Playing around with the pref: network.http.max-connections-per-server yielded interesting performance results w/ the 5/30-04 win32 build on winnt-sp5. Using http://jrgm.mcom.com/page-loader/loader.pl [max-connections-per-server=2] Avg. Median : 1040 msec Minimum : 390 msec Average : 1041 msec Maximum : 2818 msec [max-connections-per-server=3] Avg. Median : 1056 msec Minimum : 384 msec Average : 1082 msec Maximum : 2932 msec [max-connections-per-server=8] Avg. Median : 1106 msec Minimum : 390 msec Average : 1128 msec Maximum : 3156 msec Using http://dogspit.mcom.com/i-bench/ibench.htm [max-connections-per-server=2] All iterations 222.42 First iteration (downloaded) 47.22 Subsequent iteration (cached) 25.03 [max-connections-per-server=3] All iterations 177.59 First iteration (downloaded) 32.09 Subsequent iteration (cached) 20.79 [max-connections-per-server=8] All iterations 180.39 First iteration (downloaded) 33.25 Subsequent iteration (cached) 21.02 From these results it appears obvious that our default value for max-connections-per-server should be reduced from 8 to 2 or 3. The i-bench results suffer if the number of connections is limited to 2 because of the meta charset reload bug (bug 81253). Once this bug is fixed, I believe the i-bench results would improve even if the number of connetions is limited to 2. Moreover, the HTTP spec *requires* the number of connections per user-agent to a server to be no more than 2. So, even from the point of view of spec correctness, we should not be using more than 2 connections. From what I understand IE uses only 2 connections per server.
Before deciding on this, we need to fix bug 83772. With that patch, even with the pref set to 8, I never see more than 3 connections in use on the page loading tests on the lan - it may be different on a slower connection.
I should note that I tested yesterday's (5/31) builds on Mac/Linux/win98, using the same machines used in smoketests [500MHz/128MB Linux, 500MHz/128MB Win98, 450MHz/256MB Mac] running over the internal LAN, and my results showed a slight degradation in times for the uncached case (and no delta for cached, but then with everything (in theory) cached already, there isn't much call for HTTP connections). (Man, I hate getting the "wrong" result).
I should be specific: win98 - 4%, Linux - 6%, Mac - 8% slower on uncached.
adding info from darin's post to help get folks set up to test the suggested new defaults. The following prefs can be set in your prefs.js file to tweak the number of HTTP connections per server: user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", N); user_pref("network.http.keep-alive.max-connections-per-server", N);
Some comments, if you don't mind. If you're referring to RFC2616 section 8.1.4, then it says "SHOULD NOT" as opposed to "MUST NOT" so the limit is not a mandate. Furthermore, that section is in the context of HTTP/1.1 persistent connections. You can't assume that all servers will know about that or allow that. (I know some admins who have disabled persistent connections on their HTTP servers because buggy clients we giving them grief.) To me that says there would be two classes of connections and mozilla would ahve to treat them differently. I am also concerned about the real world. What will happen if some of the connections stall out? How well will this work with a server farm because reusing connections seems to defeat the purpose of a farm. The RFC also recommends the same limit for a proxy server. If the user has three windows open, should mozilla retrieve all that data through the same two proxy connections? I would think mozilla would also have to know what the proxy server is and where it is. It is one thing to connect to an industrial strength proxy on a remote machine; it's quite another to connect to a junkbuster class proxy on localhost.
Agreed.. the RFC is only advisory. The thing about persistent connections is that we don't know if they'll be persistent until after we have established the connection. So, we could potentially _not_ count non-persistent connections in the max-connections-per-server limit, but once max-connections-per-server is reached, we wouldn't be able to open up any more connections, even if the connection would not be persistent. I would think that this is not an issue for a server farm. I could use only one connection per browser and give out my browser to a 1000 users, and it would still not impact a server farm, because the server farm would be handling 1000 different connections from instances of my browser. As far as limiting the number of connections per window, I believe that each browser window should be treated as a separate user-agent with its own limits on the number of active server connections. In terms of the mozilla source, this means limiting the number of connections per server per load group. Also, bear in mind that any limits on the number of connections are configurable from the preferences (though the related prefs may not be exposed in the preferences dialog).
