Production Web Deployment?

damien_morton at damien_morton at
Mon Nov 15 01:12:55 EST 1999

Im working at a small publishing outfit, and we've been pumping out 80
million hits a month for, from a 266MHz IIS/ASP box.
Weve just moved onto a 3-way clustering server, and expect to be able
to take pretty much anything that can happen. From time to time, our
site get mentioned on TV or by Howard Stern and it goes berserk, but we
expect to be able to handle that too.

All of our software is written by people without much regard for
performance or optimisation (e.g. stupidly complex SQL queries feature
in almost every page).

Ive considered writing caching software within ASP, which would cache
the semi-dynamic parts of the website (almost all of it), but its looks
like as long as our populaity grows at something less than Moore's law,
we can pretty much solve any problems by throwing more or better
hardware at it.

Ive looked long and hard at Zope and pretty much ANY Python oriented
solution which might be of assitance, but apart from my personal
predeliction for Python, there doesnt seem to be role for it in a site
serving these kinds of loads.

Now, my predeliction for Python is extremely strong; I loathe VBscript,
and the few opportunities to program in Python I get are like holidays
for me. If anyone can suggest a role for Python in a prodcution site
serving 80 million hits a month (and growing fast), I would greatly
appreciate hearing from them.

Ive only tried Python within an obscure branch of WSH called SSH,
without success. I havent tried it as a scripting langauge replacement
for VBscript, but there has to be a significant advantage to re-
educating all the vbscript people I work with. For the work they do,
VBscript is functional and they never seem to complain about it
constraining them.

Sometime soon, this company will be developing a unix capability,
either linux or solaris. I see this as some kind of opportunity to
introduce Python programming. JPython for (prototyping?) servlets under
one of the servlet engines looks appealing. Has anyone tried extremely
high volume serving using JPython servlets?

In article <14376.24392.828292.926057 at>,
  skip at (Skip Montanaro) wrote:
> >>>>> "Dirk" == Dirk Leas <dirkl at> writes:
>     Dirk> Is anybody taking lots of hits with httpdapy, PyApache,
>     Dirk> ASP+Python, fastcgi, or Zope?
> I use a combination of Apache and ZServer (from the Zope
distribution) and a
> separate backend database server on the Musi-Cal web server:
>     Apache --HTTP proxy--> ZServer --XML/RPC--> db server
> Apache handles several virtual servers, but the main one is Musi-
Cal.  On
> behalf of Musi-Cal it handled about 65K hits in the past two days.
Many of
> those hits get proxied off to the ZServer (almost all html files are
> through DocumentTemplate and all search requests are passed off).  The
> ZServer handled 21K requests in the past two days.  In addition, the
> database server handles XML-RPC requests from a second machine on the
> physical network ( that uses Mason (Apache + mod_perl +
> components).  Musi-Cal's database server handled about 160K requests
of one
> sort or another in the past two days (search URLs can result in
> XML-RPC calls and we do lots of other backend queries in support of
> activities).
> I figure the Musi-Cal server is handling about 1.2M web hits per
month right
> now.  It's a Pentium II 400MHz w/ 128MB of memory running RedHat
Linux 5.2
> (264 bogomips according to /proc/cpuinfo).  The load average runs
around 0.3
> during the day with bursts above 1.0 every 15-30 minutes.  The
hardware has
> been up for almost 50 days.  I restart the software servers for
> reasons typically once or twice a day, however.
> We have a more powerful dual processor machine (450+450 bogomips)
that we
> were using but set aside because of Linux SMP problems.  We've yet to
> down and address them.  Mostly we just wait for new stable revs of the
> kernel and try again.  Given the performance of our current server, I
> expect to be pressed to put it back into server for awhile yet.
> Skip Montanaro |
> skip at |
> 847-971-7098   | Python: Programming the way Guido indented...

Sent via
Before you buy.

More information about the Python-list mailing list