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  • Server selection help

    Is there a guideline a server based on simultaneous users?

    I am setting up forums for an online community, as we are completely smashing the current system. I am looking at around 300-400 users on at once, with the rare high peak being 750.

    I can't seem to find any guidelines on the amount of RAM I should be looking at getting. Any help would be appreciated.


    Thanks.

  • #2
    You could start off by mentioning what is the current hardware your forum is running on.
    Oppressed.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't have too much information on it - its a shared hosting account that doesn't provide too much information and control. We have 250gb of space and 1.5TB of BW. Other than that I don't have access of hardware specifics.

      Comment


      • #4
        And your current numbers are that high? I'd say it's a pretty solid shared host, unless you're currently only estimating those numbers in the future.
        Oppressed.

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        • #5
          The numbers are probably a little high as they are sort of a guess - we are combining 3 different forums that each reside on their own shared hosting account. I'm sure there is some concurrent user overlap between the two making the actual number of concurrent lower, however I just went with them numbers so that I'm a little more future proof.

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          • #6
            In that case, the RAM typically depends on the size of your database. You should have more RAM than your database currently weighs, since indexes take space as well, and you want room to grow.
            Oppressed.

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            • #7
              Makes sense, want to keep the database in memory to limit disk access.

              Thanks.

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              • #8
                Your going to realistically need to shift into VPS, start at the bottom with a good VPS provider and then if you need more, you can near instantly upgrade, that way you aren't paying above and beyond what you need. It all comes down to budget really.

                ServInt are one of the best for managed VPS, Linode for unmanaged, Wiredtree have some extremely good packages as well, VPS.net is quite scalable for the budget oriented. Just remember, you usually get what you pay for.

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                • #9
                  I've decided on jumping to a dedicated server, I already have a hosting company selected. There is just two items I'm debating on and would love input. The first is a dual core processor vs. a quad core; the second, 100 Mbps uplink vs 1000 Mbps uplink. The upgrade in each category of course ups the cost. Any thoughts?

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                  • #10
                    You will likely find the host upload is actually limited to 10mbps regardless of your connection, and only a handful of tier connections are 100mbps... most still 10mbps. Its not about dual or quad, its about the type of processor used. An i7, even i5 processor, out performs the majority of xeon and AMD server cores. The difference is that server cores typically can use ECC RAM, which desktop processors cannot.

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                    • #11
                      I mainly have choices between different Xeon processors. The choice I'm looking at is either a dual core (Xeon 3050) or quad core (Xeon 3210) at a $30 price difference. Nestled between them two is a Pentium G6950. I'm leaning towards the Xeon 3050, mainly on price, especially if I don't need to go with the 1000 Mbps Uplink (the Xeon 3050 and Pentium G6950 rigs do not support it). Other than that, the rigs can be made identical.

                      The next hurdle would be HD, SATA vs SAS. Ideally I'm leaning towards SATA due to cost, and unless this is a total mistake, it'll be my choice.

                      Edit: Just wanted to add I really appreciate the input.

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                      • #12
                        3050 - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...50+%40+2.13GHz
                        G6950 - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...50+%40+2.80GHz
                        3210 - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?...10+%40+2.13GHz

                        If its $30 difference between the 3050 & 3210... just let the specs do the talking for which one I would be taking, and its not the 3050. If price is everything for you, then sure... but $30 is doubling your CPU performance.

                        Again... cost... but your HDD's have everything to do with your performance. Example, 2 x 7200rpm RAID 1... whilst they mirror, they dual read. Change that to RAID10 and you now increased your write by approx 50% and read by approx 100% at basic RAID 10, being 4 HDD's. If you needed higher performance, SCSI. Even 1 x 15k SCSI can fix many performance issues for low grade dedicated vs. even RAID. 1 x SSD can kick all their bums and solve most I/O issues in one little, yet expensive, solution.

                        The best thing you can do is be with a host that has options on the fly. For example, wiredtree have so many options available on the fly, its hard not to resist them as a host nowadays. From your basic 7200rpm > SCSI > SSD, Apache or Lightspeed, etc etc. You can pick the cheapest option CPU and HDD due to budget and find a performance issue, though because the option for $10 or so a month exists to install lightspeed in lieu of apache, they can quickly change your server performance on the fly for next to nothing.

                        The best hosts have lots of options on the fly. What you can achieve with a dedicated, you can get from some providers via a cheaper VPS due to using enterprise level CPU's and banked RAID 10 SCSI's, ie. ServInt, which can work out cheaper running one core than a dedicated dual core due to the hardware performance differences.

                        The users you posted online in your initial post, would easily run on something like WireTree's level one hybrid for $99 a month. Again, if you start to see performance issues, they can quickly add another core for a small cost or swap out apache with lightspeed giving you a good 50% performance gain in delivery of content. Dedicated is a last resort nowadays and typically only required if you have thousands online at once for an average.

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                        • #13
                          I think you've changed my mind, and I'll be going with WiredTree. To get a dedicated host comparable hardware set-up will be quit a bit more; and going on your information of WiredTree using enterprise hardware as well as more on the fly options they seem to be the route to go in terms of budget and performance. Not to mention that their dedicate solutions seem very competitive as well, if I need to eventually go that route.

                          Thanks again for helping to guide my selection, it is greatly appreciated.

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                          • #14
                            www.urljet.com offer some really heavy hardware, managed as well, but it is best to phone them about dedicated options - they may have a suitable plan for you. I recommend them to anyone since I cannot fault them in anyway. They are one company that offers more than just hosting solutions - you get free vBulletin dedicated support, and hourly backups.

                            Just an ideal host...

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                            • #15
                              urljet is great for beginners, but they are far too expensive compared to other major players when you get towards the higher end requirements. Starting out, sure... urljet... medium upwards, not my recommendation due to whats around at better specs and prices, from high quality host providers.

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