SeaCat Performance Test

We decided to perform this test to validate our architectural, design and implementation decisions in regards to SeaCat performance. Our goal was to build the best-in-class product using the most advanced techniques to deliver highest possible throughput yet not compromising the security of the communication in any way. Results of the test have been fed back into our development team to improve further overall performance characteristics of the solution.

We want to illustrate SeaCat's performance related to HTTP and HTTPS protocols. SeaCat provides speed that is close to HTTP and the level of security that is at least equal to HTTPS. If performance is important to you, you will be able to put all three methods in some perspective.

Measured numbers should help you in deciding about your environment sizings.

Test configuration

The test environment has been configured using the following architectural recommendations (see bellow PDI diagram). We build it using Amazon AWS EC2 service.


The test based on launching GET request that retrieves a certain XML file from the HTTP host. This cycle of request and response is called transaction for the sake of this test.

We build custom performance tool for SeaCat, modelled after well-known ab tool from HTTP Apache server suite. ab tool is also used for reference testing of HTTP and HTTPS which is configured in the same way (or as much as possible).

We crafted 128 B, 512 B, 1 KiB, 2 KiB XML, 4 KiB, 8 KiB and 16 KiB XML files that are served by HTTP hosts during the test.

Further details of test configuration are attached at the end of this article.


c3.xlarge (4 vCPU cores)


128 B XML 9634 869 13685
512 B XML 9724 868 13766
1 KiB XML 9492 860 14186
2 KiB XML 9554 866 13364
4 KiB XML 9469 859 11882
8 KiB XML 8876 850 10353
16 KiB XML 6054 831 5457

Numbers are in transactions per second.

c3.large (2 vCPU cores)


128 B XML 8111 511 8269
512 B XML 8406 511 8271
1 KiB XML 8932 512 8116
2 KiB XML 8376 512 7859
4 KiB XML 8407 511 7342
8 KiB XML 8291 510 6614
16 KiB XML 6249 508 3836

Numbers are in transactions per second.

Detailed information

SeaCat Gateway

  • Version: 14.03 (trial)
  • Number of child processes: (2 * number of CPU cores) + 2
  • Memory is non-critical: <500kb was used during the test
  • Number of open files (ulimit -n) has to be set reasonably high (e.g. 8192)

NGINX host servers

  • Version: 1.4.6
  • Number of workers (worker_processes): 32

Client test box

  • Custom build performance test client for SeaCat
  • 'ab' tool (from HTTP Apache toolbox) for HTTP and HTTPS reference test
  • $ ab -c8 -n100000
  • $ ab -c8 -n10000

Cryptography configuration of SeaCat and HTTPS

  • Protocol: TLSv1.2
  • Cypher: ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 (2048 bit RSA, 128 bit AES)
  • No client/server certificate trust validation

Amazon AWS details

  • Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS (PV), SSD Volume Type - ami-e90dc49e (64-bit)
  • Root device type: ebs
  • Virtualization type: paravirtual
  • Dedicated placement group (cluster)
  • eu-west-1c
  • High Frequency Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 (Ivy Bridge) Processors
  • vCPU: 2
  • RAM: 3.75G
  • AES-NI present
  • High Frequency Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 (Ivy Bridge) Processors
  • vCPU: 4
  • RAM: 7.5G
  • AES-NI present
  • High Frequency Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 (Ivy Bridge) Processors
  • vCPU: 8
  • RAM: 15G
  • AES-NI present
  • High Frequency Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 (Ivy Bridge) Processors
  • vCPU: 32
  • RAM: 60G
  • AES-NI present

Do you have a question?

Have a question we didn’t cover? Please feel free to contact us.

About the Author

Ales Teska

TeskaLabs’ founder and CEO, Ales Teska, is a driven innovator who proactively builds things and comes up with solutions to solve practical IT problems.

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