There’s nothing you should worry about a web site that needs to server few thousand visitors daily. Actual simultaneous load on your web server will be literally few requests. Although not all web servers have this luxury but need to server hundreds of thousands visitors per day or more. In this scenario it isn’t that simple and simultaneous load, especially in peak periods may jump too high. To high to handle…

Today we will take a brief look at a web server that handles simultaneous load that other “conventional” servers like Apache, Tomcat or IIS simply can’t handle. It is called LIGHTTPD. It was actually designed specifically to solve the c10k problem. The problem itself is: build web server that would handle 10,000 simultaneous web connections. Big deal, right? You can read more about c10k problem here. In short, Lighttpd is using as less server hardware power as possible for each individual connection. It is really lightweight. You can handle your heavily loaded web application with it. Lighttpd deploys on Linux/Unix environments. Distributed under BSD license. From the programming technology perspective it has support of PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby. You can use it for a full fledge web app or just for your severest bottlenecks (like for example serving static media content).

Lighttpd is pretty widely used. Some time ago it was used by YouTube for streaming. Currently SourceForge uses it, Wikimedia too. This tiny little server is solving really big problems and is worth your attention when working with high-performance web apps.
Alex Yakima
Paul is a software architect for Luminis Technologies and the author of “Building Modular Cloud Apps With OSGi”. He believes that modularity and the cloud are the two main challenges we have to deal with to bring technology to the next level, and is working on making this possible for mainstream software development. Today he is working on educational software focussed on personalised learning for high school students in the Netherlands. Paul is an active contributor on open source projects such as Amdatu, Apache ACE and Bndtools.