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Resource usage question

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Rudy, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    First of all, don't try to sell me on XF: it is already my #1 pick. :D

    But our dilemma is that we are on a server where we are near the end of the rope--we run vB 3.7 and it is a "big board" with 7.5 million posts, hundreds of thousands of threads, etc. Online, about 700-800 users during peak hours.

    From what I've read here, XF is of course better on resources. But, by how much, and which version?

    I do know that it would be suicide on our server by upgrading (UPgrading?) to vB 4.x. Someone at another forum (which shall remain nameless) said that in vB 4.2, the resource issues have been addressed and it works much better. I find that highly difficult to believe, since the forum would need a total rewrite to be more efficient. A few tweaks? Yes. But I still can't get over the idea that 4.x series put a bigger hit on resources overall than the 3.7/3.8 series...and as of yet, we are still on 3.7 since I did not want to take the hit.

    We're trying to sell this to the forum owner and staff. Some of the staff have used it and like it, so that is not really an issue. But we currently own the 4.x full license and we're trying to justify it monetarily.

    I don't intend XF to be the cure for our nearly overtaxed server, but I do feel that I should not have to throw more expensive hardware at what amounts to sloppy coding in vB4. And if XF will help us best utilize the service we have through more efficient coding, then that is all for the better.

    I'm most curious to see if anyone has insight as to performance of vB 3.7 or 3.8 compared to vB 4.2, put up against XF. I realize this won't get much input, but I've already skimmed the few threads here I've searched for over the past few months, and haven't really seen exactly what I'm looking for. I also figured with a few *ahem* former vB folks hanging in these hallowed halls, I may get better input than I'd have gotten in the past.

    Thanks much!
  2. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I think very few people have done actual resource analysis from VB3.x to XenForo.

    I can speak from personal experience, that the drop in resources from moving from vb4.x to xenforo was a significant one.

    Having said that,

    To make the best out of the enchanced search (which you would want to use with 7mil+posts), your server would need to make available a decent whack of ram (5gb+) to do so.

    Whats your current server specs?
  3. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    When I installed APC many years ago, my load dropped in half. When I switched over to Sphinx search there was also a noticeable drop in server loads. For other tweaks I had done, the difference was not enough to notice.

    Do you notice fewer database queries? Or did you see server loads drop by a substantial amount after the switch?

    Also, which vB4 did you come from? I put our private staff/testing forum onto 4.0 and never bothered to upgrade it. I never liked it. Still don't in fact.
  4. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  5. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I'd seen two of those older threads but they are quite outdated. The more recent one is helpful with a lot of caching tips. Was hoping to have more recent examples, or even curious if anyone had ever compared vB4.0 to vB4.2.

    The more I read these threads again, though, the more I want to just bite the bullet and move the whole mess over to XF and be done with it. I can personally vouch for the user popularity thread: on three forums I've been directly involved with, user participation jumped after the change to XF.
  6. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    The resources in the whole vBulletin v4 series are massive and with your current issue, would only became a living nightmare.

    v4.2 of vBulletin introduced a new features... A very "advance" "what's new" feature. As you may know, "what's new" uses resources. The more people who pull on it, the more resources.

    Now try to imagine a "what's new" on everyone's profile, added to the one in the navigation bar. And this "what's new" doesn't just pick up on post or threads... It picks up on post, threads, likes, user comments, and generally every activity your members do. Multiply this by how many people are visiting your site at any given time and allow yourself to imagine the load. :eek:

    XenForo uses less resources out of the box. And continues to use less resources even if you customize it. My site fro example has over 300 modifications, templates, add-ons, skins, and other 3rd party products. And we're still moving faster than any of the current competitions out on the market.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy Well-Known Member

    That is a good point, for any forum package actually. In my case, I almost never use a New Posts feature on a forum, as I usually browse the individual forum areas. Even more so on sites that I manage or moderate, since I need to keep an eye out for problems. But for other users? I know that the first thing many (if not most) users hit is the New Posts feature. And that is a hit on the forum's search engine, which is why I saw such an improvement by moving to Sphinx on vB 3.7. You're correct--adding even more queries to retrieve more data is just another hit on the server.

    From what I've witnessed over several years at vB, including my participation in the long-running "big board" tweaking and Sphinx search threads, vB was never geared toward running a busy forum with a large database. And despite a few tentative pokes at it, I've never seen any effort on their part to offer any kind of options (other than turning off a few minor features) to optimize a board for the traffic and volume of posts that could build up in a database over time.

    I can't say if XF was ever written with a big board in mind, but by design it just operates much more efficiently, with little waste, and a conscious effort to improve the end user experience by making sure the forum remains responsive. I've read other posts here (beyond what Jake listed above) about how nicely the forum responds to navigating through lengthy threads, free of the delays we used to see in vB.

    Here is one last poke at vB4: this morning, I was logging in to both of our forums--the 3.7 big board, and our private 4.x testing forum. Despite being under a load with server loads approaching 10.00, our big board responded within about three seconds. It took over 20 seconds for the 4.x board to display its home page. That is not a good sign! Both are on the same dedicated server, using the same database instance. I even refreshed the big board a second time and again, it came up within a few seconds as the 4.x board still had not loaded.


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