I'm consulting for a large eastern-US university this week. We've
been working with them for a year to get them off mod_cgi and into mod_perl. The server is the core server that handles registrations, tuition payment, and grades, and is all done with CGI, and throwing more and more hardware at the problem.
The biggest problem is the saturday of registration each quarter. It nearly melted down last quarter, but they think they can use the same hardware and move things to mod_perl for this quarter.
As a test, they took a mod_perl server, and just with Apache::PerlRun (which recompiles the code on each hit, but doesn't fork), they were able to easily improve on a custom C program in CGI mode, talking to a database and executing a simple query. A short Perl program replaced the much-more-clumsy C program, and is far faster as well.
They're sold! Just wait until they discover Apache::Registry and points beyond.
Just today, I got a complicated version of their Apache server to compile in DSO mode (except for a weird mod_auth_dce module), and demonstrate a caching reverse-proxy server using their existing CGI base, so they have a migration path for mod_perl. Joy.
-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
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