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Converting Big Site To XF - Server Specs?

ProCom

Well-known member
#1
I have a large site that's been hosted by a 3rd party for 5 years. I'm converting it to XenForo and have NO idea what server specs I will need.

Site Stats:
  • 60 GB Database
  • 18mm posts
  • 4 TB of images / attachments
  • 6 - 12 million pageviews per month
  • Often have 2,000 concurrent users at a time
I'd love to get recommendations on:
  1. Size and specs of server(s) I'll need
  2. Hosting company recommendations
  3. Server management companies (ones that will proactively manage the server)
 
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WSWD

Well-known member
#2
Well at the very least, you are going to need a dedicated server...perhaps 2 or more. The disk space alone is well beyond shared hosting or a VPS, if you plan on serving them locally. Ideally, you're going to want a site like this on SSD drives, but the 3TB of images really makes that prohibitive. Might be looking at one server to potentially to serve the website, and another to host the images, or even 1 server to host the website, another to host the database, and a 3rd to host the images. Really hard to say.

Rack911 generally does a good job with proactive management.
 

Joeychgo

Well-known member
#3
I would almost say your going to need to go with a colocated server setup. That's where you buy the servers yourself and pay a company to host it, and then pay separate for management (or do the management yourself). Reason I say this is that its going to cost you an arm and a leg to rent a dedicated server with that much storage.

Given the size of the images - yeah, your almost going to have to have at least 2 servers. One for the database and one for the images. Plus, you have to think about backups.

What are you on now? Knowing those specs would help a lot.
 

ProCom

Well-known member
#4
Thanks guys!

What are you on now? Knowing those specs would help a lot.
Well, that's the biggest problem... I was with a 3rd party that did all the software / DB / server management and provided no transparency or visibility into what they used.

The disk space alone is well beyond shared hosting or a VPS
Yes, I definitely know I'll need way more than a VPS.

one server to potentially to serve the website, and another to host the images
your almost going to have to have at least 2 servers. One for the database and one for the images
Yup, I'm thinking to start with a super fast SSD server for XF and the DB, and then a big storage server for images / attachments.

I was originally wondering if a combo of Linode for XF/DB and AWS for images, would be a great option since I can upgrade and downgrade Linode as needed, but I'm concerned that not having the servers together in the same location may create latency issues and it seems that AWS is a pretty expensive proposition compared to a leased server.

So, a few follow-up questions:
  1. Should I start with 2 servers as suggested and see how that goes?
  2. How important is it that the two servers (DB / Images) be in the same colo or similar geography?
  3. I've been considering a few companies for dedicated servers, including:www.reliablesite.net , www.webnx.com, and www.ovh.com . Any thoughts on these or other suggestions?

 

Brent W

Well-known member
#5
Your total image size will likely go down significantly with the move to XenForo. The best thing to do is wait until after the initial test conversion is complete to see what you are working with. After that, a basic modern dedicated server with storage in raid 10 should be plenty.

If you do require two servers then make sure they are in the same data center.
 

Xon

Well-known member
#9
@ProCom is that database size with or without table compression?

If yes; two $40 per month Linode VMs (webnode + database), with InnoDB table compression on the post/history/ip tables should easily work.

You would definitely need to host attachment on another service, but that should be quite doable.
 

ProCom

Well-known member
#10
I'm not 100% sure what the XF database will look like until we've imported everything. My guess is that we'll trim a bit of space from the 60GB, but will it drop to 50, 40, etc? I don't know.

I really like Linode and the ability to upgrade/downgrade on the fly. I would even be happy to "spring" for their higher packages (24GB or 48GB RAM), but it sounds like the image server needs to be in the same location as XF/DB, no?
 

WSWD

Well-known member
#11
So, a few follow-up questions:
  1. Should I start with 2 servers as suggested and see how that goes?
  2. How important is it that the two servers (DB / Images) be in the same colo or similar geography?
  3. I've been considering a few companies for dedicated servers, including:www.reliablesite.net , www.webnx.com, and www.ovh.com . Any thoughts on these or other suggestions?
1) Yes
2) Very important, or as you say, you are going to introduce latency, potentially.
3) I have several servers at webnx and several at reliablesite. I would not even consider OVH. Reliablesite is very good, but not even in the same league as WebNX. Have been with them since 2011 and have had darn near 100% uptime. Support tickets are answered very quickly. Of course, you are going to pay for that.
 

WSWD

Well-known member
#12
I really like Linode and the ability to upgrade/downgrade on the fly. I would even be happy to "spring" for their higher packages (24GB or 48GB RAM), but it sounds like the image server needs to be in the same location as XF/DB, no?
As I said, would not even bother with a VPS, like Linode. (Don't let the cloud name fool you. Most of these "clouds" are just VPSs....there is nothing cloud about them.). As well, at the begining of this year, Linode suffered a series of fairly small and insignificant DDoS attacks, that completely took out their datacenters for well over a month. If you want to risk an 18 million post forum to get a VPS with Linode, I can only wish you the best of luck! ;)
 

ProCom

Well-known member
#13
Hey @WSWD, I really appreciate your comments!

I've definitely heard good things about both Reliablesite and WebNX, so they are at the top of my list right now.

The next thing to figure out:
  1. Proactive server management: If I have a corrupt table in at 3 AM while I'm on vacation, I'd rather not be the one trying to find a solution. I guess I'll have to find a 3rd person company that can do this?
  2. What server specs should I go with?
My initial thoughts:

DB Server:
  • CPU: 16 - 24 core
  • RAM: 48 - 64 GB
  • SSD: 4 x 128GB in RAID 10 (256gb usable)
Image Server:
  • CPU: 8 - 16 core
  • RAM: 8 - 16 GB
  • SSD: 4 x 3TB in RAID 10 (6tb usable)
Thoughts?
 

WSWD

Well-known member
#14
You're very welcome! Happy to help!

They are definitely both very good. Personally from experience, I believe WebNX is going to get you a more stable network and overall better experience. But they also don't offer DDoS protection, which you will get from Reliablesite. So it's a toss up, unless you get external DDoS protection.

As far as management, I can't be of great help there. The only people I have ever used were Rack911, and that was some time ago, for some emergency maintenance that I just didn't have time to deal with myself. They were very good.

Those server specs do look good. I might go with larger SSD drives on the DB server, just so you have room to grow. With the OS and current 60 gigs of databases, etc., you're probably already looking at just shy of 100GB of usable space to grow.
 

CarpCharacin

Well-known member
#16
But how are you going to put just the images on 1 server? The images are stored in the filesystem. You would have to use that attachment store add-on and that connects via FTP. Why not just use one server just for the XF filesystem and the other just for the database?
 

CarpCharacin

Well-known member
#17
Your total image size will likely go down significantly with the move to XenForo. The best thing to do is wait until after the initial test conversion is complete to see what you are working with. After that, a basic modern dedicated server with storage in raid 10 should be plenty.

If you do require two servers then make sure they are in the same data center.
I agree.
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#18
I'd recommend contacting Nimbus Hosting, they were excellent for us. We have quite a large site and struggled for years with a server that copes but Nimbus sorted it all out for us.

They're not cheap but we get excellent service and a stable server.