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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up litespeed http server review

    SO the last few months I been trying like crazy to tweak Apache or find a better http setup such as running lighttpd with Apache, etc. I have been frustrated by the way Apache easily fork bombs under any decent load or dos attack. You get about 100 bots all making 30+ connections a piece on Apache and it kills it.

    Bot kids have adapted to ddos protection and connection flooding banning by sending low bandwidth attacks that do not make enough connections to get banned if you do have protection, its real low bandwidth incoming but is like a massive vampire attack outgoing. And it destroys Apache no matter what you do, what modules you have, etc. You basically have to go in and manually ban or set your connection tracking limit down to where it starts banning regular users too.

    So I seen on here somewhere someone recommending litespeed to someone so I went and checked it out and was amazed by the performance. I installed the trial enterprise in a p4 server I been having problems out of lately crashing all because a busy site and I installed it in my main server.

    The only thing I needed to do was compile my own php5 for it, which is real easy via their wiki instruction. After a few snags here in there I finally got it working tip top on both servers, both of which are cpanel.

    So with the p4 that was always crashing and keeping hi load, We would end up having to remote reboot that box almost once a week not due to any misconfiguration or wrong setup, just couldnt take all that Apache usage and would die. We instantly noticed a difference with litespeed. The average load used to be about 1-2 always, with litespeed the average stayed about ..2 even under heavy traffic. So this was a big improvement and we have not had to reboot that box since.

    My main server which I take my high risk clients on, core2duo 2.4. I thought there for a Lil bit the sites were starting to outgrow the server as its average load always was around 1 which was fairly acceptable seeing the traffic it gets so normal for Apache. During the low bandwidth ddos attacks I would have to go in and manually ban as well as setting connection limit way down just to keep it from lagging, most of the time it still did. So I was really wanting to do something for this server to optimize http without upgrading, because it seems most of your hardware upgrades are to suit Apache anyway.

    So I installed litespeed on my main server, ran into a few snags here and there but eventually got it under control. Just the last few days I got to see it put to the test. I took on a client who was being extorted by a ddoser who recently got him kicked off his previous host. SO as soon as dns resolves here comes the crapstorm. A low bandwidth http attack, a lot got by ddos firewall on the network level which these are hard to stop because they are so similar to a legit user.

    So I started getting hundreds of csf connection tracking blocked emails, was checking the site periodically and it loaded fine. So I logged in the box, looked at the load. Was at .24. When I done netstat command there was hundreds of syns coming in and about 250 ips all connected about 50 times, this would normally kill Apache no matter what CPU/ram and all that you have. So I set connection tracking down to a reasonable level, 60 connections and I figured I would just let them get themselves banned. Looking in the live stats in the litespeed admin panel which is real cool BTW. I was seeing about 400 requests a second. This was eating a Lil bandwidth, all outgoing as that is how the attack works like a massive vamp attack. So about 2000 connection tracking emails later finally gets em all banned. The entire time the load on that box never even got to 1!

    So im pretty much amazed how fast and light this http server is. And especially how well it handles dos. I about know for a fact even if you was on a non protected network it could handle as much http as your pipe will give it, and do all this at a low resource load.

    This will end up saving me money on hardware upgrades in the future as well. Long review, long story, but I been so amazed by this http server I had to make a review on it. Im sure some geniouses will try to say "If you do this and that with apache you can make it just as good" But check it out for yourselves and see.

  2. #2
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    Are you using the free version or the paid version?

    thanks
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffeingol View Post
    Are you using the free version or the paid version?

    thanks
    He is using an enterprise trial (as stated) - which is basically the paid version.

    We use LiteSpeed ourselves and absolutely love it.
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  4. #4
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    my bad. Missed that piece.
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  5. #5
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    We use it as well, and it is amazing.
    I just do not recommend it to other hosting companies (i gotta have some edge)
    Only recommend it to shared customers at eleven2 only
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  6. #6
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    Which essesntial Apache modules won't work on LiteSpeed?

  7. #7
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    Honestly nothing that I have seen.
    It runs everything exactly as apache does.

    It drops your loads in half and I feel much more secure now.
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  8. #8
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    Really, is it easy to revert back to Apache if I run into problems?

