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  • Help needed on server selection.

    Hi, Hi everybody, I am planning to move my forums to vB so you will se a lot more of me here. I have a question regarding the hardware requirements of vB. My forum currently gets about 200.000 visits every month which generates anywhere between 2,5 and 3,5 million pageviews. The forum contains over 4 million messages. Could you give me the minimum server specs that are required to run a forum of this size? I will be using Ubuntu, Apache, Mysql5, PHP5, APC and sphinx. Is it advisable to have a seperate server for the database or do you think a medium sized server (i am looking at the one specified in the attachment) will do the job on its own? Is there any other advice you can give me to speed up vB?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    That's a 3500$ investment, and your only bottleneck could be the HDDs, as you might want 4 in RAID-10 instead of two. How large is your database?
    Oppressed.

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    • #3
      Yep, I would go with the RAID10 option as well... you will have all this processing power but the information will be caught up at the HDD's. Atleast RAID10 is giving you multi read, write abilities with redundancy. Use it to its full potential I say, or one server grade SSD with a sata backup drive.

      You may also want to swap out apache with lightspeed for a nice 50% performance improvement.

      Comment


      • #4
        My Database is 2 GB.
        Currently the (SMF) forum incl. all attachment etc. is well over 15 GB and running on two servers:
        An old dual core bdb server with 2 GB of memory and a webserver which takes care of the rest (also the indexing with sphinx) which is a dual athlon server with 4 GB of mem.

        So you are advicing me to get a little less processor power and more diskspeed?

        With lightspeed: do you mean lighttpd? Does support all the functionality Apache does in vBulletin and vBSEO?

        Thanks for the replies.

        Comment


        • #5
          Lightspeed is directly interchangeable with apache in every manner. Excellent method to get a lot more out without changing around hardware. I wouldn't say decrease CPU, but the problem is that you can have the greatest CPU on the market, but it can only work as fast as the information being delivered to it (read/write) ability. If the HDD's or bus is letting it down, then a great CPU won't do a thing except costs lots.

          A great CPU on a server grade board, good bus speed and cache, excellent HDD read write abilities, equals a win win situation for overall performance. If the information is bottlenecked getting to or from the CPU, then all the CPU in the world won't make things run as fast as you may need them. Whether it be SCSI or SSD at the higher end, or even banked 7200 SATA's in a RAID10 (4 x minimum), then you will be getting far greater read/write, thus little to no bottlenecking via I/O.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the insights, but this is already obvious to me.

            Unfortunately i have only limited budget so i can't afford excellent performance parts.
            So my question was: with the visitor numbers that i have, should i dicide on a little less processing power (maybe even a single quadcore processor in stead of 2) and buy faster disks?
            My current servers both have 10k scsi disks in raid1.

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            • #7
              Me personally, yes... I would decrease slightly on the CPU to include RAID10 in a 4x config.

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              • #8
                i think dual 5620 is little extra for 6-7k visitors a day, as per my previous experience with my site , an i7 server with 12gb ram, raid10 storage and litespeed web server should do magic,if you don't want to use litespeed you can use nginx as proxy to serve static files and xcache to boost server performance

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by webrunner View Post
                  Hi, Hi everybody, I am planning to move my forums to vB so you will se a lot more of me here. I have a question regarding the hardware requirements of vB. My forum currently gets about 200.000 visits every month which generates anywhere between 2,5 and 3,5 million pageviews. The forum contains over 4 million messages. Could you give me the minimum server specs that are required to run a forum of this size? I will be using Ubuntu, Apache, Mysql5, PHP5, APC and sphinx. Is it advisable to have a seperate server for the database or do you think a medium sized server (i am looking at the one specified in the attachment) will do the job on its own? Is there any other advice you can give me to speed up vB?
                  Originally posted by webrunner View Post
                  My Database is 2 GB.
                  Currently the (SMF) forum incl. all attachment etc. is well over 15 GB and running on two servers:
                  An old dual core bdb server with 2 GB of memory and a webserver which takes care of the rest (also the indexing with sphinx) which is a dual athlon server with 4 GB of mem.

                  So you are advicing me to get a little less processor power and more diskspeed?

                  With lightspeed: do you mean lighttpd? Does support all the functionality Apache does in vBulletin and vBSEO?

                  Thanks for the replies.
                  Originally posted by webrunner View Post
                  Thanks for the insights, but this is already obvious to me.

                  Unfortunately i have only limited budget so i can't afford excellent performance parts.
                  So my question was: with the visitor numbers that i have, should i dicide on a little less processing power (maybe even a single quadcore processor in stead of 2) and buy faster disks?
                  My current servers both have 10k scsi disks in raid1.
                  Comes down to real concurrent user activity as to how power the hardware config setup you want to go with. For instance with vB http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showt...=1#post1485769 - old thread of course xeon 56xx have taken over from xeon 55xx http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=160103

                  Without knowing specifics for your current forums real loads, I'm guestimating from your size in terms of forum posts, you will be better of splitting web/php from mysql so to have a dedicated web server connected to a dedicated mysql database server with dual gigabit network cards on web server - one dedicated to web end traffic other dedicated to communicating with mysql database server. Having such a setup makes mysql administrative tasks such as regular mysql database backups, optimisations, repair and restores alot faster. Xeon W35xx and Xeon 55xx and 56xx series processors are all that I'd even consider.

