disk. Implementation on an 8 node cluster showed that PRESS can improve the server
throughput by about 29% compared to the TCP/IP model. These studies support the
idea that a cluster based Web server is one of the most effective architectures, in terms
of both performance and cost.
However, many choices in designing and building cluster based Web servers re
main to be explored. In addition, considering the complex features of cluster based Web
servers, a myriad of issues require investigation in regards to Web performance and ser
vice quality. For example, little research has been done on the performance impact of the
Secure Socket Layer (SSL)  on cluster based Web servers or aggressive adopting of
new architectural trends such as the large amount of available memory on programmable
NICs to increase system throughput.
Therefore, the main motivation of this research is to design and analyze various
issues regarding cluster based Web servers. This research includes the following: i)
design of coscheduled Web servers, which exploit various coscheduling techniques to
minimize the latency time of the client requests, ii) design of a load balancing scheme
for the SSL connections between clients and application servers, and iii) investigation
of the NIC data caching scheme, which exploits the available large memory space in an
intelligent/programmable Network Interface Card (NIC) to enhance performance.