  9. #9
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    just 4 lines to of crap to paste into shell if you want to revert back
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD Fanatic View Post
    Which essesntial Apache modules won't work on LiteSpeed?
    Most you dont need but only issue I have had in general is server side includes, which there is a fix running apache behind it I never got it to work. Not really a big deal as most of my people are php/mysql forums and cms

  11. #11
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    does mod_rewrite or some form of it work with litespeed?


    oh, and hi felosi <3
    semi-retired

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoutbox View Post
    does mod_rewrite or some form of it work with litespeed?


    oh, and hi felosi <3
    Yes, so far we've had very minimal issues with RewriteRules (in exactly the same format as for Apache). LiteSpeed strives to be 100% compatible, and they definitely live up to it.

    LiteSpeed is very beneficial for someone hosting a large application (even WHT, for example) and wants to reduce their hardware costs. We've converted a few clusters over from Apache to LiteSpeed ourselves, and the results are phenomenal.
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  13. #13
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    Has anybody done some real world LiteSpeed vs Lighttpd tests? Yes, lighttpd is not a complete Apache replacement...but for specific applications hosting it works very well.

  14. #14
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    It is supposed to. But I havent seen any third party tests.
    http://www.litespeedtech.com/product...ver/benchmark/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    LiteSpeed is very beneficial for someone hosting a large application (even WHT, for example) and wants to reduce their hardware costs. We've converted a few clusters over from Apache to LiteSpeed ourselves, and the results are phenomenal.
    You know I've actually toyed with the idea of converting our WHT web cluster to LiteSpeed on a trial to see if some of our DDoS issues would decrease. Our mitigation system is catching the brunt of an attack but the rest that slips through really slows things down and still causes outages.

    Thanks for the great review and I'll be sure to test it on my mini-lab.
    -Mat Sumpter
    Director, Product Engagement
    Penton Media

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecureServerTech View Post
    It is supposed to. But I havent seen any third party tests.
    http://www.litespeedtech.com/product...ver/benchmark/
    Keep in mind those have not been updated yet for LiteSpeed 3.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Keep in mind those have not been updated yet for LiteSpeed 3.
    Good they might be, but they are really expensive.
    Sufficient to buy an entire server, even.

  18. #18
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    Yes, their list prices do seem a tad high. We've had some discussion with them and there are, of course, discounts given for volume etc.
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  19. #19
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    I have read that you could drop it into a cpanel server.

    When I was thinking of using it for cpanelreseller.com, I thought I read about putting it into a cpanel server on their site, but I just glanced over their site and didn't see it anywhere.

    Does anyone a have experiance with litespeed on a cpanel server?

    Tracy Phillips

  20. #20
    SecureServerTech,

    Thank you for the nice review.
    Have you played with LiteSpeed internal Anti-DDoS features? It should be able to reduce the damage of DDoS attack even better, even fend it off completely.

    http://www.litespeedtech.com/library/howto/#qa_dos


    Quote Originally Posted by The Prohacker View Post
    You know I've actually toyed with the idea of converting our WHT web cluster to LiteSpeed on a trial to see if some of our DDoS issues would decrease. Our mitigation system is catching the brunt of an attack but the rest that slips through really slows things down and still causes outages.
    It should help with any sort of DDoS attacks at HTTP level. If need help with anything, please just let me know.


    Thanks everyone who shared your experiences with LiteSpeed.
    LiteSpeed Web Acceleration Platform by http://www.litespeedtech.com
    Apache drop-in replacement. Triple server capacity with 10X performance increases.
    Ultimate web serving platform for WordPress, Magento and other web applications.
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  21. #21
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    I am using free version on one server, I know litespeed does not support SSI that Apache obviously supports. however, you may relay the SSI to backend Apache at a different port.

  22. #22
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    yeah i moved it onto one with over 500 accounts, besides server side includes and some mod rewrite rules dont work. I even think its the one that cpanel adds to htaccess that doesnt work either, but you can change them up and they work fine.
    Redirectmatch 301 ^/forum http://site.com/smf
    is the way I had to do them.

    Now you can try it out without messing up anything, just read their wiki.

    I seen someone said about the price, yea that is a lil high but it would average out to hardware upgrade. Meaning you can run a lot of busy sites on litespeed without upgrading processors and ram.

