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  1. #1
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    Apache vs. Litespped - One Persons Experiences

    I am in the process of switching hosting companies. As part of the migration testing, I have been experimenting with LiteSpeed and Apache.

    VPS Specs:
    • 2 GB Ram
    • SSD Drives
    • Parallels Virtuozzo 4

    The VPS server runs WHM/Cpanel. I have LiteSpeed installed and configured using the WHM install plugin. So, LiteSpeed runs using all of the Apache configs, etc. Both products are clean installs with no performance tweaks. This is the way most VPS customers will use the products.

    I used Loader.io free plan. The test parameter calls three pages. I used an escalating model starting with one request per second to 250 requests per second over a 60 second duration.

    The test called the first page of Wordpress, phpBB3 and MediaWiki. All three products are customized and have plugins, mods and extensions. A normal web environment.

    Apache Test Run
    The first image shows the average response time and the number of requests sent per second. The second graph shows the responses received.

    At about 20 request per second, Apache started returning server 500 errors. 12 seconds into the test, the test was ended early since over 50% of the requests were returned as errors.

    LiteSpeed Test Run
    The 3rd image shows the average response and the number of requests made. The 4th shows the number of responses received.

    As you can see the Litespeed server finished the test with no errors returned. The response time increased as the load increased in a linear fashion. Litespeed was sending out over 80 responses per second and was receiving 250 requests per second at the end of the test.

    For me, The test showed Litespeed will serve 50 customers per second with a 2.5 second response rate.

    This was enough to convince me to invest in the Litespeed's additional costs. More importantly, Litespeed will slow down under a heavy load, but will not start sending errors.

    These are my results. Your results will differ.

    Jeff
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Apache1.jpg   Apache2.jpg   Litespeed1.jpg   Litespeed2.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi, this article has several graphic web servers.

    Apache
    Microsoft II-s
    Nginx
    Litespeed
    Google servers

    NGINX and Varnish Accelerated Apache

    see:

    http://www.unixguru.co.uk/hosting-fe...lerated-apache

  3. #3
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    Jun 2013
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    I would hope a three tier proxy and cache system using nginx, varnish and apache would be fast. As your article states, it is used by Facebook, reddit, tumbler, etc.. Everyone of those organizations have dedicated resources to build/maintain servers.

    But, for the average VPS owner, the complexity would be unsupportable and unmanageable.

    Litespeed was a 10 minute install from a WHM plugin. The gains for the investment of time and money make this an easy upgrade for the average user.

    jeff

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    What software did you use to test load for both services?
    Time4VPS - flexible, worry-free, fast and affordable VPS hosting in Europe.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2013
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    I used a cloud based load testing service called Loader.io.

    They have a free plan that will allow you to test 1 hostname calling 3 different urls for up to one minute.

    For quick basic load testing it has been a great tool.

    You can see the results graphs in the attached images in the original post.

    jeff

  6. #6
    I can confirm that installing Litespeed helped me manage 3 times and more visitors on my websites. We had a real world situation where we went from 50k visitors per day to 150k per day in one crazy week and the quickest solution was having Litespeed installed (so this is not based on synthetic tests). Everything worked right out of the box and we handled the extra visitors with the same hardware and the same code with ease. In combination with Memcache it is the most hassle free setup for those that dare spend the money and do not have dedicated sys admin staff.

  7. #7
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    I have to say that under very high traffic, about 5 millions hits per hour, LiteSpeed just doesn't cut it. The load on the server was extremely high, and requests were processed very slowly. Apache and Nginx had no problem whatsoever.

    In my opinion LiteSpeed is good for small to medium traffic, but when we're talking about large traffic, it's a problem.
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  8. #8
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    Nginx is still the king, plus it virtually forces you into using PHP-FPM (which any Apache or Litespeed installation should be too but often isn't). However, Litespeed has the great bonus of being more of a drop-in replacement for Apache which suits shared hosting type environments very well. But for anyone remotely serious about running their application on a good architecture, Nginx is incredibly easy to configure if you don't mind losing the Apache rewrites. Takes less than 10 minutes to install and configure it. And now that Nginx has native caching complete with SSL support, Varnish isn't really necessary in most cases.

