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New web server for xenforo: where and which one?

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by jgas, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. jgas

    jgas Active Member

    Since I want to do a nice work moving my board to xenforo, i'm also planning to move to a different hosting compay, so I'm here to ask you a few things:

    1) On peak hours I actually get 170 max online users (60 registered and 110 guests, more or less). My database is around 600 MB. What kind of web server do I need? Cloud? VPS? Semi dedicated?
    There are too many options out there and boards like webhostingtalk are not helping me…I only have more confusion in my head.

    2) My users are all based in Italy. Do I need an european hosting, or do I just need to find a reliable hosting company in the world?
    If I find a reliable US hosting (to pay less money), will the user experience compromised by the distance of the user from the server?

    Have a nice day!

    3) Is it hard to manage an unmanaged server?
    I see that lots of dedicated or even cloud servers have the option to choose between managed and unmanaged, and I don't know if unmanaged will need me to tweak it a lot and to monitor it for a lot of time every month.
  2. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    1) i use vps. i have an average of 80 online users and a linode 512. results have been great. a linode 1024 could handle that traffic, so i reckon pretty much any 1024 vps could.
    2) my linode is is atlanta, usa. i am on the other side of the world in melbourne australia. speed and latency are pretty good. nearly instantaneous now that apc and apache are dialled in.
    3. that depends on your technical ability. the linode route is probably the hardest, being an unmanaged vps via ssh. that being said, most problems are easily overcome with a bit of googling. i have never needed to do much monitoring. if something is wrong it becomes evident fairly quickly.
    jgas likes this.
  3. jgas

    jgas Active Member

  4. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    if youre not feeling super confident with an unmanaged vps you could always use a stack script to set up your LAMP (linux-apache-mysql-php) then direct a subdomain to your vps and give it a test. you could opt for the cheaper 512 for testing, then later if you like it you can promote it to a 1024.
    there is also some great documentation for linode suited to all levels of experience.
    even the billing is awesome. i can start another linode to test something, or to migrate to another os or whatnot, and at the end of the billing month i am only charged for the amount of time it was in use, so it might cost me a single dollar. i can add/remove ram, diskspace, transfer, ip addresses, etc on the fly, and all prices are prorated in arrears.
    backups are an extra $5/mo, but they are automated to a schedule i dictate. they dont overwrite eachother every week either. i always have three separate backups i can restore; my weekly, the previous weekly, and my manual snapshot. i cant be left without a viable restore point.
    i cant say enough great things about linode. in the dozen years i have been hosting forums i have never found a more powerful and flexible host than linode.
  5. jgas

    jgas Active Member

    This is...great! Which stack script do you recommend to use for a xenforo installation?
    And, do you know how much a cpanel license costs? (I honestly don't know if I really need it...!)
  6. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Dont get cpanel, waste of space and resources :)
  7. jgas

    jgas Active Member

    I knew it! So do you recommed to learn ssh and to do everything with it?
  8. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    i havent used a stack script, so i couldnt really say.
    not sure about cpanel cost. i wouldnt use it personally. its a resource hog and you can do everything you need via ssh. but if you really want a panel badly there are things like webmin that you could run free of charge. just bear in mind that those things do eat up resources.
  9. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    the beauty of the command line is that no matter what you are doing, there is going to be a tutorial/forum thread/blog article discussing how to do it via the cli. no doubt you have seen people say 'to install blah blah type in the console apt-get blah'... you can run something on windows like putty and log into your linux and paste some commands and bobs your uncle.
  10. jgas

    jgas Active Member

    Ok thanks. I'll give a look to the forum threads ;)
  11. wrx1

    wrx1 Active Member

    I am also running on Linode, except I am running 2 512 servers. One for the database and one for the webpage and I am running close to your number. I have no problems at all running like that. I have APC installed on the webserver and memcached installed on the database server and I think it goes pretty good. I am using the Dallas datacenter (stay away from NJ). Linode also has some UK options to help bring service closer to you.

    Honestly at this point, it has been so long since I have used/seen a cpanel, I don't know what I would even use it for. I had a friend help me with the getting everything tuned for the servers and I did the XF install and got everything running. It is pretty straight forward. At this time, other that ftp'n into the site to upload/change things, I never have to do any other server "maint". On my VB4 install, we went 2 years of uptime and didn't need to change or upgrade any of the base software (mysql, apache, etc).

    jgas likes this.
  12. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    i am thinking to move back to the dual vps myself. i dont actually need to, but i just feel like it ;)
  13. jgas

    jgas Active Member

    Ok, i read some documentation and now i have more question than before :)

    Please note that I'm a complete noob to this: i need to know which is to install, what kind of Apache MySQL and PHP i need, and how i can optimize my server to get top performance.
    I know that these questions are too generic but i need something to start from! ;)
  14. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    Let me just ask, do you have a job that will allow you to take care of your server whenever it needs attention?

    I for one am glad to pay a company to manage my server.
    I don't have the desire nor time to learn on the job.
    I'd rather leave it to a company to be sure everything is running smoothly, keeping everything up-to-date and watching over my shoulder.
    Walter likes this.
  15. Ghan_04

    Ghan_04 Active Member

    I have a Linode myself (I don't host any live sites - it's for other things) and I have helped a number of other people run their Linodes as well when it comes to Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc. I'd be happy to help you out a bit if you get stuck or are unsure what to do. Drop me an email at ghan.04@gmail.com if you need some pointers. :)
  16. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    why not do it publicly where others can benefit?

    well that is a whole new topic!
    which os? ubuntu will have the most in terms of support options.

    as far as easily setting up apache, mysql, etc on ubuntu:
    lamp - apache
  17. Ghan_04

    Ghan_04 Active Member

    Sure, I could do that as well - I just figured there would be a lot of details specific to jgas' config that might not be right to post in the thread. It kind of depends on how much help is needed.
  18. jgas

    jgas Active Member

    Thanks guys :)

    Let assume that I bought my first linode and that I don't know how to set up the lamp - apache stackscript: do I need to open a new thread or we can talk here?

    This is a problem: it depends on how much attention the server will need.
    As wrx1 said, if I just need to "tune" it properly, and then "let it run", I will be glad to learn on the job, because so I'm sure to have a powerful server.
    I have had enough of hosting companies that say "hey, we are the best hosting company out there, we are specialized and optimized for vbulletin/xenforo/whatever", and then the server is slow, not well configured, and I need to open a ticket twice a month o_O

    The only concern I have is about server security: usually a managed server has everything set up for security, but me... I don't know where to start!
  19. SchmitzIT

    SchmitzIT Well-Known Member

    I use Nimbus Hosting (www.nimbushosting.co.uk), who offer CentOS installations, with access to plesk and SSH. My knowledge of Linux/CentOS is limited, but whenever I ask, they are always willing to help out, and provide me with advise or actually even perform tasks for me.
    jgas likes this.
  20. Liam D.

    Liam D. Active Member

    Security? For one, choose a strong password for SSH and Console, and tweak your webserver. If you have Apache, you can try installing mod_deflate for DDoS protection, although its not that good. For complete DDoS protection, get a firewall and configure it. Good luck configuring a firewall though.

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