to a test assignment with 32 questions from Chrome starts one established connection to apache and 4 or 5 to lighttpd. With the nginx proxy, I can see two connections to apache from nginx - most likely proxy connection in one direction and back. Since lighty doesn't mind lots and lots of connections to serve static content (I bumped up the server.max-fds ), I may be able to get away with using one apache prefork connection per student with a very short keep alive even if the professors decide to do a gateway quiz. MaxRequestWorkers and ServerLimit are set to 1200 assuming 240 GB of ram for webwork and 200 MB per prefork process. Thanks.