Archive for December, 2010

Drupal, Varnish and Pressflow, Fast delivery to the customer with some speed for users too

Friday, December 17th, 2010

I’ve gone ‘back’ to doing hands-on development with small a agile and small k kanban small p post-its ;) . One of the projects I’m on is a fairly large Drupal project. While PHP and Drupal are not known for their raw performance, they do shine in delivering value quickly. Out of the box they are very easy to deploy, and if you know where to find the right modules and script installations, delivering a site rich in functionality that also looks good can be done quickly. So, what about performance? With Varnish, Pressflow and a bit of thinking we can at least make our site blisteringly fast for visitors who are not logged in.

I hadn’t expected the speedup would be this dramatic – my laptop is now serving between 1000 requests per second (most time spent in the first cache miss from drupal) and 9000 requests per second (no cache miss), where it otherwise would fail on just 1000 requests with 100 concurrent ‘users’ (also running on the same machine).

In sharing the gotchas, our configuration and some useful sources I want to give something back for the countless blog and forum posts that helped me set things up.