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Servint VPS Suggestions

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by Markos, May 13, 2014.

  1. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Now i run a little network of forums in a forum hosting service like Proboards. Soon i want to transfer them in a indipendent website with Xenforo and the Multisite System (i have now 6 xenforo licenses, and soon i will buy 3 others).

    I have chosed now a VPS, but in the next month i will migrate all on a dedicated server. I need suggestions on configuration, i have read that many users suggest to use Centmin.

    There are other software/tips that i have to install for optimize my server and lower che cpu/ram usage?
    As you can imagine, with many forums i will have many nodes (probably 300/400 forums). Do you think can be a problem?
  2. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Someone can help me? :O
  3. Null

    Null Well-Known Member

    It's pretty simple, really – a lot of people use Centmin Mod, which is maintained by @eva2000 and used by @MattW and @RoldanLT, etc.

    I'd personally recommend you start by looking into the following... Debian or CentOS, Nginx, MariaDB or Percona (drop in MySQL replacements) and PHP 5.5.x.

    If you wanted to have your forum run as optimal as possible, you'd need to configure Nginx, MySQL and PHP to best suit your forum (no single configuration is the same) – you could also look into making your forum HTTPS-only and running SPDY.

    I'd take a look at posts from people like @MattW, @RoldanLT and @Floren, etc (they all have several threads/posts to help you out).
    RoldanLT and Markos like this.
  4. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    300-400 actual FORUMS - I hope you have 300-400 licenses then. ;)
    Or do you mean 300-400 nodes on 9 forums?

    It depends on the specifics of the VPS (number of cores, amount of RAM, etc.) and how busy your sites are as to whether it would be a problem or not on the VPS. On the dedicated server you will be less likely to be constrained - but again it depends on RAM, RAID used, type of processor, site traffice, etc.
    As to the flavor of the OS, it depends on what you are already familiar with. I use strictly Debian on all my VPS's (and my KVM server). centOS is a VERY stable product, but what I don't like about it is.... it's not Debian. :D
    Unless you specifically like to compile the latest source for your PHP, nginx (if that's what you are going to use and I would HIGHLY recommend it over Apache) and other you will be using Centmin Mod more than likely. I personally don't like to use a script to keep up with everything like that.

    For perfomance, nginx/php-fpm or OpenLiteSpeed 1.2.9 (not the 1.3 branch - it's unstable) and Percona (what I use) or MariaDB for the SQL server would be the minimum to start with.

    I would also suggest (highly) if you are not familiar with the administration of Linux that you obtain the services of someone who is until you can become so.
    SneakyDave and Markos like this.
  5. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I remember that @Mike Tougeron years ago posted a code modification for optimize the forums with many nodes, but i can't found that (no, he doesn't posted that in the RM).

    Thank you for the advices. ;-)
  6. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    Go with CentMin Mod.
    Read it's FAQ and at the same time try it many times on a test VPS like DO so that you can rebuild the vps quick.
    I promise you, you'll love what CentMin Mod is capable of.

    If you're going to a dedicated server, install a minimal version of CentOS if you can.

    That's all for now (y)
    SneakyDave likes this.
  7. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Let's see.... which is faster.
    apt-get update && apt-get safe-upgrade or pulling the source in and compiling PHP, nginx etc on the server? ;)
  8. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    Not all the software from CentMinMod are source installed :)
  9. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    PHP is, nginx is, memcached is, MariaDB isn't.
    Let's see... 75% of the base listed is. :D
    I'm pretty sure that apt-get will end up being quicker, especially when using DotDeb.

    There's nothing wrong with source compiled but it does involve more "time".
  10. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    I don't think the original poster is concerned with speed of initial install compared with other concerns.

