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The C10k problem is the name given to a limitation that most web servers currently have which limits the web server's capabilities to only handle about ten thousand simultaneous connections. This limitation is partly due to operating system constraints and software limitations.
While there are some specialized web servers that can handle more than ten thousand client connections, most web servers currently handle at most ten thousand clients simultaneously.
Servers for attacking C10K problem
A few web servers have been developed to counter the C10K problem:
- Nginx, that relies on an event-driven (asynchronous) architecture, instead of threads, to handle requests
- Lighttpd, that relies on an asynchronous architecture to handle requests
- Cherokee HTTP Server, a lightweight web server
- Tornado (web server), a non-blocking web server and framework
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