My question has to do with how the developers or others test this and other forum software. It seems very difficult to predict actual forum activity or to use a basic linear scale to assume that "x" server setup can handle "x" users, each posting, looking, searching, etc.
This interests me both from a purely technical angle AND for actual consideration and purchase. As an example, my current forum software on a basic dedicated server hits a "wall" at about 20,000 visits (75K+ page views) in a day, whereas is handles 16,000 with ease. I should mention that the server is three years old (dual 2.5 2G Ram) and that the same site also serves some static and other content - but the forum is 90% of the load.
I know answers to this stuff are often dependent on many factors - but it would be interesting to have a suggested benchmark Big Board install which would at least be a rough reference.....i.e, "we, the developers, feel that a newer dedicated linux server with 2+G Ram and "y" processor could easily host a typical forum community which serves 200,000+ page views in a busy day".......or something of the sort!
Any hints, tips and links to other threads would be great! Often, we admins don't get to find out until it is too late!