If you are not a systems administrator, you likely may never need to benchmark individual servers on which your applications are running. But if you are, odds are good that you already identify with the importance of knowing which parts of a system under your control are under-performing, causing bottlenecks, and plainly not coping up with the load.
I am going to make a passing mention only of two tools that can be used to benchmark Apache web servers. In comparison to other servers, ensuring that web servers are able to sufficiently handle the load they are sweating under is not only an old-running but an overly important issue to tackle. To that end, for Apache web servers, the following two tools can be used to implement extensive testing plans to measure up a whole slew of factors:
ab is easier to use, but less flexible and with fewer features. Apache JMeter, in contrast, packs buckets full of features than can be used to test an Apache web server in various conceivable manners.