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Tuning Brocade Virtual Traffic Manager

This technical brief describes recommended techniques for installing, configuring and tuning Stingray Traffic Manager.  You should also refer to the Stingray Product Documentation for detailed instructions on the installation process of Stingray software.


Getting started



Tuning Stingray Traffic Manager



Tuning the operating system kernel


The following instructions only apply to Stingray software running on a customer-supplied Linux or Solaris kernel:


Debugging procedures for Performance Problems



Load Testing





The Stingray software and the operating system kernels both seek to optimize the use of the resources available to them, and there is generally little additional tuning necessary except when running in heavily-loaded or performance-critical environments.


When tuning is required, the majority of tunings relate to the kernel and tcp stack and are common to all networked applications.  Experience and knowledge you have of tuning webservers and other applications on Linux or Solaris can be applied directly to Stingray tuning, and skills that you gain working with Stingray can be transferred to other situations.


Good background references include:



The importance of good application design


TCP and kernel performance tuning will only help to a small degree if the application running over HTTP is poorly designed.  Heavy-weight web pages with large quantities of referenced content and scripts will tend to deliver a poorer user experience and will limit the capacity of the network to support large numbers of users.


Initiatives such as Google’s PageSpeed and Yahoo’s YSlow seek to promote good practice in web page design in order to optimize performance and capacity.


Stingray Aptimizer Web Content Optimization capability applies best-practice rules for content optimization dynamically, as the content is delivered by the Stingray ADC.  It applies browser-aware techniques to reduce bandwidth and TCP round-trips (image, CSS, JavaScript and HTML minification, image resampling, CSS merging, image spriting) and it automatically applies URL versioning and far-future expires to ensure that clients cache all content and never needlessly request an update for a resource which has not changed.


Stingray Aptimizer is a general purpose solution that complements TCP tuning to give better performance and a better service level.  If you’re serious about optimizing web performance, you should apply a range of techniques from layer 2-4 (network) up to layer 7 and beyond to deliver the best possible end-user experience while maximizing the capacity of your infrastructure.

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