HP Labs Technical Reports

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Web Server Workload Characterization

Dilley, John A.


Keyword(s): World Wide Web (WWW); performance characterization, user workload

Abstract: Use of the Internet and the World Wide Web have increased rapidly over the past few years. HP customers deploying Web servers want to understand how their servers are being used by Internet users, how those patterns of use are changing over time, and what steps they should take to ensure adequate server response to the incoming requests today and in the future. This requires an evaluation of the requests offered to the Web server and the characteristics of the server's response to those requests over a suitably long time interval. In this report we present the results of a study of one customer's Internet Web server system over a two month period. During that time the traffic to the site increased significantly in terms of incoming requests and outgoing bytes. We examine the request and response types, and characterize the traffic distribution on the basis of request size, response time, and other factors. We conclude with system performance recommendations and identify future directions for our Web research.

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