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Evaluating IA-32 web servers through simics: a practical experience

Summary: Evaluating IA-32 web servers through simics:
a practical experience
F.J. Villa *, M.E. Acacio, J.M. GarciŽa
Departamento de IngenieriŽa y TecnologiŽa de Computadores, Universidad de Murcia, 30071 Murcia, Spain
Received 11 November 2003; received in revised form 26 July 2004; accepted 14 September 2004
Available online 7 January 2005
Nowadays, the use of multiprocessor systems is not just limited to typical scientific applications, but these systems
are increasingly being used for executing commercial applications, such as databases and web servers. Therefore, it
becomes essential to study the behavior of multiprocessor architectures under commercial workloads. To accomplish
this, we need simulators able to model not only the CPU, memory and interconnection network but also other aspects
that are critical in the execution of commercial workloads, such as I/O subsystem and operating system. In this paper,
we present our first experiences using Simics, a simulator which allows full-system simulation of multiprocessor archi-
tectures covering all the topics previously mentioned. Using Simics we carry out a detailed performance study of a static
web content server, showing how changes in some architectural parameters, such as number of processors and cache
size, affect final performance. The results we have obtained corroborate the intuition of increasing performance of a
dual-processor web server opposite to a single-processor one, and at the same time, allow us to check out Simics lim-
itations. Finally, we compare these results with those that are obtained on real machines.
Ó 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Simics; Commercial applications; Full system simulators; Multiprocessor systems


Source: Acacio, Manuel - Departamento de Ingenieria y Tecnologia de Computadores, Universidad de Murcia


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences