1 million users at 10 messages/second with 1 server rack = impressive

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10 messages per second to 1,000,000 live users on single, solitary server rack? That’s impressive by any standard, and that’s what Kaazing and Dell were able to achieve with living, dynamically updating webpages.

“Dell came to Kaazing … and asked if we could drive one message per second to one million users,” Kaazing executive vice president John Donnelly said in a statement. “We did just that and then some, achieving 10 messages per second to the same one million users.”

That’s on a single Dell PowerEdge R620 server rack using dual 3.3GHz quad core Xeon CPUs, 32GB of RAM, plus dual 10Gb Ethernet cards and four 1Gb Ethernet network ports.

Dell says that the system, which used TIBCO Enterprise Message Server, “can now support a higher number of users than ever before at speeds never before possible.”

In the old days, web browsers forced users to refresh entire web pages to update a single element are over. Modern web pages, however, enabled by modern web browsers, now allow dynamic updating of individual components. One such protocol is WebRTC (web real-time communication), but the Kaazing software uses the HTML5 WebSocket standard.

To achieve scalable live page element updating is a somewhat new challenge for web servers.

Live updating can create a great experience for end users, but it can also put a massive demand on web server software and hardware that were previously optimized for sending out complete pages every 15 to 50 seconds, but now are getting dozens of small update requests a second.

So 10 million messages per second is impressive. Also impressive is that the companies delivered them from server to client in an average 3.5 milliseconds each.

One little caveat: If you check out Dell’s online configurator for the PowerEdge R620, you’ll notice no 3.3GHz Xeon processors available. The top of the line orderable CPUS are 2.2GHz.

Update: Dell has updated its product ordering space and the new 3.3GHz processor is now available for order.

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