Scott Hanselman

More on WebFarms and WebGardening in ASP.NET

August 25, '04 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET
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Had a short conversation over email and John Lam had this to offer around Web Gardens.  I checked with Corillian's scalability labs and heard that we have found similar results (we recently more than doubled our previous scalability numbers.)

Web gardens look interesting at first, but I spent a lot of time talking with folks at MS about web gardens and the consensus is that web gardens are only useful on very large SMP boxes – 16-way and up. The reason why is that IIS’s sweet spot is on 4-8 proc boxes. By using web gardens on large (>16 proc) SMP boxes and affinitizing CPU’s, you can make IIS think it’s running on a 4-8 proc box when in fact it’s running on a much larger box.

Fantastic information for anyone who's been disappointed with 16 proc IIS performance or for the two-proc folks who are thinking of adding horsepower.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, 25 August 2004 16:19:23 UTC
I've been wanting to look into Web Gardens recently, and your posts have been very interesting. I'm running a site on IIS5 (Win2k), with default install settings. The server is dual cpu, but Windows think's it has 4 CPU when I look at the performance monitor, because of the Intel hyperthreading chips...

Can you tell me how/if Web Gardening would help in this scenario? The application makes use of Session, but not Application or Cache. It is drawing data from a separate tier(server) that is handling the caching.

There is only one aspnet_wp running on the box, though I know there are two physical CPU, and four virtual CPU because of hyperthreading. Should I make the config change to implement Web Gardening? Does that give me two, or four aspnet_wp processes?

I don't have a dual-cpu machine laying around to experience it myself with...

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.