ApacheCon – Guidelines and Best Practices – System Architecture of Web Applications

Presented by Ravi Saraswathiamma, architect with AOL / Time-Warner

When setting up an application, you have to identify hardware / software / networking / infrastructure architecture.  How do you do this?  The first step is of course gathering the requirements – what is required?  What kind of application is it?  Do you need HTTPS, etc.  What are the best practices?

Ravi’s team has done scalability tests with many of the possible applications out there.  The most performant combination they found was: Apache HTTPD / Tomcat / MySQL.  They don’t use EJB containers, and in 95% of their applications, they find that MySQL is better performing than commercial alternatives.

Most web applications can use a Layer 4 VIP (hardware load balancer) like NetScaler or Foundry, etc.  You can put a VIP in front of Apache, and also between Apache and Tomcat.  You can also just use a VIP in front of multiple Apache servers, and they point to multiple Tomcat servers.  Ravi goes through quite a few slides of various configurations that are possible.  I have attached them to this post so that you can download them in the future and review them (click here to download: Ravi Saraswathi – Slides).

I recommend downloading the slides for the rest of the presentation.  It was hard to capture all of that information (mostly displayed as pictures) in the form of written notes.

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