*** Bug 73497 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Unfortunately, it looks like it won't be possible/simple to limit the number of connections per server PER LOAD GROUP b/c imagelib doesn't set a load group on many of the http channels it opens!! Unless imagelib is fixed to always set a load group, we can't really fix this properly. pavlov: wouldn't it be possible to ensure that every http request gets a load group? is there a bug on this perhaps? i understand that image requests for the same object can come from different pages (hence different load groups) but you should be able to just select one of the load groups to use for the http request, right?
But, could one load group end up canceling a request that was meant for another load group as well?
ahh... yeah... that is definitely a problem. perhaps what i really need is another way of determining what "page" a http channel belongs to. hmm... suggestions anyone? pavlov?
bumping to 0.9.3
I would like to see Mozilla comply unconditionally with rfc2616 8.1.4 at least when using persistent connections (HTTP/1.1) to a proxy - as the rfc says, "these guidelines are intended to improve HTTP response times and avoid congestion". I have a concrete example of Mozilla's behaviour causing congestion over a GPRS connection (low bandwidth, very high latency). Ironically, MSIE performs significantly better under the same circumstances by complying with the standard - not normally one of Microsoft's strongpoints.
great feedback.. thanks!
hmmm.. perhaps this could happen for 0.9.4
v1.0 is a relatively large patch (~785 lines). i've done a fair bit of testing with it, and i've run it through the page loader tests. i'm not seeing the same performance win as i previously saw when i knocked the number of connections down to 2, but it definitely isn't any slower and there is a slight perf win. i've also resolved the problem of trying to download and browse from the same site (look for the "network.request.max-start-delay" pref). at any rate, this patch is really needed in order for us to claim HTTP/1.1 compliance, and furthermore i suspect that servers are probably really hating mozilla right about now on account of how many connections we slam them with.
got r=bbaetz and r=dougt
Some questions if you don't mind. 1) How does this affect a user who keeps many windows open? I rarely open more than two but some users like to have 10 or more open. 2) Are the various maxima set too low in a proxy environment? If I proxy http, https, ftp, and gopher through the same proxy (certainly possible), how does this extra http load affect performance? If there is an effect, should there be some scale factor depending on the number of proxied services? 3) Maybe I've got this wrong, but is network.http.request.max-start-delay set too low, particularly for a modem link or other high-latency link? It may well take longer than 10 seconds for a packet to fight its way out and a response to come back. There are also proxy servers that throttle bandwidth so timing can be a problem there too.
1) the connections are shared by multiple windows (and are only needed while the window is loading). 2) the HTTP/1.1 spec [RFC 2616, section 8.1.4] says: Clients that use persistent connections SHOULD limit the number of simultaneous connections that they maintain to a given server. A single-user client SHOULD NOT maintain more than 2 connections with any server or proxy. A proxy SHOULD use up to 2*N connections to another server or proxy, where N is the number of simultaneously active users. These guidelines are intended to improve HTTP response times and avoid congestion. 3) network.http.request.max-start-delay is relative to the time at which the first data packet arrives, so it does not include the interval between request and start-of-response. it can be thought of as such: if the time taken to download a response exceeds max-start-delay, then the connection will not be reused. the assumption being that another persistent connection will likely take its place. so i chose 10 seconds based purely on what i thought might be a reasonable amount of time for a user to wait. consider this example: a user goes to www.kernel.org and downloads two versions of the linux kernel. they then wish to browse around the site some more. after 10 seconds of downloading the kernel, those two connections would decide not to persist and would therefore "allow" other connections to be created (which would be used to allow the user to surf the same site). any longer than 10 seconds seems like it might be too long for user comfort.