    Yes source installs will always be slower than package updates via apt-get or yum. But source installs are a lot more flexible without reliance of package of maintainers as the update are from the source so to speak :)

    FAQ #18 at http://centminmod.com/faq.html explains why source install is used for Nginx, PHP-FPM and Memcached

    New Centmin Mod's latest .07 beta takes 15-20 mins to install fresh and nginx and php upgrades take between 4-8 mins for me. Same version recompiles are around half that time at 2-4 mins due to compiler caching inbuilt into Centmin Mod install stack.

    Youtube video showing the Centmin Mod .07 beta install process

    @Markos but Centmin Mod isn't the only option, best to setup a DigitalOcean cheap $5/month VPS and try all different options and linux distros such as Debian, CentOS etc and find the one that fits your needs.

    edit: one thing with 400 forums and if you have PHP opcode caching like Zend OpCache or APC, then memory requirements would be pretty high with conservatively 64-128MB per Xenforo base installed forum x 400 = ~25-50GB of memory there.
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
    RoldanLT and SneakyDave like this.
  11. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    I've always preferred to use the normal channels for programs and not have to worry about compiling, etc. to keep up with the latest. With 18 VPS's it takes to long. :coffee:
    Just a difference in way to do things. If you are going to go that route, might as well start compiling your own kernel for performance. Strip a lot of the junk in there that you don't need out. I used to do that but decided I had better things to do with my time than spend THAT much time tweaking.

    No matter which one he goes with - he still needs to become adept at management if he isn't already or obtain management services. It's not as easy as folks think it is if you are not Linux savvy (as you well know).
  12. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    Yes everyone has their own way.

    I manage a few dozen servers of which majority are Centmin Mod based. It only takes me 15-20mins in total to fresh install Centmin Mod on all servers simultaneously and similarly, up to 8 mins to upgrade Nginx with Centmin Mod on all servers simultaneously. :D All need is one SSH client such as SecureCRT to send a single set of commands to all servers in a group :)

    I can do it all manually on command line, but Centmin Mod actually saves me a lot of time especially if you managing alot of Nginx domain/vhosts ! :)
    RoldanLT likes this.
  13. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your advice! I have nevery thinked about the OS choice...i simply see that CentOS is the most used service...the are a big difference in performance between CentOS and Debian?

    And also, what is the difference between the use of Centmin and the manual installation of Nginx, Mariadb, etc.? Think also that i'm not an expert of Linux...i want to learn but i have not so much time, do you think it's would be a high learning curve to use a VPS without CPanel/Plesk?

    I mean 400 nodes lol (maybe i will have 6/7 forums with 1 installation and using the Multisite). So do you think that i will need more ram (now i have 2 forums and 3gb of ram).

    Do you think that will be a good improvement if i use SSD Disk?

    The Servint Solidfire SSD seems very attractive and best than a "normal" ssd disk, it's a that true advantage to use this or only "fluff marketing"?

    Sorry if i have posted so much question but i want to learn from users that already have active forums with VPS/Dedicated servers...maybe i will contact someone for help me with the configuration. Thank you @RoldanLT @Tracy Perry and @p4guru for your ideas!
  14. SneakyDave

    SneakyDave Well-Known Member

    If I were you, I'd try to find a semi-managed host.

    There is a learning curve if you've never managed a server before and you'll be inundated with people's opinions on what's the right or wrong way to manage it.

    The fact that you plan to host 9 or so hosts with these licenses will make it more frustrating. Maybe start out by converting 1 or 2 forums first.

    Do you plan to start new forums with the move from pronoards, or do you have a way to import your content into your new sites?
  15. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Debian uses less resources. Out of the box, before you even tweak it, you'll be using as little as 12 MB ram. Once you have nginx, php, and mysql going you'll be using about 40 MB. Also CPU usage on Debian seems to be less as well.

    Wonderful thing about debian is aptitude which tells you in advance what resources and dependencies you need, as well as any conflicts and even solutions to resolve them.

    Yum in CentOS may tell you something (sometimes), but never offers solutions. CentOS also uses more ram and cpu.
    Markos likes this.
  16. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's the plan...start with 2 forums on a standard vps on Servint and then swith on a server in the future when i will transfer other forums.

