22.5.3. MPM Specific Server-Pool Directives

22.5.3. MPM Specific Server-Pool Directives

As explained in Section 22.2.2.1.2, “Server-Pool Size Regulation”, the responsibility for managing characteristics of the server-pool falls to a module group called MPMs under Apache HTTP Server 2.0. The characteristics of the server-pool differ depending upon which MPM is used. For this reason, an IfModule container is necessary to define the server-pool for the MPM in use.

By default, Apache HTTP Server 2.0 defines the server-pool for both the prefork and worker MPMs.

The following section list directives found within the MPM-specific server-pool containers.

MaxClients

MaxClients sets a limit on the total number of server processes, or simultaneously connected clients, that can run at one time. The main purpose of this directive is to keep a runaway Apache HTTP Server from crashing the operating system. For busy servers this value should be set to a high value. The server's default is set to 150 regardless of the MPM in use. However, it is not recommended that the value for MaxClients exceeds 256 when using the prefork MPM.

MaxRequestsPerChild

MaxRequestsPerChild sets the total number of requests each child server process serves before the child dies. The main reason for setting MaxRequestsPerChild is to avoid long-lived process induced memory leaks. The default MaxRequestsPerChild for the prefork MPM is 4000 and for the worker MPM is 0.

MinSpareServers and MaxSpareServers

These values are only used with the prefork MPM. They adjust how the Apache HTTP Server dynamically adapts to the perceived load by maintaining an appropriate number of spare server processes based on the number of incoming requests. The server checks the number of servers waiting for a request and kills some if there are more than MaxSpareServers or creates some if the number of servers is less than MinSpareServers.

The default MinSpareServers value is 5; the default MaxSpareServers value is 20. These default settings should be appropriate for most situations. Be careful not to increase the MinSpareServers to a large number as doing so creates a heavy processing load on the server even when traffic is light.

MinSpareThreads and MaxSpareThreads

These values are only used with the worker MPM. They adjust how the Apache HTTP Server dynamically adapts to the perceived load by maintaining an appropriate number of spare server threads based on the number of incoming requests. The server checks the number of server threads waiting for a request and kills some if there are more than MaxSpareThreads or creates some if the number of servers is less than MinSpareThreads.

The default MinSpareThreads value is 25; the default MaxSpareThreads value is 75. These default settings should be appropriate for most situations. The value for MaxSpareThreads must be greater than or equal to the sum of MinSpareThreads and ThreadsPerChild, else the Apache HTTP Server automatically corrects it.

StartServers

The StartServers directive sets how many server processes are created upon startup. Since the Web server dynamically kills and creates server processes based on traffic load, it is not necessary to change this parameter. The Web server is set to start 8 server processes at startup for the prefork MPM and 2 for the worker MPM.

ThreadsPerChild

This value is only used with the worker MPM. It sets the number of threads within each child process. The default value for this directive is 25.


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