    That said, I am surprised that no Nginx plug-in has come along to provide Apache rewrite compatibility in some fashion. I've seen converters, but unless I've missed it there's no interpreter.

  9. #9
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    From what we have tested, apache can be configured to perform better than litespeed especially under heavy load.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoork Hosting View Post
    I have to say that under very high traffic, about 5 millions hits per hour, LiteSpeed just doesn't cut it. The load on the server was extremely high, and requests were processed very slowly. Apache and Nginx had no problem whatsoever.

    In my opinion LiteSpeed is good for small to medium traffic, but when we're talking about large traffic, it's a problem.
    5 million hits per hour just plain Apache nothing else?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cd/home View Post
    5 million hits per hour just plain Apache nothing else?
    Apache and Nginx. You can get amazing performance from Nginx if you can tweak it properly.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoork Hosting View Post
    Apache and Nginx. You can get amazing performance from Nginx if you can tweak it properly.
    Our tests shown Litespeed + Varnish to wipe the floor with Apache + Varnish we only use Litespeed for shared hosting anything else we use a custom Nginx stack.

  13. #13
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    LiteSpeed is good for generic shared hosting, but that's it. There's many combinations out there, to give you fast performance,

    One of my favorites is IIS + wincache.
    Or Apache + Varnish.
    Or nginx + Apache.
    It's the code on the site/server that determines what's "best".
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  14. #14
    LiteSpeed has one application that makes sense:
    shared hosting provider that wants to maintain Apache compatibility.

    Nginx makes more sense in just about any other application.

  15. #15
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    Shared hosting needs to be secure, almost even a priority.

    Apache is more secure out the box, and more secure modified - where-as Litespeed is barely compatible with mod_sec (they say it is but in reality only certain rules work and the rule language is only a varied subset), so as a shared hosting web server it's questionable.

    Basically, if you use Litespeed security clearly isn't that important to you - and if you use Litespeed and use an advanced WAF, then you're pretty much wasting your time as even a standard WAF isn't fully compatible with Litespeed and it silently ignores many rules. Security is improved with Apache or Nginx as a proxy though fortunately.

    I'd just love to decrease security just so I can pack more sites onto a server.

    Security is important to me, so without a doubt I will avoid Litespeed and choose the option with nearly 20 years of development as opposed to just a few and I'll continue to laugh at the providers not taking security seriously and getting compromised as a result. As you may know there was recently a vulnerability in WHMCS which took many providers offline and compromised a lot of client data, as you may also know Apache and the default mod_sec rules block this effortlessly - where as Litespeed silently ignored these critical rules (that alone is enough of a negative for me, I'm not going to increase the risk for my clients for any apparent speed increase).
    Last edited by iexo; 01-26-2014 at 11:06 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by iexo View Post
    Basically, if you use Litespeed security clearly isn't that important to you
    Don't most of the top shared hosts (referring to many well regarded ones) use litespeed?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by waya View Post
    Don't most of the top shared hosts (referring to many well regarded ones) use litespeed?
    Then I'd expect them to have modified Litespeed to get the right subset (Litespeed haven't released this yet) and implemented their own working rulesets, otherwise they're clearly not focused on security.

    Wouldn't suprise me, I've done lots of transfers from some of the bigger providers and had basic ClamAV scans show nasty malicious files - so from those views alone I'm aware who takes security seriously and who doesn't, but as Rack911 know it's really not many! If providers can't even keep seriously destructive files off their servers I hardly imagine they're investing in custom rulesets. Litespeeds modsecurity needs to rapidly catch up, but I do wonder why they've opted for a language subset which isn't compatible with the widely used rulesets when security is such a serious issue.

    The good advanced WAF's are one of the best security tools you can find, ours for example holds 35,000 rules and blocks everything for example from SQL injection to Wordpress comment SPAM - I hate to think how many Litespeed rules silently ignores when it doesn't read the standard mod_sec language in the same way.
    Last edited by iexo; 01-26-2014 at 11:27 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Snoork Hosting View Post
    I have to say that under very high traffic, about 5 millions hits per hour, LiteSpeed just doesn't cut it. The load on the server was extremely high, and requests were processed very slowly. Apache and Nginx had no problem whatsoever.

