There seems to be some interest Catalyst vs Rails vs Django benchmark. The older benchmark is quite old, it was done in 2007. A lot has changed since then. I am re-running the numbers once again to see what has changed. This time around the hardware is faster and the benchmark is slightly more simple. I am just stress testing the controller response performance of the two frameworks.

Benchmark System:
Quad Core Xeon x5355 @ 2.66GHz,8 Gigs Ram,OpenSolaris SNV98

Quick Summary:
Catalyst 5.8/Perl 5.10: 611.78req/sec (Single Process,bsdmalloc)
Catalyst 5.8/Perl 5.10: 1485.53req/sec (Multi Process,bsdmalloc)
Rails 2.3.2/MRI Ruby 1.8.7: 259.93req/sec (Single Process,bsdmalloc)
Rails 2.3.2/JRuby 1.3-dev: 311.71req/sec (Single-Threaded,bsdmalloc)
Rails 2.3.2/JRuby 1.3-dev: 992.32req/sec (Multi-Threaded,libumem)
Rails 2.3.2/MRI Ruby 1.9.1: 603.92req/sec (Single Process,bsdmalloc)

Jump to conclusion….

Catalyst 5.8 / Perl 5.10
Compiled: SUNCC -xO5 -xipo -fast -xtarget=native

# ab -n1000 -c100 http://somedomain:3000/ This is ApacheBench, Version 2.0.40-dev <$Revision: 1.146 $> apache-2.0 Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/ Copyright 2006 The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/ Benchmarking localhost (be patient) Completed 100 requests Completed 200 requests Completed 300 requests Completed 400 requests Completed 500 requests Completed 600 requests Completed 700 requests Completed 800 requests Completed 900 requests Finished 1000 requests Server Software: Server Hostname: somedomain Server Port: 3000 Document Path: / Document Length: 11 bytes Concurrency Level: 100 Time taken for tests: 0.673159 seconds Complete requests: 1000 Failed requests: 0 Write errors: 0 Total transferred: 159000 bytes HTML transferred: 11000 bytes Requests per second: 1485.53 [#/sec] (mean) Time per request: 67.316 [ms] (mean) Time per request: 0.673 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests) Transfer rate: 230.26 [Kbytes/sec] received Connection Times (ms) min mean[+/-sd] median max Connect: 0 0 2.3 0 35 Processing: 15 62 10.8 62 103 Waiting: 15 59 11.6 61 98 Total: 15 62 10.6 63 103 Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms) 50% 63 66% 66 75% 69 80% 71 90% 74 95% 76 98% 86 99% 91 100% 103 (longest request)

Rails 2.3.2 / Ruby 1.8.7
Compiled: SUNCC -xO5 -xipo -fast -xtarget=native

# ab -n1000 -c100 http://somedomain:3000/main/index This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $> Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/ Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/ Benchmarking somedomain (be patient) Completed 100 requests Completed 200 requests Completed 300 requests Completed 400 requests Completed 500 requests Completed 600 requests Completed 700 requests Completed 800 requests Completed 900 requests Completed 1000 requests Finished 1000 requests Server Software: Mongrel Server Hostname: somedomain Server Port: 3000 Document Path: /main/index Document Length: 11 bytes Concurrency Level: 100 Time taken for tests: 3.847 seconds Complete requests: 1000 Failed requests: 0 Write errors: 0 Total transferred: 290003 bytes HTML transferred: 11000 bytes Requests per second: 259.93 [#/sec] (mean) Time per request: 384.718 [ms] (mean) Time per request: 3.847 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests) Transfer rate: 73.61 [Kbytes/sec] received Connection Times (ms) min mean[+/-sd] median max Connect: 0 0 1.1 0 16 Processing: 10 369 65.2 389 428 Waiting: 9 368 65.3 388 427 Total: 10 369 65.2 390 428 Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms) 50% 390 66% 396 75% 398 80% 400 90% 404 95% 407 98% 413 99% 417 100% 428 (longest request)

Rails 2.3.2 / JRuby 1.3-dev build 6586 (Multi-Threaded), libumem
Platform: JDK7 B56

# ab -n1000 -c100 http://somedomain.com:3000/main/index
This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $>
Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/
Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/

Benchmarking somedomain.com (be patient)
Completed 100 requests
Completed 200 requests
Completed 300 requests
Completed 400 requests
Completed 500 requests
Completed 600 requests
Completed 700 requests
Completed 800 requests
Completed 900 requests
Completed 1000 requests
Finished 1000 requests


Server Software:        
Server Hostname:        somedomain.com
Server Port:            3000

