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Chapter 13. Server Software > Inside Web Server Software

13.1. Inside Web Server Software

At the most basic level, web servers accept requests and return replies. The reply can be a static page, custom dynamic content, or an error. While there is a lot of variation in performance depending on load, an individual request for a static page typically takes only one- or two-tenths of a second from the time the request arrives on the network until the response is pushed back out. Modem latency, Internet latency, and even browser parsing time are all likely to be larger than that, so a lightly loaded web server will not be a bottleneck.

A heavily loaded web server is another story. Web servers tend to go nonlinear when loaded beyond a certain point, degrading rapidly in performance. This chapter is about why that happens and what your options are for getting the most out of your web server software.


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