Acquia Hosting Customer Hits 5,000 requests/second! (or Why I Love Load Testing...)
by Jim Salem
Who says Drupal doesn't scale? Certainly not Acquia!
A large global PR firm recently measured their Acquia-hosted web site performance to over 3 million page views per hour (or 830 pages per second). When including all content, that's 5,000 requests per second. Wow!
Drupal gave them the flexibility to quickly respond to events. Of course, the bottom line is customer success and they reported that it was one of their "best web launches... ever".
Following industry best practices, they performed load testing multiple times during the development process. Unfortunately, their load tests revealed severe scalability problems at their initial hosting vendor, a major managed services provider.
To fix their hosting challenges, they switched to Acquia Hosting because of our Drupal expertise, scalable hosting architecture, and one-stop support. At Acquia, we easily scaled past the limits of their previous provider and, in fact, scaled beyond the limits of their 5,000 concurrent user benchmark. Acquia uses a Drupal-tuned, high-availability hosting architecture built on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). For more detail, see our hosting webinar as well as Barry Jaspan's excellent hosting architecture presentation from DrupalCon 2010.
Load testing is critical to the success of any major web site. It saved the agency and their client from launching a slow or unresponsive site. To help insure your own site's success, incorporate realistic load testing during your development process. At Acquia, we've used standalone load generators like J-Meter and Siege along with the popular online service, Soasta Cloud Test.
Our customer's performance results speak for themselves:
- 5,000 concurrent users
- Over 3M page views per hour including a mix of GET and POST requests
- 830+ page views per second
- 5,000 HTTP requests per second (including images, etc.)
- 320Mbits/sec of peak traffic
And it's important to note that the load test infrastructure itself was the limiting factor and not Acquia Hosting.
I love seeing these awesome performance numbers attained by real customers on production web sites. I encourage all Drupal site admins to save yourself headaches and make load testing a part of your development process.