4. Web Server Architectures for High Concurrency

In this chapter, we have a closer look at concurrency when handling multiple connections inside a web server. As outlined in our architectural model, request handling is decoupled from application logic. Thus, the creation of dynamic content is out of scope here, and will be investigated separately in the subsequent chapter 5. From a web server perspective, there is also no coordination required between two distinct requests. If there are dependencies between requests on the application level--e.g. a long-polling request waiting for application events and another request triggering an application event--they must be handled inside the application server in our model.

This chapter features an overview on the challenges of concurrency for high-performance web servers with huge numbers of simultaneous connections. Next, we learn how different server architectures handle parallelism, using different programming models for concurrency and I/O operations. We finally take a step back and compare the prevalent concurrency models--thread-based and event-driven--more generally.