Reverse proxy question

Louis LeBlanc freebsd at
Tue Nov 4 12:23:44 PST 2003

Hey everyone.

Here's a question that may have been answered in the past, but I'm not
real satisfied with what I've found on Google.

I have been tasked with setting up a reverse proxy (open source,
probably squid) that is capable of handling 5000 requests per second
or more.  Yes, 5000/sec.  It's a world gone mad, I tell you.

Licensed products like iMimic and Volera are not options.  The OS is
flexible (I'm leaning toward a recent 4.x version of FreeBSD) and the
hardware is limited to what's on hand - either a Dell 2550 or 2650
with 1G Ram, 30G hard drive space, and varied CPU configurations.
What we have available are as follows: single 933MHz Xeon in the 2550,
single or dual 1.3 or 1.8 GHz Xeon in the 2650.

I realize that Squid relies more on disk seek times than actual
transfer rate or CPU power.  If I've been told right, the disks are
all mirrored 30G drives, but I don't have seek times on hand.

I know that most reverse proxies out there - both commercial and open
source are typically single CPU architectures, so that will be the
initial focus.

The problem I would like help with here is the version of FreeBSD that
would be more likely to handle this kind of load, particularly with
respect to Posix asynchronous I/O.  I've been told that 4.6 and
earlier didn't have great Posix A-I/O support, but is it better in
4.8, or should I jump to 5.0?

Also, if anyone knows of a reverse proxy that may be able to do better
than Squid, I'd certainly welcome the suggestion.  The benchmarks I've
seen online indicate I may need to improve squid by a factor of 10.
Not sure that's really an option unless the benchmark I've seen is
horribly biased.  Of course, if anyone has a web site that details
some of the finer tweaks that might at least get Squid close to the
requirements, that'd be great too.

Thanks in advance.

Louis LeBlanc               leblanc at
Fully Funded Hobbyist, KeySlapper Extrordinaire :)                     Ô¿Ô¬

Armor's Axiom:
  Virtue is the failure to achieve vice.

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