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  • Hosting and Server Advice Please

    We are currently hosted by Rackspace. We have a dedicated, managed server and a backup server. We have a website, a vB running 3.5.4, and ad software that is php/mysql databased. Data Usage 3.48 GB

    We have 48,000+ members and 4.2 million posts. We get on average 600-800 simultaneous members online everyday. This past month we began dipping into over 1000, hitting a high of 1374 last week. Though we are working on optimization advice given by George here at vB, our server is having a hard time with the load. We must upgrade.

    We are seriously considering two servers - one for the mysql operations (vB and ad software) the other for the website. We want to upgrade with forethought, since our growth has been quite rapid this past year, so that we do not find ourselves having to upgrade again in another year. We'd like plenty of wiggle room to be able to add other features to our site and forum.


    Current server specs:
    Dual 3.06GHz Intel Xeon processors
    6.0 GB RAM
    4x 73GB SCA Ultra160 SCSI disks (in a RAID5 configuration)
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES3
    100 Mbps connection

    We pay $1490 a month for that server plus an additional $350 for the backup server.

    We have and need a daily mysql backup as well as a weekly backup of the entire site.

    We do not have but certainly need a firewall and must migrate to a new server to do so.

    We are hosted by Rackspace but are open to moving to another host and would like recommendations for that as well.

    I understand the Dual Opteron has been recommended lately. Would that be a good solution for us? And does "Dual" indicate two servers that would be able to separate the two sides of our site - website from vB and advertising serving?

    Any and all advice and input is appreciated.
    Eat Your Veggies

  • #2
    just curious, can RackSpace not assist with server tweaking ?
    www.MJWebhosting.com - (Vbulletin Forum Hosting)
    www.MercuryServer.com - (Our vBulletin forum Managed & hosted by MJWebhosting)

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    • #3
      They can and have been asked to do so. I am awaiting that to come about. Then we can see how well the current server manages the loads.
      Eat Your Veggies

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      • #4
        This is just my personal opinion, but a dual Xeon with 6 gig ram and a RAID setup (on SCSI) "should" be able to handle 600 users online (maybe even upto 900). I could be wrong as I haven't personally tweaked a site of this size. Maybe server optimization might alleviate some of that load.

        Nothwithstanding, you will totally be better off with Dual Opteron's. Dual meaning Dual Processors. And I know a lot of people on here with massive boards have 2 servers, Dual Processor Opteron's each (so 4 processors in all). They split the webserver + database loads across both boxes to speed things up.

        I think EV1 sells decent opteron's. You could do a search on www.webhostingtalk.com for dependable DataCenters offering decent deals on Dual Opetorons.
        Last edited by encryption; Mon 6 Mar '06, 7:40am.
        www.MJWebhosting.com - (Vbulletin Forum Hosting)
        www.MercuryServer.com - (Our vBulletin forum Managed & hosted by MJWebhosting)

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        • #5
          Here's an example of what we're dealing with Server Load Averages wise:

          49.40 18.50 11.64 | 911 Users Online (429 members and 482 guests)

          That's at this moment.

          So you mean they have two Dual Opterons, one for the site side and another for the MySQL needs?
          Eat Your Veggies

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          • #6
            wow that server load is pretty high, however your averages seem a lot lower.....

            Originally posted by Cynthia
            So you mean they have two Dual Opterons, one for the site side and another for the MySQL needs?
            yes I believe that is correct
            www.MJWebhosting.com - (Vbulletin Forum Hosting)
            www.MercuryServer.com - (Our vBulletin forum Managed & hosted by MJWebhosting)

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            • #7
              Thanks so much. I'll check out webhostingtalk.com and see what I can find.
              Eat Your Veggies

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              • #8
                Your server should be capable of handling that considering half of the users are guests. I'd try doing what encryption suggests. Tweaking your server would most likely make a significant increase in terms of system performance.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cynthia
                  Thanks so much. I'll check out webhostingtalk.com and see what I can find.
                  Do you allow guests to search?

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                  • #10
                    Normally, when it comes to users online and server loads, it's normally due to an issue related to not having sufficient RAM, however, with 6GB's, I think you're pretty safe .

                    Given the loads you presented, what functions are you allowing guests access to? If you are allowing them open search, access to attachments and so forth, you could probably cut through some of the load by simply disabling these options for guests.

                    Also check to see if you have optimized PHP accordingly. You said you had been dealing with George as well, did you install eAccelerator to cache the more frequently used PHP scripts directly?

                    Seperating the servers off, one for HTTP and one for MySQL should easily take care of the load issues, if done correctly. Given, they will both still need to be optimized for optimal performance.

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                    • #11
                      All of the optimizations George advised have been placed and today things are much better:

                      3.07 3.54 3.37 | 1,053 Users Online (404 members and 649 guests)

                      Guests have no permissions other than reading the forum threads. We don;t permit atachments so that's not an issue.

                      We have not installed eAccelerator though. Is that common advice for optimization?
                      Eat Your Veggies

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                      • #12
                        Yes, however APC is generally better.

                        Are you sure guests cannot search at all?

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                        • #13
                          Something else that I want to ask about...

                          We have ads running at top and on the right side in a column. They too are php/mysql based. Could this be a signification issue with the loads?
                          Eat Your Veggies

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                          • #14
                            I will log out now and test as a guest to see if I can search.
                            Eat Your Veggies

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                            • #15
                              I cannot search. I don't even get a search or new posts button as a guest.
                              Eat Your Veggies

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