fast. This just reduced our CPU to hopefully help us better utilize our servers. The reason things are better is LiteSpeed uses an almost FastCGI setup with pools of PHP processes for users. As a result no creating PHP instances to handle requests which means a lot less CPU is being used to handle PHP pages.
Things haven’t been perfect though. The crazy person that I am decided LiteSpeed was several beta’s into SSI support we should run it fine. It did not go that way but LiteSpeed was able to quickly solve any crash problems for us and now SSI works just like it did in Apache but faster. Rewrite rules haven’t been 100%, but over the course of a few days we got most of those issues resolved. They were caused by bugs due to how our httpd.conf was setup so LiteSpeed was able to get that fixed up for us as well.
So overall things are looking great now that we’re on LiteSpeed. The next week or so will be dedicated to upgrading our Xeon 3220 systems to Xeon 5430’s and also they’ll be moving to LiteSpeed. Once that is done we’ll be 100% LiteSpeed shop then we’ll need to look to our next optimization. I’m thinking probably within the next 6 months we’ll schedule a upgrade to 8GB ram on most machines and probably switch to Dual Xeon 5430’s which means maybe a small bit of down time but nothing huge as the servers motherboards support Two CPU’s and also can do 8GB ram without issue. So it just be a matter of a technician putting in the CPU and putting in more ram not a huge deal. Of course we’ll see if those are really the bottlenecks 6 months for now right now we have plenty of CPU and memory to go around.