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Server Advice - dedicated vs mini cluster

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by RobParker, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    I was hoping for some advice :)

    Our site has 2 million posts and 20k members. Typically we have 300-500 people online but this can rise to over 3000 or so during our peak periods (which only happen for some of the year).

    We currently have a dedicated sever, the stats of which are:

    Processors 4
    Model Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.60GHz
    CPU Speed 3.6 GHz
    4GB RAM

    I recently contacted our hosts about a possible RAM upgrade and they replied that:

    Since this is an older server, we can also migrate you to a a newer cloud (web) + vps (mysql) mini cluster.

    This would have 6GB RAM for the Cloud web service + 2GB RAM for mysql for the same as we're paying for the above dedicated server.

    Would the above setup cope better with xenforo than our current dedicated server? (I appreciate that's hard to answer but any thoughts/options are very much welcome).

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  2. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Personally I would say stick with the dedicated server and have it proffessionally optimised.

    I believe you are on a managed setup if I recall your other posts? In my honest opinion the only way to go to a clustered setup is if your with a host who goes above and beyond with support and optimisation, or you can manage it yourself.
     
  3. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    We're with an excellent host and their support is superb. The clustered setup would be with the same guys.

    An alternative they've proposed is:

    Current:

    > Dual Xeon 3.6 GHz 1MB L2 CPU's (single core processors w/HT)
    > 4GB DDR2-400 REG ECC RAM
    > 36GB 3.5-inch SCSI drives (Hardware Raid 1)
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------

    Alternative (VPS) solution on newer hardware:
    >
    > 4vCPU (cores) Intel Xeon HC X5650 2.66 GHz 12MB L3
    > 8GB DDR3-1333 REG ECC RAM
    > 130GB SAS Disk ( RAID10/60 - utilizes 8*600GB 2.5-inch Enterprise-Grade SAS drives) w/ Battery backup controller

    At the minute they're tuning the mysql settings on our current server as we had a lot of problems today when we had a surge in traffic but more long term I was wondering if the separate database server was the way to go (and if so, whether 1 CPU and 2Gb of RAM was enough for it).
     
  4. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member


    Thats quite a hefty upgrade.

    If you trust your hosts, then go for it :) Who are your hosts by the way?
     
  5. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    Cartika and their support has always been excellent.

    It's moving from a dedicated server to a VPS which is the only thing I'd be worried about (and it'd be $50 cheaper than we currently pay)
     
  6. Ghan_04

    Ghan_04 Active Member

    VPSes are no less reliable in terms of hardware than dedicated, and in many cases they are more reliable. The issue you might encounter is other users on the same box as you using up an inordinate amount of resources. Usually this is not a problem if the host knows what they are doing, but if they oversell the box, then you could run into trouble.
     
  7. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    3000 or so at the same time! That's more than we have ever had - and I am pretty certain it would max out our existing server which is close to your upgraded one!

    The real answer also depends on your budget! If you make decent money from your forums, the difference in $$ may not really end up hurting you. A faster server means happier customers and perhaps more ad revenue - AND, google rates faster sites better.

    Personally, I would consider the dedicated box and even more RAM - perhaps 12-16 gig. Then optimize and use APC etc.

    3,000 is a LOT of visitors at one time, especially if your visitors bang on the server. Also, big board search and innodb are likely to suck up 4+ gig of your RAM right off the bat.....

    You should also consider whether you expect your general traffic to increase over the next 2-3 years - plan ahead.

    I make a living off my forum and site, so I don't mind paying the admin and server costs. I'd feel differently if it was not making some income.....then I would try to work to get the most for the lowest price.
     

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