XF 2.1 Slow installation

Gilly

Member
I have a friend that gave me permission to access this area. Is there a reason why the installation is very slow?

We have three test benches-- here are the specs for each:

Linux Testbench:

OS Tried: Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04. Debian 7, 8, 9
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-1630v3
RAM: 64GB DDR4 ECC 2133 MHz
HDD: 2TB 7200 RPM


Windows Testbench 1:

OS Tried: Windows Server 2008R2, 2012R2, 2016, 2019
CPU: 2x Intel Xeon X5690
RAM: 128GB DDR3 RAM 1600 MHz
SSD: 2x Seagate SSDs
HDD: 4x Western Digital SAS 10K RPM


Windows Testbench 2:

OS Tried: Windows Server 2008R2, 2012R2, 2016, 2019
CPU: 2x Intel Xeon Gold 6244
RAM: 192GB DDR4 2666 MHz
SSD: 6x Samsung Pro

On all of our installation tests, we have seen that it ranges from 1 hour and 45 min to nearly 5 hours. We did find some posts on here Xenforo.com that said "it should only take a couple of minutes" from one of the moderators. We have tried it on an SSD as well as on an HDD. I have tried it on my local computer I will list the specs below, which is the only time it took less than 5 minutes:

CPU: Intel i9 9900K
CPU Cooler: Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
SSD: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus
RAM: 32 GB DDR4 3000 MHz Tridentz RGB
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
I don't see any particular issues with page rendering speed so I can only surmise the issue is at the server level, possibly MySQL related.

You may need to look at the server tuning.

These links may help.
 

Gilly

Member
Once, the software is installed the post is fine anything with editing the profile is fine. But when you are doing the installation it takes FOREVER, as well as when you are doing a mass rebuilding of X in the Tools area. Installing the theme takes forever too. When using any other forum software that we owned previous say vBulletin or Invision Community it didnt take too long on an older hardware. I am talking about a decade old. For Invision it took about 30 min. For vBulletin it took about 10-15 min. So nothing that would take out our precious day to install it. Now, when XenForo is installing it takes forever, it seem like you need to take out a day and visit the doctor office where you sit in the patient room just waiting until your name is called then you get up and visit the room just to see the doctor.
 
I don't see any particular issues with page rendering speed so I can only surmise the issue is at the server level, possibly MySQL related.
You may need to look at the server tuning.
These links may help.

Thanks for the links.

I'm the DBA, Network Admin and Systems Admin there. Just to clarify, we're concerned with the slow installation time rather than the loading times for normal operation of the forums.

As @Gilly mentioned, this is the only forum software we've used in the past decade or so that seems to have such a long installation time. From paid software such as Invision Community Suite and their older IP.Board, vBulletin, WoltLab Burning Board, to free solutions such as YaBB, phpBB3, MyBB, the installations never took this long.

Our database servers are individually optimized for performance and have their own storage (currently SSDs) to prevent any resource contention etc. Even the web server is on separate storage medium (currently SSD). For reference, our web servers are running PHP 7.2.7 and the database servers all run MySQL Server 8.0. The database servers are currently all on separate machines but accessed by IP address, so there's no time wasted on DNS resolution. We've also tested with database servers being on the same machine and physical storage without any improvements, to mimic the typical shared hosting environment.

To clarify, we do like and enjoy using XenForo— we're not looking to bash it. We're just looking for some hints or real-world examples/results if anyone has actually gotten a clean installation without any data (not an upgrade) to complete in under 5 minutes with actual typical server hardware. The only time we were able to get an installation finishing in less than that was on a high-end custom built gaming PC, which is certainly not the type of hardware we'd have in the enterprise to host a website or forum. :)

Thanks again.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
I have done hundreds of installations.

Typically it takes less than a couple of minutes - sometimes under a minute - even on cheap, shared hosting.

Occasionally I have had a few take an hour or so, due to shared hosting on poorly optimised servers.

As above, the issues are server related - tuning will most likely help but this is most likely the issue:
The database servers are currently all on separate machines
 
I have done hundreds of installations.
Typically it takes less than a couple of minutes - sometimes under a minute - even on cheap, shared hosting.
Occasionally I have had a few take an hour or so, due to shared hosting on poorly optimised servers.

Very interesting. Any idea the hardware they are using? Because otherwise I'm clueless.

I've been administering server systems for just over a decade and have never run into any issues like this. I have even worked for a couple of hosting companies in those years and they most certainly were not on any extremely exceptional hardware.

As above, the issues are server related - tuning will most likely help but this is most likely the issue:

Well, as mentioned in my original post:

We've also tested with database servers being on the same machine and physical storage without any improvements, to mimic the typical shared hosting environment.