  23. #23
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    I already see some cracks for litespeed 3

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsj5j View Post
    Good they might be, but they are really expensive.
    Sufficient to buy an entire server, even.
    Honestly, I don't think you can accurately speak your opinion until you've tried it for yourself It makes a world of difference.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Honestly, I don't think you can accurately speak your opinion until you've tried it for yourself It makes a world of difference.
    To be honest, I don't doubt the efficiency/ability of this web server.
    However, the cost of the software is too expensive.

    $799 for a dual core? You can buy another dual core machine with that.

  26. #26
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    I rather upgrade the memory at $25/month, it'll take me more than 32 months before I can start saving. And by that time, prices for servers would've gone down by a lot.

  27. #27
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    Take a look at competing web servers (and again these are not Apache compatible), i.e. www.zeus.com. You won't like their pricing

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Take a look at competing web servers (and again these are not Apache compatible), i.e. www.zeus.com. You won't like their pricing
    True, but then again Apache does great for reliablity and Lighttpd/Nginx does great for static serving.
    Indeed they don't have the compatibility and ease of use (lighty/nginx) but with some tweaking and configurations they can work well enough.

    Of course, I've never used LiteSpeed (installer failed to install PHP, gave up on trial).

  29. #29
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    I don't think it's expensive at all. An enterprise customer which is what they're targeting wouldn't sweat dropping a couple grand on it.
    Patron: I'd like my free lunch please.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cywkevin View Post
    I don't think it's expensive at all. An enterprise customer which is what they're targeting wouldn't sweat dropping a couple grand on it.
    Exactly. In the end, it really depends on what you're trying to do.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsj5j View Post
    $799 for a dual core? You can buy another dual core machine with that.
    For us at least, we don't want more servers. There are a lot more "costs" with more servers. The biggest one being more management headaches. So while this product is expensive, it avoids a lot of other costs.

    Frank
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  32. #32
    One other thing to consider with supposed high costs is how much time is saved using Litespeed. Personally, I save muchos muchos time with easy configuration and lack of slowdown and downtime.

    How much do you charge an hour? Well, my time is not cheap and nor is downtime. Throwing hardware at a problem is not a solution (IMHO), it is averting the problem for a while.

    All I can say is try it before casting it aside - give a real go and you may be surprised. I know I was and every server and VPS I have now uses Litespeed.

  33. #33
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    Guys I would almost bet money that a single dual core server running litespeed would smoke and handle about 2 times or more traffic then a dual dual core setup running apache.

    That would be an interesting test there, Ive seen apache fork bomb on them quad core servers with much less then Ive seen litespeed handle on my core2duo

    But to the ones who havent tried it you should, you will trip, trust me

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  35. #35
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    I just had to change some redirect rules, its real easy to install. Everything else on htaccess it reads fine

  36. #36
    Personally I've not had to change any .htaccess rules when transferring sites from apache hosting.

    What I have had to do is adjust some slightly if I used the rewrite config tab located in the Litespeed Admin Gui.

    In case that sounds confusing, LS can use existing .htaccess rules and is generally accepting of existing mod_rewrite rules (but as mentioned, you may have to do some tweaking) or you can create a new set within the gui (which is parsed quicker than using an existing .htaccess rule set).

    The rewrite engine is based on mod_rewrite and is designed to be as compatible as possible.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecureServerTech View Post
    Guys I would almost bet money that a single dual core server running litespeed would smoke and handle about 2 times or more traffic then a dual dual core setup running apache.

    That would be an interesting test there, Ive seen apache fork bomb on them quad core servers with much less then Ive seen litespeed handle on my core2duo

    But to the ones who havent tried it you should, you will trip, trust me
    I agree 100%.
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  38. #38
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  39. #39
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    That completely depends on your setup. If you are serving sets of 50 sites off $39 celeron boxes, then it might not fit well in your budget for example.

    The only way to find out if it would be worth it, would be to run tests with a trial to see how much more performance you can expect. Then calculate how much the license would be per month (license fee / server lifetime) and see if the ratio is positive.

    If the price increases with a higher percentage than the performance increase, then no, it wont be worth it. If the performance increase is higher than the price increase..go for it

  40. #40
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