The sys admin's daily grind: Siege
The siege of Troy is said to have taken 10 years, ending only after Odysseus introduced a wooden horse into the mix. Charly is planning a siege, too, and the target is his own web server. Of course, he doesn't have 10 years to complete the task, and Odysseus isn't on his team.
When contemplating my Apache server, I'm reminded of the mythical sea creature Scylla, which wiped out no fewer than six of Odysseus's men on his way home from Troy. My server's Worker MPM can devour multiple requests in one fell swoop. But where's the limit? How many threads do I need to configure to achieve maximum performance? And how many threads are just overkill?
With the use of the attack tool Siege , I will try to answer these questions with a stress test. Siege supports two modes of attack. The first simulates human web-surfing behavior, which explains the gaps of three seconds between individual access instances.
In the second mode, benchmark mode, these gaps are dropped and Siege incessantly throws requests at the server. To make the server sweat, Siege fields a configurable army of users – 10 by default, but you can use the following parameter to increase the size of the virtual vanguard until either the web server cries mercy or the attackers run out of system resources:
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