1) Well, a window can refresh its content so it could open a set of sockets for that. You can't really assume it will refresh from just one host so that might be 6 or 8 sockets. If more than one window of the many refresh at the same time, you could run up against one of the limit values. 2) RFC2616, section 8.1.4 is advisory at best. There are no MUST's there so honoring it is not necessary for compliance. In any event, it's just theory with no data to justify it. In the absence of experimental data it seems unwise to make mozilla the test bed for this theory. 3) Are you saying that any connection which takes more than 10 seconds from the first data arrival to completion will be marked as non-persistent? If so, that would apply to the majority of modem traffic not to mention those overloaded servers out there.
1) not a problem IMO.. we'd prefer to serialize communication over fewer persistent connections. 2) i've spoken a bit with jim gettys on this and he spoke of experimental data using libwww to confirm the suggestions of section 8.1.4. moreover, IE only opens 2 persistent connection per server, and it loads pages faster than mozilla. 3) yes... that is what the behavior would be with my patch. i have a solution in mind that would make us only drop the connection if a new persistent connection were created, so as to keep the number as near to 2 as possible.
this new version of the patch keep-alive connections are no longer eagerly dropped. this means that it may be possible to end up with as many as 8 keep-alive connections, but only if the connections are very slow or if the requests are for very large entities. the result is a limiter on the number of connections that IMO scale nicely with server load, while balancing the need to make the browser responsive to the user. so, if the server/network is fast, then no more than 2 connections will ever be created at a time. otherwise, more keep-alive connections may be created as necessary.
got r=dougt on the new patch
r=bbaetz. I'm not convinced on the timeout value's default, but we'll see what sort of feedback we get.
1) Serialization will turn into throttling if mozilla reaches the network.http.max-connections limit. I think that will happen a lot more often than you think. I would increase the limit to 36. 2) Page loading is a complex issue. In mozilla, layout and netlib interact in interesting ways (see bug 77718 for an extreme example) so I'm not convinced that libwww data is particularly relevant. BTW, a truly cynical person might think that IE limits its connections to make MS servers look better. Now that some hard limits have become soft, I would suggest changing the pref names. People will complain, and file bugs, if they see "maxima" exceeded.
1) yes, and my patch increases the max limit from 16 to 24, which i believe should be plenty. with a limit of 2 persistent connections per server, this implies that you can be downloading from 12 sites at one time without hitting a limit on the number of connections. ideally we really shouldn't limit the number of connections, but on some OSs there is already a limit (Win9x for example). so, considering that there are other socket consumers and that sockets may stick in the 2MSL wait state for some time, i think 24 is a reasonable default limit. 2) this is why i have done extensive testing with various page load tests, which all confirm the libwww findings. the maxima apply to "active" connections, so i don't see any problem with the names.
pushing out to 0.9.5 since this is probably too risky for 0.9.4 now.
Comment on attachment 47292 [details] [diff] [review] v1.2 revised per comments from tenthumbs Looks fine to me. r/sr=blizzard
I have done some recent testing using web sites such as IBM, Formula1, BBC captured on my own local server (no network interference). I found that IE6.0 ran twice as fast as us. However, when I changed network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server to 8 we ran just as fast as they do. I used V 0.99 on a 333HZ NT 4.0 machine with 256 mb. I looked back at the reasoning behind this bug and it mystifies me. I clipped whats below from comments from this bug: [max-connections-per-server=2] All iterations 222.42 First iteration (downloaded) 47.22 -> note 47.2 first time Subsequent iteration (cached) 25.03 [max-connections-per-server=8] All iterations 180.39 First iteration (downloaded) 33.25 -> 33.23 (going to 2 connections is a 42% slow down) Subsequent iteration (cached) 21.02 In addition, by setting network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server to 2 are you really setting max connections per server to 1? Comments says that connections to server will be LESS THAN network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server. My times dropped in some cases from 4 seconds+ for Formula1 to 1.5 seconds. Note, this is first time only. Ivan
Just an additional note. When I test I bring the browser down between tests and clear the caches before testing. I tested 3,4,6 and 10 network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server. I found performance maximized at 8. Ivan
It is defenetly much more quicker when set to 8.