Document Path:          /main/index
Document Length:        11 bytes

Concurrency Level:      100
Time taken for tests:   1.008 seconds
Complete requests:      1000
Failed requests:        1
   (Connect: 0, Receive: 0, Length: 1, Exceptions: 0)
Write errors:           0
Non-2xx responses:      1
Total transferred:      253875 bytes
HTML transferred:       11936 bytes
Requests per second:    992.32 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request:       100.773 [ms] (mean)
Time per request:       1.008 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate:          246.02 [Kbytes/sec] received

Connection Times (ms)
              min  mean[+/-sd] median   max
Connect:        0    1   1.7      0      13
Processing:    10   79  18.8     80     122
Waiting:        9   79  18.8     79     122
Total:         10   80  18.9     80     122

Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms)
  50%     80
  66%     88
  75%     94
  80%     98
  90%    102
  95%    108
  98%    113
  99%    114
 100%    122 (longest request)

Rails 2.3.2 / JRuby 1.3-dev build 6586 (Single-Threaded)
Platform: JDK7 B56

# ab -n1000 -c100 http://somedomain:3000/main/index This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $> Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/ Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/ Benchmarking somedomain (be patient) Completed 100 requests Completed 200 requests Completed 300 requests Completed 400 requests Completed 500 requests Completed 600 requests Completed 700 requests Completed 800 requests Completed 900 requests Completed 1000 requests Finished 1000 requests Server Software: Server Hostname: somedomain Server Port: 3000 Document Path: /main/index Document Length: 11 bytes Concurrency Level: 100 Time taken for tests: 3.208 seconds Complete requests: 1000 Failed requests: 0 Write errors: 0 Total transferred: 253000 bytes HTML transferred: 11000 bytes Requests per second: 311.71 [#/sec] (mean) Time per request: 320.810 [ms] (mean) Time per request: 3.208 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests) Transfer rate: 77.01 [Kbytes/sec] received Connection Times (ms) min mean[+/-sd] median max Connect: 0 1 2.5 0 31 Processing: 37 304 56.4 318 350 Waiting: 36 304 56.5 318 349 Total: 37 305 56.5 318 352 Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms) 50% 318 66% 326 75% 330 80% 332 90% 336 95% 341 98% 345 99% 348 100% 352 (longest request)

Rails 2.3.2 / Ruby 1.9.1
Compiled: GCC -O3 -fomit-frame-pointer (SunCC failed to compile)

# ab -n1000 -c100 http://somedomain:3000/main/index This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $> Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/ Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/ Benchmarking somedomain (be patient) Completed 100 requests Completed 200 requests Completed 300 requests Completed 400 requests Completed 500 requests Completed 600 requests Completed 700 requests Completed 800 requests Completed 900 requests Completed 1000 requests Finished 1000 requests Server Software: thin Server Hostname: somedomain Server Port: 3000 Document Path: /main/index Document Length: 11 bytes Concurrency Level: 100 Time taken for tests: 1.656 seconds Complete requests: 1000 Failed requests: 0 Write errors: 0 Total transferred: 267001 bytes HTML transferred: 11000 bytes Requests per second: 603.92 [#/sec] (mean) Time per request: 165.585 [ms] (mean) Time per request: 1.656 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests) Transfer rate: 157.47 [Kbytes/sec] received Connection Times (ms) min mean[+/-sd] median max Connect: 0 0 0.6 0 8 Processing: 28 160 39.0 187 222 Waiting: 13 145 38.5 143 209 Total: 28 160 39.0 187 222 Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms) 50% 187 66% 190 75% 191 80% 191 90% 196 95% 201 98% 221 99% 221 100% 222 (longest request)

Conclusion

Seems like Catalyst has the edge in controller performance compared to Rails on MRI Ruby 1.8.7. Catalyst’s controller processing is 135% faster than Rails in single process performance and 471% faster as a forking multi process. It is nice to see that the Catalyst team addressed the controller performance short comings of the earlier versions of Catalyst. Like any benchmark take it with a grain of salt. In a real application your data access layer will most likely be the bottle neck.

Rails 2.3.2 under JRuby with threading enabled ran 283% faster than with MRI Ruby 1.8.7. I am anxiously waiting on JDK7 B57 with invoke dynamic support, this should help push JRuby’s performance even further. I guess I know what deployment option I will choose when deploying Rails.

Pick your poison, both frameworks provide excellent controller response performance. Keep in mind scaling is all about architecture and not how fast your controller’s responses are. That said, having an efficient framework does help 😉