    In my opinion LiteSpeed is good for small to medium traffic, but when we're talking about large traffic, it's a problem.
    I will very interested in knowing more about the site.
    Basically, Nginx is a static content accelerator + reverse proxy for dynamic content to backend Apache.
    For serving static content, LiteSpeed is faster than Ngnix.
    For serving dynamic content, especially PHP pages, LiteSpeed > Apache > Nginx + Apache.

    Unless you setup page cache for dynamic content in Nginx, while does not use LiteSpeed PageCache, I cannot imagine LiteSpeed is slower than Nginx + Apache setup.

    If you want to give LiteSpeed another chance, our staff can help with configuration tuning to make sure it has been setup properly.
    LiteSpeed Web Acceleration Platform by http://www.litespeedtech.com
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by iexo View Post
    As you may know there was recently a vulnerability in WHMCS which took many providers offline and compromised a lot of client data, as you may also know Apache and the default mod_sec rules block this effortlessly - where as Litespeed silently ignored these critical rules (that alone is enough of a negative for me,
    Were you talking about similar rules posted by [email protected]?

    SecRule REQUEST_URI|ARGS|REQUEST_BODY "tbladmins" "id:00001,phase:4,t:urlDecodeUni,t:htmlEntityDecode,t:replaceComments,t:compressWhiteSpace,t:lowercase,log,deny,msg:'WHMCS'"
    SecRule REQUEST_URI|ARGS|REQUEST_BODY "tbladmins" "id:00002,phase:4,t:urlDecodeUni,t:htmlEntityDecode,t:hexDecode,t:replaceComments,t:compressWhiteSpace,t:lowercase,log,deny,msg:'WHMCS'"
    SecRule REQUEST_URI|ARGS|REQUEST_BODY "tblclients" "id:00003,phase:4,t:urlDecodeUni,t:htmlEntityDecode,t:replaceComments,t:compressWhiteSpace,t:lowercase,log,deny,msg:'WHMCS'"
    SecRule REQUEST_URI|ARGS|REQUEST_BODY "tblclients" "id:00004,phase:4,t:urlDecodeUni,t:htmlEntityDecode,t:hexDecode,t:replaceComments,t:compressWhiteSpace,t:lowercase,log,deny,msg:'WHMCS'"
    ...
    Those does not work with LiteSpeed modsec engine because it is invoked at "phase:4" is for response body, which is ignored by LiteSpeed. actually, if the request reaches "phase:4", it is already to late, the damage has been done. change it to "phase:2" everything is good with both Apache and LiteSpeed.

    Litespeeds modsecurity needs to rapidly catch up, but I do wonder why they've opted for a language subset which isn't compatible with the widely used rulesets when security is such a serious issue.
    Totally agree with that and it is on our to-do list. Once we cut the LiteSpeed 5.0 and Openlitespeed 1.3 release, we will start working on it. So, if you want to make sure any specific ruleset works with LiteSpeed, just let us know.
    We are also working with Atomic and Comodo on LiteSpeed compatible rulesets.
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  20. #20
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    It's my personal opinion that the choice of web server is insignificant. Whether you're using Apache, LiteSpeed, Nginx and whether they're coupled with Varnish really, in my opinion, doesn't matter.

    There are so many other factors (iexo pointed out those of security) that play into choosing a web server. Two things that count against LiteSpeed for me are:

    1) security
    2) licensing (no adult sites allowed)
    3) cost

    The difference is so insignificant here if you're comparing LiteSpeed with a properly tuned Apache installation. Furthermore, you're paying extra to use LiteSpeed, and it puts restrictions on who can use your hosting service. I just don't understand the draw.

    To me, the biggest thing is the number of clients on the server. Of course all the software matters, but it's the hardware that really counts. You can have optimized software, but with 3,000 clients on any box, it's going to run poorly.

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