So that seems to be a dead end.

Unless all the hosting companies these days have drastically improved their hardware and are running on 1U servers that are each in excess of $5,000 USD, I don't see what we could possibly be doing wrong. The only system that runs the installation under 5 minutes is the high-end custom gaming PC and one of our custom 4U server builds that costs just over $12,000 USD.

So in summary, anyone have any examples of hardware and/or software configurations where a clean installation can happen under 5 minutes, as claimed?

Again, we're not trying to bash or seem unappreciative, but all other software with the configurations we're using install and run AOK. XenForo runs fine once installed, but the installation process itself proves to take quite a long time and seems to only be quick under optimal storage conditions such as M.2 or SATA SSD's which I would imagine are only common in high-end custom PCs and fairly expensive servers. And in fairness, it's not like we're complaining about this while running on some ancient hardware like a Pentium III from 1999.
 
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All of the installations I have done are for customers - I don't have any configuration files.

Fair enough. Would you have any examples of hardware and/or software configurations where a clean installation can happen under 5 minutes, as claimed?

We just want to know if we're doing something wrong, if we even are. I'm a software engineer, and frankly I'm out of ideas. In my personal experience, an XF 2.1.6-Patch1 or 2.1.7 installation is impossible to complete under 5 minutes without an NVME M.2 or SATA SSD which is hardware that is not particularly cheap. My friend and I have also been building systems for many years, and are aware of how to properly configure our hardware and software.
 
Quick update: Someone has informed me of their experience of quick installation time on Linode servers, in-line with the moderators experience. However, this as suspected was done a server using SSD storage.

So if that is the case where most of the servers people use these days utilize SSD storage, and the XenForo installation is speedy with that configuration, then fair enough. But it is concerning that on 7200RPM, 10,000RPM and even 15,000RPM Enterprise SAS drives the installation was only as quick as 1 hour and 30 minutes. So perhaps the issue is why installation takes so long a hard drive?

We still use plenty of 7200rpm HDDs as well as 10K and 15K SAS HDDs due to extremely high capacity storage needs, so we only have a few SSDs deployed on select servers.

Standard godaddy shared hosting.

Are they using SSD based storage?

I just hope it's clear that we're not morons over here, who can't setup a simple LAMP or WAMP server to do simple webhosting. All other software works fine, it's only this one that gave us issues. Otherwise we wouldn't waste time making an entire thread about this.
 
I have never had an installation take 1 1/2 hours - even 10 years ago with XF1.

Fair, as I can't vouch for XF1. We only did extensive testing for XF2.1.

If anyone claims they have clean installations finish in under 5 minutes on an enterprise hard drive, I'd be very interested in knowing the circumstances because otherwise things simply aren't adding up.

We've listed all the specifications for the test benches and configurations we've used, which range from older hardware to newer hardware. So something's not adding up.

So far everyone else has only given examples of installations on expensive SSDs which is fine, but all others have given blanket statements claiming installations less than a few minutes, but without any hardware or specs to help understand the configuration or situation.
 
@ClareXoBearrx3R9 why you guys don`t give access to the page cpanel to @Brogan . He can have a look over the setup i there and give you guys a better view/info of the setup.
He`s a staff member and he help many of us in here.

We don't have cPanel, it's a custom self-hosted setup. And I already listed specs, but here they are for our live server:
  • OS: Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
  • CPU: 2x Intel Xeon X5690
  • RAM: 128GB DDR3 RAM 1600 MHz
  • SSD: 2x Seagate SSDs
  • HDD: 4x Western Digital SAS 10K RPM
It's not the newest hardware (CPUs are from 2011) but it should be plenty sufficient for these purposes, and the same setup works just fine for all other applications.
 
It's not related to the hard drive type.

Pretty bold and unhelpful statement here: you are certain that the storage type is not the problem, yet you failed to give any indication as to what it could be. Not to be out of line here, but I don't see the point in stating something like that and not providing an answer on what it is. If it's not that then please indulge me on what it could be— otherwise one might as well call me an idiot.

We have already done all the common sense variance of tests prior to coming to this conclusion:
  • DB and webserver on same server, same storage
  • DB and webserver on different, same storage
  • DB and webserver on same server, different storage
  • DB and webserver on different server, different storage
  • new hardware, acceptable hardware, and older hardware
All our cards are on the table, including software and hardware specs. And we're using enterprise-grade hardware and software here, not some second-hand stuff.

So please, if any dev or staff has a different experience then do tell so we can figure this out. If these installation times are common on hard drives then fine, then we know it's just the software but so far staff only say it's never happened to them— as if we're either lying or we're idiots.
 
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