Open LiteSpeed vs Nginx benchmarks and initial thoughts


LitespeedTech took me by surprise when they announced an open source free version of Litespeed web server called OpenLiteSpeed. My first thought was, will OpenLiteSpeed retain the LiteSpeed Enterprise version’s performance and scalability in comparison to Nginx web server ?

As I’m interested in performance of OpenLiteSpeed particularly in comparison to Nginx web server, I decided to run some quick Siege benchmarks. I am not using stock Nginx web server, but a source compiled version of Nginx v1.4.1 bundled with my Centmin Mod Nginx auto installer project. So it’s more of OpenLiteSpeed vs Centmin Mod Nginx comparison.  Full Centmin Mod Nginx configuration and compilation options available here. Early tests so great promise for OpenLiteSpeed.

OpenLiteSpeed vs Litespeed Enterprise

First, let’s see main features missing from OpenLiteSpeed vs Litespeed Enterprise

  • hosting control panel compatibility
  • .htaccess file compatibility
  • mod_security compatibility
  • page caching

Hosting control panels – how many Nginx users even use a control panel ?

.htaccess file compatibility – it’s only the file not supported, Apache rewrite syntax is fully supported but seems they moved that up into vhost admin console configuration in rewrite and context tabs. Haven’t played with that aspect of OpenLiteSpeed yet but at least it uses Apache rewrite syntax !

mod_security – how many folks use mod_security ? for Nginx ?

page caching – I assume this means Litespeed Enterprises’ inbuilt Litespeed Cache. That would probably be the feature I’d miss the most. I wrote about Litespeed Cache vs Varnish Cache 2+ yrs ago on my blog Litespeed Cache performed as good if not better than Varnish cache for dynamic PHP caching.

But OpenLiteSpeed still retains Litespeed Enterprises inbuilt small static file and MMAP cache support from the admin console screenshot (see below). So static file cache/performance is right up there with Varnish Cache for static files (in theory).

OpenLiteSpeed vs Centmin Mod Nginx Siege Benchmarks

Stock out of box Centmin Mod Nginx v1.4.1 versus stock of out box OpenLiteSpeed 1.0 for static files. Only changes made is set Nginx worker processes to 4 and same for OpenLiteSpeed. Of course concurrency levels are low so not enough to differentiate between the 2.

I notice, that OpenLiteSpeed wins on Longest Transaction response time being faster – could be OpenLiteSpeed’s inbuilt static file caching coming into play ? Below results are with Siege v3.0 benchmark with Keepalive disabled. Will do more tests with Keepalive enabled as well.

Note: default Centmin Mod Nginx also has open_file_cache enabled as well.

Siege Benchmark v3.0 Tested against

  • static hello.txt text file with ‘hello world’ text
  • static nginx-logo.png default logo included with Nginx installs
  • Nginx on port 80
  • OpenLiteSpeed on port 8088

Nginx hello.txt

OpenLiteSpeed hello.txt

Nginx nginx-logo.png

OpenLiteSpeed nginx-logo.png

Server Configuration:

  • VirtualBox – CentOS 6.4 64bit
  • Xeon W3540 @3.2Ghz allocated 4 cpu threads
  • 1280MB memory
  • 20GB disk on 1TB Western Digital Black Caviar


  • Centmin Mod v1.2.3-eva2000.01 Beta
  • Nginx 1.4.1 with ngx_pagespeed support turned off
  • PHP 5.3.24 PHP-FPM + APC Cache 3.1.13 + Memcache 3.07 + Memcached 2.1.0 + Libmemcached 1.0.16
  • MariaDB 5.2.14 MySQL

Siege Benchmark 3.0 settings

  • Keepalive disabled (default)
  • Cache validation disabled (default)
  • Concurrency levels tested: 50, 100, 150, 200, 250
  • Reps: 10
  • Delay: 5 seconds
  • Siege benchmark mode: bench

Server stats

Nginx nginx-logo.png

OpenLiteSpeed nginx-logo.png


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