interesting results. are you connected directly to the internet? or are you connecting via a proxy? maybe a transparent proxy? perhaps a HTTP/1.0 proxy? if you are seeing this kind of performance difference then i suspect something is fouling up persistent connections. i doubt that 8 persistent connections would ever perform better than 2 persistent connections. also, max-connections-per-server=2 means that no more than 2 persistent connections will be created. if the documentation in all.js is incorrect, then could you please file a separate bug for that. also, i would prefer to carry on this discussion on the newsgroup: netscape.public.mozilla.netlib. feel free to reference any newgroups threads here, but let's please keep discussion out of this bug report since it was fixed. reopening it is not the right way to change the number of persistent connections used by mozilla.
Created attachment 100516 [details] Network settings in Netscape 3.x Netscape 3.x had a nice way of allowing the user to set this. (see attachment). Having this setting in prefs.js isn't obvious for the average user. (as prefs.js has to be looked up in the profile dir...) Regarding the current limit of 8 (as seen in release 1.2a): Under heavy load, even if network bandwidth may allow it, setting the limit to 8 is too low. And this limit is global. Example 1: multiple browser windows loading pages with image galleries. Have 5-6 pages loading galleries with thumbnails will have 1 or 2 windows loading while the others are stalling. As a comparison, I have much better performance with Netscape 3 and connections set to 20. Example 2: have 8 browser windows open, each loading a large image (>200k). any subsequent windows will stall until at least one of the others finishes. This is valid for any server. I know the above is irrelevant, as this is considered now to be fixed, but: enhancement request: add max number of network connections to advanced tab in prefs.
Netscape 3 uses HTTP/1.0 without persistent connections. As a result, you will see a huge improvement under Netscape 3 by increasing the number of parallel connections. Mozilla on the other hand uses HTTP/1.1 and is designed to reuse connections. Doing so has been shown to improve performance. See for example: http://www.w3.org/Protocols/HTTP/Performance/Pipeline.html
Not having this configurable in the UI is still something I miss. I know about the pipelining and persistent connections and their benefits, but there are cases where the concept simply fails to apply. The example I gava is perfect. Have a 56k modem connection (even a 128 isdn) and load a page with an image gallery with many links to images each 250-300k. Open in a new window 8 links (images) and let them load. Before at least one finishes, nothing else can be retrieved. Since the connections limit has been reached, persistent connections are irrelevant, pipelining is also irrelevant. Their benefits can only be used below the limit.
verified fixed. email@example.com, please open a new bug if you feel that more than 8 connections is justified.
Wow, did this one sorta came back from the dead? Hope its not just a useless meta-comment, but to me its seems clear, for the case that large web content providers have concerns about maximum connections per client, then it is their responsibility to write page content in a manner not 'wanting' so many concurrent streams. An artifical, arbitrary, throttle in everybody's browser is not the right way to correct some few hosts that have content and/or capacity delivery problems.
we've had a maximum limit of 2 persistent connections per server (4 per proxy) since late 2001. this is the recommendation of RFC 2616. it is the standard for the WWW (it is equivalent to IE's implementation). mozilla would be black-flagged for sure if this number ever increased for normal web browsing. please: let's not rekindle this debate.
On comment #42: As long as it is user configurable somewhere, prefs gui or file, I have nothing more to add. I am currently using 32 as limit and this is much better. At least for the way I use the browser (>10 or so windows open...).
I just ran into a bug related to the maximum number of connections allowed to a single server. Having a look at that other bug might provide some input for a good connection limit design. It's posted as bug 419526 ( https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=419526 ).