CawiBox – Nginx vs Lighttpd vs Apache

CAWI stands for Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing: it is a survey management system via the Internet.
This program allows us to generate server side questionnaires, so that a respondent can answer them on the client side.

We have made our first attempts to create a very small CAWI server, which will run in the field with a WiFi Access Point mode. Interviewers can simply connect to this Access Point with their laptop or tablet to start the surveys.
This server will be named “CawiBox”.

Our first test is based on a mini-computer Raspberry Pi equipped with an ARMv7-A processor and, for now, we’ll continue with this architecture because of its many benefits: economic in terms of electricity consumption, simple implementation of external devices with I2C, etc.

Because of its limited computing power, we will try to optimize everything possible. No decision is taken arbitrarily without first performing tests.

This week, we tested different servers (Nginx, Lighttpd and Apache HTTP Server) to generate web pages with Perl. The benchmarking was done with Apache Benchmark tool.


Servers benchmark


Apache Server won all the tests done with different execution parameters. All servers were a virtual machine with the same configuration of the system and the network.

Then we installed Apache on the machine, and tried to determine which operating system and which configuration would give us the best performance.

We will keep you updated …

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