sponsored by episec: internet security for the paranoid.


ari edelkind - custom works


slowget is a load testing program that emulates slow connections from modem users. Some people don't realize that while testing the performance of their web servers from an ethernet connection may yield reasonably accurate results for how their systems would perform if everyone accessed their sites via ethernet connections, most people don't actually use ethernet connections the majority of the time.

If a modem user on a slow link connects to a server process and downloads a 256 kilobyte page, it may take about one and a half minutes to complete. That's one and a half minutes that this one server process stays occupied. If another system connects to the server, another process must be used (spawned, if it's not already waiting). You end up with more server processes than you have memory for and more fork()s than you have processing power for, even though you only have a moderate number of connections per second.

This very reason is why various hardware vendors created cards to essentially add a proxy with a rather large connection cache to the system, taking the connection responsibility off of the web server well before the data has been completely downloaded by the remote user.

So, great, you have hardware solutions. Or you don't have hardware solutions. Either way, how do you run proper slow-connection tests without hundreds of machines connected via modems, all connecting on demand? You use slowget.

[At some point, documentation will end up here as well.]


The current version is slowget-20010917-1.tar.gz. The current version can always be downloaded as slowget-current.tar.gz.

MD5 sums may be viewed here.

ari edelkind - [contact]