LISA 2001 Abstract
Performance Evaluation of Linux Virtual Server
Patrick O'Rourke and Mike Keefe, Mission Critical
Linux Virtual Server (LVS) is an open source technology which can
be used to construct a scalable and highly available server using a
collection of real servers. LVS load balances a variety of network
services among multiple machines by manipulating packets as they are
processed by the Linux TCP/IP stack. One of the most common roles for
LVS is to act as a front end to a farm of web servers.
This paper documents a series of experiments performed on LVS by
Mission Critical Linux, Inc. in a cooperative effort with Intel
Corporation. The objective of these experiments was to evaluate LVS's
ability to distribute web requests among several servers. We
investigated a variety of LVS configurations and offer a comparison of
LVS's ability to scale on Linux 2.2 versus Linux 2.4. In contrast to
similar evaluations, our entire test effort was accomplished using
open source software on Linux based platforms.
Our results show that in a uni-processor environment the
performance of LVS on Linux 2.4 is on par with Linux 2.2, however in a
multi-processor configuration, Linux 2.4 significantly surpasses Linux
2.2. LVS on Linux 2.2 actually exhibits minimal scaling in a multi-
processor environment. We reveal the detrimental impact that multiple
devices sharing interrupts can have on LVS throughput. A comparison of
LVS to a commercial load balancer indicates that LVS is a viable
alternative to the more expensive, proprietary solution. Our results
show that LVS is nearly twice as cost effective in terms of
price/performance when compared to the hardware based load balancer.
Lastly, we document the steps necessary to enhance the capabilities of
our load generator which in turn reduces the amount of client hardware
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