|What is the Image Server?||
The Image Server is an image accelerator
designed with one clear purpose. Deliver content negotiated
images faster than traditional multipurpose web servers and
do so with little or no cpu overhead. With the Image
Server, existing web servers can deliver pages faster
then ever before while still keeping the existing investment of
computer hardware and web software. To hosting companies,
the Image Server will increase the
performance for your customers, conserve existing hardware resources,
and increase profit to your bottom line.
|Why do I need to use the Image Server?||
For most traditional web sites, images can make up 90% of the system
overhead of fetching most pages. This results in an explosion of
requests to any web server as it attempts to satisfy these requests.
For example, if a page contained 10 unique graphics,
then a single individual
could request 10 simultaneous connections to deliver these
graphics. Many current
server implementations have attempted to solve this
problem with pre-forking or threaded
servers. The Image Server is a non-blocking
image scheduling cop
for any modern UNIX Kernel.
There is no need to run extra copies to gain the
same performance advantage to maximize socket throughput.
|Why is an image accelerator faster than traditional web servers?||
Traditional web servers such as Apache 1.1.1 are full functional
servers. Some are very fast and full featured like Apache and others
are a little slower offering more exotic features.
The Image Server pales in comparison to
the features of these
other servers. This lack of features however is what creates the
speed advantage as it only has to deliver images and this is a very
accelerated code path.
It does have many advanced features not currently
available from existing
servers but these are simple and optimized for returning graphics only.
For example, image throttling allows a webmaster to
set performance quotas
|Who would be a good candidate for the Image Server?||
The performance gain is very similar to the fastest web servers such
as Apache 1.1.1 but the conservation of resources can offer compelling
reason to use an image accelerator if you want to
conserve system resources.
For example, high level language web servers written in Perl, Java, TCL,
and Python can now deliver impressive performance while using their native
strengths to generate incredible dynamic pages. Smaller web sites running
on meager hardware or bandwidth can offload their images
to image accelerators at hosting facilities for an increase
in web page delivery without penalty to resources.
|Are there security issues relating to this server?||
The Image server is inherently more secure than traditional
web servers as it only handles the HTTP commands of GET and HEAD.
In additional, it will
not serve up any HTML pages or execute any CGI scripts. It can't as
it only knows how to deliver JPEG and GIF images.
|How stable is this server in a production environment?||
This is another advantage to having a small server with very specific
features. With less then 1000 lines of C code, finding problems
is much easier than with general purpose full featured web servers.
performance testing and quality assurance testing has shown no current
issues. Our testing includes checks for memory leaks, stability,
torture testings, and
performance checks specifically for users on low
bandwidth links or requests coming in from
congested networks. Anyone who has maintained a web server will appreciate
how this server responds under these extreme conditions. We have used it
at Aesir extensively in support of our
Connections online travel resource.
|Webstone 1.1+ Benchmark results||
Below, we show a comparison between the current fastest web
server we have found to date
which is Apache 1.1.1 and our Image Server. Testing was done with servers
connected at 10Mb/s.
|Image Server Characteristics||
The current release of the Image Server has the
|Service Options||The Image Server is available as two distinct options: a hosting service through Aesir and direct sales of the software product. High speed, high performance image hosting is available from Aesir Computing, Inc. with service via a dual-processor Sparc 20 on a 100Mb/s network connected to the MAE-East NAP. The Image Server is also available to those companies who wish to manage their hardware/software resources inhouse.|
For more information and specifics of the Image Server
pricing plans, contact our office at: