The metva.com HitMeter is a java applet which displays real-time hit rates on an Apache web server. (Note that metva.com is only a small server behind a low-bandwidth link so the scale of the display is deliberately low in this example). The HitMeter has been successfully deployed on single servers running at hundreds of hits/s and indeed across server pools with much higher rates.

Below are three instances of the Hitmeter showing data from the same server. Each instance is set to query the server once every 3 seconds and so each should settle to a 1 hit/sec rate after 5 or 10 seconds. Try browsing metva in another window to see the hitmeter report the server use.

The Hitmeter applet should render here.
If its not, then most likely Java has been
disabled in your browser.
another HitMeter another HitMeter

The meter dial/bargraph displays a number of pieces of information:-
  • the total number of hits served by the web server as a white number.
  • the red hand/bar displaying the hit/s rate
  • the yellow hand/bar showing the average of the last five samples,
  • a pair of green tick marks at the edge of the dial recording the maximum and minimum values displayed since page reload.

For those who are interested, the HitMeter is completely open source and available under a BSD style license. Visit the download page for more information.

I am also in the process of documenting how you can apply the hit meter to your site or indeed more generally to other monitoring tasks.

There is also a conference paper which discusses the process of measuring and tuning Apache and briefly mentions the HitMeter as a tool which you may find useful.