Oracle iPlanet Web Proxy Server 4.0.14 Performance Tuning, Sizing, and Scaling Guide

Chapter 1 Performance and Monitoring Overview

Oracle iPlanet Web Proxy Server (Proxy Server) is designed to meet the needs of high-traffic sites in the world. It can serve both static and dynamically generated content. Proxy Server can run in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) mode, enabling secure transfer of information.

This guide helps you to define your server workload and size a system to meet your performance needs. Your environment is unique, so the impact of the suggestions provided in this guide will depend on your specific environment.

This chapter provides a general discussion of server performance considerations, and more specific information about monitoring server performance.

This chapter includes the following topics:

Performance Issues

You must first determine your requirements. Users want fast response times, typically less than 100 milliseconds, high availability with no connection refused messages, and significant control. Webmasters and proxy server administrators, on the other hand, need high connection rates, high data throughput, and uptime approaching 100%. You need to define what performance means for your particular situation based on your requirement.

The following factors have an impact on performance:

SSL Performance

SSL always has a significant impact on throughput. Hence for optimum performance, minimize your use of SSL or consider using a multi-CPU server to handle it.

For SSL, Proxy Server uses the Network Security Services (NSS) library. However, you can use other options for SSL:

Monitoring Server Performance

You must measure the system behavior before and after a change to check performance. You can monitor the performance of Proxy Server in different ways.

Table 1–1 Methods of Monitoring Performance

Monitoring Method 

How to Enable 

How to Access 

Advantages and Requirements 

Statistics through the Admin console 

Enabled by default 

In the Admin console, for a configuration, click the Monitor tab 

Accessible when session threads are hanging. Administration Server must be running. 


XML-formatted statistics (stats-xml) by using a browser

Enable through Admin console or by editing a configuration file 

Through a URI 

Administration Server need not be running. 


perfdump by using a browser

Enable through Admin console or by editing a configuration file 

Through a URI 

Administration Server need not be running. 


Java ES monitoring 

Enabled by default 

Through the Java ES Monitoring Console 

Only for Java ES installations. Administration Server must be running. 

Monitoring the server does have some impact on computing resources. In general, using perfdump through the URI is the least expensive, followed by using stats-xml through a URI. Because using the Administration Server requires computing resources, using the Admin console is an expensive monitoring method.

For more information about the monitoring methods, see the following sections:

About Statistics

You can monitor performance statistics by using the Admin Console user interface, the stats-xml URI, and the perfdump. For these monitoring methods, the server uses the statistics it collects. None of these monitoring methods will work if statistics are not collected.

The statistics give you information at the configuration level, the server instance level, or the virtual server level. The statistics are broken up into functional areas.

For configuration, statistics are available in the following areas:

For the server instance, statistics are available in the following areas:

Enabling Statistics

To enable statistics, use Admin Console.

Note –

Collecting statistics causes a slight hit to performance.

ProcedureTo Enable Statistics (stats-xml) from the Admin Console

  1. Select the Proxy Server instance.

  2. Click the Server Status tab.

  3. Click the Monitor Current Activity sub tab.

  4. Choose Yes for Activate Statistics/Profiling?

  5. Save and apply changes.

Monitoring Current Activity Using stats-xml

You can display statistics in XML format by using stats-xml. You can view the stats-xml output through a URI, that you need to enable, or you can view the stats-xml output through the CLI, that is enabled by default.

ProcedureTo Monitor Current Activity from the Admin Console

  1. Select the Proxy Server instance.

  2. Click the Server Status tab.

  3. Click the Monitor Current Activity sub tab.

    Ensure that Statistics is enabled (see above).

  4. Select the required Statistics from the dropdown list under Monitor Proxy Server Statistics and click Submit.

ProcedureTo Limit the stats-xml Statistics Displayed in the URI

You can modify the stats-xml URI to limit the data it provides.

  1. Modify the stats-xml URI to limit the information by setting elements to 0 or 1.

    An element set to 0 is not displayed on the stats-xml output. For example:


    This syntax limits the stats-xml output so that thread and process statistics are not included. By default all statistics are enabled (set to 1).

    Most of the statistics are available at the server level, but some are available at the process level.

    Use the following syntax elements to limit stats-xmlstatistics:

    • cache-bucket

    • connection-queue

    • connection-queue-bucket (process-level)

    • cpu-info

    • host-dns-bucket

    • client-dns-bucket

    • keepalive-bucket

    • process

    • profile

    • profile-bucket (process-level)

    • request-bucket

    • thread

    • thread-pool

    • thread-pool-bucket (process-level)

Monitoring Current Activity Using perfdump

ProcedureTo Enable and Use the perfdump SAF

  1. Add the following object to your obj.conf file after the default object:

    <Object name="perf">
    Service fn="service-dump"
  2. Add the following line to the default object:

    NameTrans fn=assign-name from="/.perf" name="perf"

  3. Restart your server software.

  4. Go to http://computer_name:proxyport/.perf and access perfdump.

    You can specify the request time for the perfdump statistics. The browser automatically refreshes the statistics based on the time you specify. The following example sets the refresh time to every 5 seconds:


Using Performance Buckets

Performance buckets enable you to define buckets and link them to various server functions. Every time one of these functions is invoked, the server collects statistical data and adds the data to the bucket. The cost of collecting this information is minimal, and the impact on the server performance is usually negligible. You can access this information by using perfdump. The following information is stored in a bucket:


You must specify all configuration information for performance buckets in the obj.conf file. Only the default-bucket is automatically enabled.

You must enable performance statistics collection and perfdump.

The following examples show how to define new buckets in obj.conf:

Init fn="define-perf-bucket" name="acl-bucket" description="ACL bucket"

The above examples creates a bucket: acl-bucket. To associate this bucket with functions, add bucket=bucket-name to the obj.conf function for which to measure performance.


PathCheck fn="check-acl" acl="default" bucket="acl-bucket"
Service method="(GET|HEAD|POST)" type="*~magnus-internal/*" 
fn="send-file" bucket="file-bucket"
<Object name="cgi">
ObjectType fn="force-type" type="magnus-internal/cgi"
Service fn="send-cgi" bucket="cgi-bucket"

Performance Report

The Server statistics in buckets can be accessed by using perfdump. The performance buckets information is located in the last section of the report returned by perfdump.

The report contains the following information:

The following example shows performance bucket information in perfdump:

Performance Counters:
                           Average         Total      Percent

Total number of requests:               62647125
Request processing time:    0.0343  2147687.2500

default-bucket (Default bucket)
Number of Requests:                     62647125    (100.00%)
Number of Invocations:                3374170785    (100.00%)
Latency:                    0.0008    47998.2500    (  2.23%)
Function Processing Time:   0.0335  2099689.0000    ( 97.77%)
Total Response Time:        0.0343  2147687.2500    (100.00%)

Monitoring Current Activity Using the Java ES Monitoring Console

The statistics displayed through the Proxy Server Admin Console is also accessible through the Java ES Monitoring Console. Though the information is the same, it is presented in a different format by using Common Monitoring Data Model (CMM). You can also monitor your server by using the Java ES monitoring tools. For more information about using the Java ES monitoring tools, see Sun Java Enterprise System 5 Monitoring Guide at Use the same settings to tune the server, irrespective of the monitoring method used.