                  What's your budget ?

                  If you're starting out on new forum software with growing traffic, I wouldn't fork out to purchase your servers yet as it could be overkill or underpowered. Better off to start with renting the first few months to get handle on and idea of your loads so you can plan that purchase to better meet the needs for your forum operation and future growth

                  But if I'm flying blind and have to recommend a base server for handling your stats, I'd be recommending a bit more overkill.

                  Servers with following specs is what I've been specifying for my private vB clients I have done work for.
                  • Dual Xeon E5520 2.27ghz or E5620 2.4ghz (go for E5620 should be same price as E5520 older servers)
                  • 6GB DDR3
                  • 4x or 6x disk fast 15k RPM SAS disks in raid 10 with hardware raid conrtoller
                  • dual gigabit network cards


                  Yup bit of overkill.

                  * if you're using load balanced web servers or looking at single processor servers, don't rule out single xeon based processors like Intel Xeon W3550 3.0Ghz, Xeon W3565 3.06Ghz, Xeon W3570 3.2Ghz if the price is right. They clock speeds more than make up for the lack of the 2nd processor in some cases.

                  Especially, when paired with litespeedtech.com's litespeed web server as an apache replacement. I had one private vB client temporarily handling 200,000 unique visitors per day for a week (yes that's 6+ million unique visitors per month) on a single Xeon W3550 with 6GB memory for web/php + mysql when using litespeed web server although loads were in 8.0 range until I had the second single Xeon W3550 6GB web server added to the web load balancer and setup the dedicated dual xeon e5520 12gb 6x 15k rpm raid 10 dedicated mysql database server. Web loads dropped to <1.5 and db load <2.5 15min averages


                  More conservative guestimate would be
                  • Intel Core i7 920 2.66ghz or i7 930 2.8ghz or Xeon W3550 3.0ghz
                  • 6gb memory
                  • 2x 15k sas based disks in raid 1 or 4x 15k sas disks in raid 10


                  software:

                  web server - either apache but it's a memory hog, so alternatives are apache + nginx has reverse proxy for static images, or straight nginx replacing apache, or litespeed from litespeedtech.com as straight apache replacement. Nginx thread at http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showt...of-a-new-giant and if youuse cpanel/whm - nginx as reverse proxy http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showt...lish-Espa%F1ol)

                  php - PHP 5.3.3 with Xcache or APC for caching

                  mysql - MySQL.com 5.1.49 but better is Percona MySQL fork 5.1.47 rel11.2 lots of google, yahoo, facebook etc performance patches integrated into Percona version http://www.percona.com/software/percona-server/

                  If you don't have time to learn and read up on nginx, then i'd opt for forking out extra for litespeed web server license to replace apache, litespeed is pretty much set and forget from admin point of view - might have some initial teething/setup tuning required but after it's straight sailing like you would on apache.

                  HTH
                  Last edited by George L; Thu 12th Aug '10, 6:58am.
                  :: Always Back Up Forum Database + Attachments BEFORE upgrading !
                  :: Nginx SPDY SSL - World Flags Demo [video results]
                  :: vBulletin hacked forums: Clean Up Guide for VPS/Dedicated hosting users [ vbulletin.com blog summary ]

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                  • #10
                    bit more discussion on litespeed as alternative web server to apache http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showt...ight=litespeed and http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showt...ight=litespeed

                    nginx - lots of sources for good info:


                    litespeed - www.litespeedtech.com and http://www.litespeedtech.com/support/forum/
                    :: Always Back Up Forum Database + Attachments BEFORE upgrading !
                    :: Nginx SPDY SSL - World Flags Demo [video results]
                    :: vBulletin hacked forums: Clean Up Guide for VPS/Dedicated hosting users [ vbulletin.com blog summary ]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all this information.
                      I have just ordered a new server and invested some extra money on diskspeed.
                      (dual Xeon quad core, 24G of mem, Raid 10, 4x 146GB 15K SAS drives)

                      I will look into Litespeed but i am a bit reluctant to swap to a different webservers since i am familiar with apache (and already have to invest major time to get into the depths of vBulletin)

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                      • #12
                        That sounds like a pretty solid server setup webrunner... and the best thing is that if you ever need to get another 50% from it, you only need swap lightspeed in for apache, as they are completely interchangeable on the fly, and instant 50% up-to 2x improvement across areas.

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                        • #13
                          Indeed love how technology is getting better, the new xeon 56xx/55xx can almost replace multiple older xeon 53xx series server setups making things easier to manage too!
                          :: Always Back Up Forum Database + Attachments BEFORE upgrading !
                          :: Nginx SPDY SSL - World Flags Demo [video results]
                          :: vBulletin hacked forums: Clean Up Guide for VPS/Dedicated hosting users [ vbulletin.com blog summary ]

                          Comment

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