Apache was designed to be as fast as possible. It’s easy, with a fairly low-powered machine, to completely saturate a low-end Internet link with little effort. However, as sites become more complex and the bandwidth needs of different connection types increase, getting the best performance out of an Apache installation and Web sites becomes more important.Enhancing performance means nothing if the changes achieved are only minor gains. Spending hours or even days finely tuning a server for just a few percentage points is a waste of time. The first step, therefore, is to determine how fast the server is running and its general performance level so you can work out how to improve performance and measure the changes.This is not the first time we’ve discussed Apache testing (see Staying Out of Deep Water: Performance Testing Using HTTPD-Test’s Flood). As was noted previously, determining which parts of your Web application are causing the problem — particularly identifying whether it’s Apache or the application environment you are using with dynamic sites — can be difficult. Identifying problems in dynamic applications is beyond the scope of this article, but we will look at ways to generally improve the speed of Apache and how it interacts with other components to support a Web site. Read the full article at ApacheToday.com.