    My team manually reposted hundred of threads.
  17. Null

    Null Well-Known Member

    I personally prefer Debian (less resources/overhead) – performance wise, you'd want MySQL sitting on a SSD... it's very important to properly format the SSD, most people just go with it and don't look into SSD configuration at all.
    Markos and Adam Howard like this.
  18. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    Yes definitely out of the box, Debian uses less memory than CentOS.

    But if you need CentOS, Centmin Mod is one of the more optimized web stacks in terms of memory usage given that's what the Centmin - minimal was originally for.

    • CentOS 6.5 32bit
    • 128MB VPS with Centmin Mod
    • Nginx 1.7.0
    • PHP-FPM 5.4.28
    • MariaDB 5.5.37
    • CSF Firewall
    cat /etc/redhat-release
    CentOS release 6.5 (Final)
      PID User     Command                         Swap      USS      PSS      RSS
    2059 root     /sbin/mingetty tty2                0    56.0K    93.0K   504.0K
    2058 root     /sbin/mingetty console             0    60.0K    97.0K   508.0K
      846 root     /sbin/portreserve                  0    80.0K   107.0K   512.0K
    2009 root     /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var        0    36.0K   261.0K   524.0K
    2007 root     /usr/sbin/saslauthd -m /var        0    52.0K   294.0K   804.0K
      326 root     /sbin/udevd -d                     0   312.0K   329.0K   572.0K
      929 root     xinetd -stayalive -pidfile         0   308.0K   354.0K   916.0K
      905 dbus     dbus-daemon --system               0   464.0K   493.0K   860.0K
      942 root     /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_saf        0   248.0K   579.0K     1.4M
      922 root     /usr/sbin/sshd                     0   508.0K   611.0K     1.0M
    2043 root     nginx: master process /usr/        0   128.0K   614.0K     1.3M
    2051 root     crond                              0   608.0K   654.0K     1.2M
        1 root     ini                                0   636.0K   721.0K     1.4M
      852 root     /sbin/rsyslogd -i /var/run/        0   744.0K   785.0K     1.3M
    2031 smmsp    sendmail: Queue runner@01:0        0     1.0M     1.2M     1.7M
    2046 nginx    nginx: worker process              0  1016.0K     1.5M     2.3M
    2023 root     sendmail: accepting connect        0     1.3M     1.5M     2.2M
    2066 root     -bash                              0     1.5M     1.8M     2.7M
    2064 root     sshd: root@pts/0                   0     2.0M     2.3M     3.4M
      912 root     php-fpm: master process (/u        0     3.3M     3.4M     3.9M
    2096 root     python /usr/bin/smem -kt           0     3.6M     3.7M     4.3M
      893 root     lfd - sleepin                      0     8.4M     8.4M     9.0M
    1994 mysql    /usr/sbin/mysqld --basedir=        0    17.6M    17.9M    18.9M
       23 5                                           0    43.8M    47.5M    61.1M
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:           128         77         50          0          0         33
    -/+ buffers/cache:         44         83
    Swap:          128          0        128
    Again, try both CentOS and Debian and see which is the one best suited your own preferences and learning experiences :)
    SneakyDave, RoldanLT and Markos like this.
  19. Markos

    Markos Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I think i will go for Centmin for now, because the VPS of Servint is based on CentOS and for now i like much their incredible support, but in future when my network grow i think of the possibility of swith on Debian.

    In your opinion, CPanel and Plesk are server intensive? I have googled this, but found nothing very helpful about that.

    There are other cons on using a control panel?
    SneakyDave likes this.
  20. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    If you can afford $5/month or $0.007/hr for a few hours at a time, grab a Digitalocean.com VPS so you can reload the OS as many times as you like to play with CentOS, Debian and other OSes on the side while you have live forums with Servint :)

    It's always good to have a test play ground along with your live server if you are venturing into a journey of learning.
    SneakyDave and Markos like this.

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