Hardware usage

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  • Pietrotull
    New Member
    • Aug 2008
    • 1

    Hardware usage

    We are considering using vBulletin in a very heavy system. In the long run we have to be able to handle up to 1 million registered users.

    What I need to know how the software scales under very heavy usage to be able to invest in sufficient server hardware. vBullet and is mySql will most likely be run on separate clusters. I assume mySql performance is usually the bottleneck, but nevertheless any information about performance of the actual vBulletin software under heavy load would be very welcome as well.

    Any documentation available about the subject or odes anyone know on what kind of hardware the heavyest vBulletin services are running?
  • Andy Huang
    Senior Member
    • Feb 2004
    • 4602

    Having lots of registered users by itself doesn't require much resource... Just a lot of disk space. It is also worth while to note that realistically, very very few forums ever reach 1 million registered users, my wild guess tells me that out of the hundreds of thousands of forums online todate, there's probably lesser than 500 forums online with 1 million registered real users (IE: scrappers / bots populating database with users from newsnet etc. doesn't count as real users for example; as they'll likely never actually go to the site). Still, it is good to plan for the future, as we never know what'd happen when more and more people gets online.

    Typically, the resources constraints comes from the amount of users that are actually active on your site at the same time. That is to say, if a forum have 200k registered users, but no one is online on the forum, it will take no resources; where as a forum with 500 registered user, but everyone is online on the forum at the same time, it may be suffice to put visible stress on the server.

    Further to that, the resources requirement also differs per site. For example, our forum is quite simplistic, without too much addons, so we may not use as much resource as another vbulletin powered forums with lots of fancy addons that adds extra tax to the server. IE: shoutbox, for example, from personal experiences, is usually very bad at resource management, and takes large amount of resources away from other applications.

    As far as scalability goes, vBulletin is scalable, and works well with optimizers to help you get the most out of your hardware resources. For example, vBulletin 3.x offers support for master and slave database (IE: mysql replicated database), to help ease off the load for reading from / writing into the database. It also offers options for storing datastore into optimizers and caching tools such as memcache. vBulletin 4 (in development) is also aimed to make the software even more scalable to cater the larger forums.

    Popular vBulletin forums does reach over 1 million registered users, can reach over 100 million posts, and can still continue to grow. However, because all communities are unique, and different, we cannot tell you how much resource you will need for a community of what size. You can see http://www.big-boards.com to see links to some big boards that are powered by all forum softwares.
    Best Regards,
    Andy Huang


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