rwasa High Performance Web Server Claiming to be Better than nginx and lighttpd

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2 Ton Digital – a company which provides products, services and support for any company or individual that is interested in security, network performance, website speed and hardware efficiency – is claiming that they have made a web server called rwasa which is faster than nginx and lighttpd.

rwasa is build using 2 Ton Digital’s HeavyThing Library toolkit. It is a high-performance web server with specific focus on performance across the board, and a TLS (security) performance increase over other OpenSSL servers. It is a drop-in replacement to nginx and many other web servers. Being hand written with assembly language, cryptography has given rwasa a significant speed and efficiency increase. Unlike other servers, rwasa includes function hooks (ready made to facilitate Rapid Web Application Server in Assembler development) to allow custom programming at the web server level along with direct manipulation of web requests and responses.

Assembly language is the most “basic” programming language and requires the highest level of technical proficiency. This is because assembly language code is written per the actual CPU manufacturers instructions, i.e. an assembly language instruction in most cases corresponds directly to a physical CPU instruction. This allows programmers to write code that is faster and more efficient than any other language used today, because all higher-level languages must eventually be composed into assembly language itself. But, with all these writing code in assembly language is very complicated and that’s why high-level languages have dominated the market. 2 Ton Digital’s has made a toolkit called HeavyThing Library for building and modifying code in assembly language easier and more efficient than ever before.

Coming back to rwasa- it is a full-featured, high-performance, scalable web server designed to compete with the likes of nginx. It has been built from the ground-up with no external library dependencies entirely in x86_64 assembly language, and is the result of many years’ experience with high volume web environments.

Let’s look at the concrete features of rwasa-

  • Open source/GPLv3
  • Entirety hand-written in x86_64 assembly language
  • Faster than nginx for most environments
  • Commercial support available
  • TLS auto-blacklisting for anti-tampering
  • OCSP Stapling by default
  • Randomized Diffie-Hellman safe prime pool
  • Multi-process lockless TLS session resumption cache
  • TLS session cache is encrypted by default
  • Faster dynamic content compression
  • Large-scale FastCGI safely via unix sockets (without hitting EAGAIN)
  • Large-scale backpath (aka upstream) safely via unix sockets
  • Simple command-line arguments covers all common configurations
  • Small footprint, no external dependencies
  • Server-side BREACH mitigation
  • HSTS enabled by default

Following are the results of performance test with nginx and lighttpd. Below graph shows the raw requests per second handling per-CPU of each web server with

No TLS, localhost, flat out

rwasa web server
Raw requests per second handling per-CPU of each web server – No TLS, localhost, flat out

 

TLS, RSA 2048 bit keys

rwasa web server
Raw requests per second handling per-CPU of each web server – TLS, RSA 2048 bit keys

TLS, RSA 4096 bit keys

rwasa web server
Raw requests per second handling per-CPU of each web server – TLS, RSA 4096 bit keys

Looking at the performance benchmark it surely looks like rwasa is outperforming nginx and lighttpd. I am hoping if developers are ready to adapt it, there will be a huge improvement on web server response time altogether. Let us know your views in comment below.

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Ananda Verma

Ananda Verma

Writes for machines mostly. Sometimes for humans too.
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