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Small VPS Optimization (needed or not?)

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by Staxed, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Staxed

    Staxed Active Member

    I'd like to get a few forums (starting with one or two) going now that the future of Xenforo is solid. I've currently got a small cloud server (880mb ram/75gb space). It's got one install of wordpress and a few static websites on it. I know I'll need to upgrade the server if the forum starts getting moderate usage, but for now this is what I can afford.

    My question is, is there any optimization I should do now before I get the first install going? I've normally just installed with default settings on the server (php/mysql/etc), but would like to start off as good as I can right now due to the small size of the server.

    So...any advice on things that should be optimized right from the start of a new board?

    I'm running apache with varnish/nginx (installed ApacheBooster...so whatever those default settings are is what I'm using).

    I've normally just run things of managed servers (which this is as well), but I'd like to optimize things for xenforo as much as I can and learn it myself rather than having the tech guys do it for me. If you need to see any stats/files from the server, please let me know and I'll post up what I can. Any help/advice is much appreciated!

    PHP 5.3.22
    MySQL 5.5
  2. craigiri

    craigiri Well-Known Member

    I would not do anything except install it and then see as your forum grows what the server load is.
    I've got a small XF running on a starter server (no action hardly) and it works fine right out of the box.

    It's at my hobby drone site:
  3. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    Install an opcode cache :)

    Edit, what exactly does ApacheBoost do?
  4. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    Apache booster http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1119126 basically borrows code from 2 common whm/cpanel plugins, nginx admin and unixy's varnish cache (even borrowed unixy varnish's custom source code i think
    personally, wouldn't trust ApacheBooster given the author freely *borrows* from other folks work with credit/acknowledgement etc. I'd probably go with paid Unixy Varnish plugin which also now supports Unixy Nginx/Litespeed + Varnish for cpanel as well.
  5. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    kpmedia pretty much asks the same question that I'm asking...

    I mean, is it doing: mod_php >> apache >> nginx >> varnish? or what? Maybe swapping out mod_php + apache for nginx + fpm?
  6. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    missed my edited post above :)

    it's probably doing varnish -> nginx static -> apache dynamic php
  7. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    I'm intrigued by this, because I've never seen the benefit of having the three layers in terms of performance. I would assume then, that varnish is caching the page content, nginx serving the static files from Apache, and Apache serving dynamic content?
  8. p4guru

    p4guru Well-Known Member

    If done right can work.. you have to remember performance benefit of such a config is when varnish goes to backend for results (non-cache) - going to nginx for static files is still an improvement in theory than going to apache for same static files.

    Still the entire weakness of such a setup is still dynamic/PHP content as Apache suxs at that for non-cached hits and varnish doesn't cache dynamic/PHP requests that long if Apacheboost borrowed from Unixy varnish that dynamic ttl is like 20 seconds default (edit: okay seems Apacheboost has 30s default dynamic ttl but varnish vcl config is a bit messed up - i wouldn't trust it entirely - better option is pay for Unixy varnish cpanel plugin only uS$75/yr! and get front line fixes from Unixy seeing as Apacheboost just borrows from them ).

    Guess to bring this back on topic, Staxed, one suggestion - grab Unixy Varnish Cpanel plugin instead of Apacheboost :)
  9. Shamil

    Shamil Well-Known Member

    It would depend on the setup - I've seen an "optimised environment" where there was: Varnish >> nginx >> apache. All nginx was doing was duplicating the content from Apache... without caching or anything. For an optimal setup, I would recommend skipping Apache out all together, and going toward nginx + fpm, with varnish with a front end, ACLs properly configured.

    But yes, I'd agree with the your bottom line... get Unixy's Varnish cPanel plugin instead of ApacheBoost [still looking at the alleged copying of code without grant or appropriate reference].
  10. Staxed

    Staxed Active Member

    Hmm, thanks for all of that (even though I didn't really understand half of it). I can't really afford to get something paid right now (though hopefully in the next 2 months I will be back on budget). Didn't know about the code copying issue though so as soon as I can I'll certainly be looking into Unixy instead.

    If anyone has any advice other than the Apache stuff (maybe actual config changes or anything?) that would be awesome as well. I'll be looking up some info on opcode caches as well since that was mentioned.

    As to the mention of taking Apache off completely...not sure I'm ready for that level of change yet :D

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