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What server specs do I need

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by ibaker, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. ibaker

    ibaker Well-Known Member

    Currently I have a server in LA and I am in Australia. 90% of my audience is in Australia but this use to be 99% as the move from Australian based hosting has seen a larger uptake of International users...which is great.

    As any Australian will tell you, hosting in Australia is very expensive and for a lot less money I was able to obtain this "Dedicated" LA server that also had an enormous amount of extra resources than what I really needed:
    8 cores x Intel Xeon CPU E31230 @ 3.20GHz (Speed 1600.000 MHz, Cache 8192 KB), 16gb ram, 4x73gb 15k rpm sas hdd, raid 10, 320gb sata II hdd, 10TB, 100mbps port

    I just checked now and the usage on the server is:
    Server load 0.17 (8 CPUs)
    Memory Used 16.28% (2,657,172 of 16,324,456)
    Swap Used 1.4% (115,544 of 8,232,952)

    I currently pay for this:
    $179 - for the server
    $30 - for WHM/cPanel
    $28 - for Server Management and Support including 24/7 monitoring (3rd party) - I am NOT a server admin person hence why I need managed services

    I have several sites on the server including an online shop (cscart). My main XF site has up to 150 concurrent users at peak time, 38k Threads, 225k Posts and the db is sitting at around 600mb (although when backing up is around 400mb).

    The addons I am using are:
    Account Upgrade Reminder 0.1
    Automatic Mobile Style Switcher 0.1
    Custom BBCode Manager 1.3.4
    Hotspots 1.0.0
    Ignore What's New by Waindigo 1.1.0
    Invite Add-on 2.1.2
    Minimum Post Length 1.0
    Multiple Account Detection 1.0.1
    New User Notification System 1.3.1
    News Reader 1.0.0
    Nodes As Tabs 1.1.3
    ParseHTML 1.0.4
    Post Ratings 1.5.0
    Post-It Bookmarks 1.0.3
    Social Groups by Waindigo 1.0.2
    The Happy Place 3.0.0
    TinyMCE Fix 0.53
    XenFans.com - What's New Block 1.1.1
    XenForo Enhanced Search 1.0.0
    [8wayRun.Com] XenAtendo (Events) 1.4.8
    [8wayRun.Com] XenMedio (Media) 1.5.3
    [8wayRun.Com] XenPorta (Portal) 1.5.5
    [bd] Widget Framework 2.1.1
    [WMTech] - Maintenance Screen 1.0.2
    [xfr] User Albums 1.0.0 b7
    [XI] Blog 1.0.0

    I have cable internet and I also have noticed a slow down...in the past I use to ping the site at around 180ms and have just done a ping now and it is showing 230ms.

    Here's the thing...users in Australia are starting to complain that the site has been getting slower and slower and I don't know what to do about it...is it hosting, is it the site, is it ISPs or what? Should I look for a different host and if so what spec's should I really be looking for given the above? Should I be looking at the addons? Is the problem what my hosting company is using upstream? etc etc etc

    Naturally if I can fix this and my hosting ends up cheaper as well then that will be a bonus.

    Your help is appreciated

    (main site is www.recreationalflying.com)
    PS. I just pinged it again and it was 187ms so ping times are very erratic)
  2. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    Shows a full page load time of 33 seconds with all of your facebook stuff causing the extended hang. I'd try to disable all your facebook displays on forum home and see if that helps. I don't think your server is the problem, it's the lack of optimization of your software.

    Screenshot from 2013-02-02 19:28:56.png
    Screenshot from 2013-02-02 19:28:44.png

    Could also try running tests at the following and work through the suggestions.
  3. ibaker

    ibaker Well-Known Member

    Thanks Melbo...just turned off the Social Media component of the "Recent News" block of XenPorta and ran that same test again and there is a massive drop in load time:

    Is there anyone out there that will, for a price, work through any optimisation of the site with me?
  4. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    Nice job! 2.90 seconds now.
    Ask your people if they notice a difference.

    Do you use any facebook options on the site? I couldn't find any although when I run the same test from http://www.recreationalflying.com/forum/ the slowest loads are (again) for facebook. If you find that you don't really have members sign up by logging in with fb, I'd turn off fb integration altogether. Just a thought.

    You don't need a new server and the one you have is massive for your forum as it is.
    FWIW, I'm in Seattle and the load times are acceptable to me. (now)
  5. ibaker

    ibaker Well-Known Member

    Thanks again Melbo...I had a Facebook Like Box on the main forums page and have just removed that as well. I very rarely get anyone logging in via Facebook so I have removed the Facebook ID and Secret from the Options...I take it that this is what you mean by disabling Facebook? I still have the Facebook Recommend feature enabled but that is all:
  6. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    Yep. Now it's even better.
    I bet your users will be happy ;)

    It's odd that the slowest things on our forums are Facebook and Google Ads...
  7. ibaker

    ibaker Well-Known Member

  8. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    Great. Next time you fly over the Pacific Northwest, drop me a box of Australian butter...
  9. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    Have you any cache set up on the server, such as APC or Xcache? Your site is almost exactly the same size as mine, and I'm running that on a high end VPS and it's costing less than half what you are paying at the minute.

    We also have a few members from Australia, and they have never said the site feels slow to them.
  10. ibaker

    ibaker Well-Known Member

    ...and Vegemite?

    I have APC installed on my server
    MattW likes this.
  11. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    Good stuff. I've just had a browse about, and getting an average page generation time of 3.5 seconds on first load, which is more than reasonable.
  12. ibaker

    ibaker Well-Known Member

    Thanks Matt...firstly my hosting here in Australia on a VPS before I went to US hosting was costing me a LOT more and they said I was breaking their 4gig ram limit too often so I was ecstatic when I found this bargain...lots cheaper and 4 times the resources.

    The complaints were coming from Aussie users and one thing I have to consider is in Australia there are vast areas that depend only on Satellite connections etc which tends to stop a lot of the goodies I want to add to the site. But having said that, I am very pleased with the International uptake I have been getting going to a US server...remember I am completely NOT a server admin person

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