Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    multiple server configuration?

    Hello everyone,

    My company is getting ready for our website's launch, which will involve quite a bit of publicity. In order to be on the safe side traffic-wise, we're planning on launching with 4 or 5 dedicated servers. These will be Windows servers, serving a .NET site, no databases. I have two questions:

    1. I see different cons and pros to the servers all being in the same datacenter, vs different locations. On the one hand, having them all in the same place will make it a lot easier to configure and then control/take care of. On the other hand, it creates one single point of failure (the datacenter). Also, would having servers on both coasts visibly improve load times, or is the internet fast enough these days that for the majority of people it doesn't really make a difference where the servers are?

    2. Are there any reliable, knowledgeable "high-class" server admin services, where action and response to any problem is measured by seconds/minutes, rather that hours? We're looking for a service which can reliably replace a dedicated server admin. We would obviously be willing to pay the premium for such a service.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,277
    Hi,

    Unfortunately I have limited experience with .NET services, so my advice to you is going to be more of a generalization.

    1. Have you considered using a content delivery network (CDN) for your static files? This *may* allow you to slightly reduce your costs as it could potentially reduce the amount of servers that you require... especially if you have no database content. Not only will this reduce the burden on your servers, but it will provide a speed advantage for International visitors as your files will be cached and served from a server that provides the most efficient and quickest route to the end user.

    2. Yes, these companies do exist. You may also want to consider a managed provider as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    80
    check out unixy.net
    they do multi-server clusters + all servers come with full support.
    I'm not sure of the windows environment thing, that you should check with them!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by phpcoder View Post
    1. Have you considered using a content delivery network (CDN) for your static files? This *may* allow you to slightly reduce your costs as it could potentially reduce the amount of servers that you require... especially if you have no database content. Not only will this reduce the burden on your servers, but it will provide a speed advantage for International visitors as your files will be cached and served from a server that provides the most efficient and quickest route to the end user.
    I considered using a cdn, but there was a thread here on WHT a while ago that clearly showed that CDN's actually slowed things down most of the time! I have a dedicated server on the West coast right now, and have tested it from various Int'l locations, and the speed was extremely quick. But I'll take another look around, maybe the CDN situation has improved...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by HardLayers View Post
    check out unixy.net
    they do multi-server clusters + all servers come with full support.
    I'm not sure of the windows environment thing, that you should check with them!
    Took a look, seems to be Linux only :-(

    In any case, I think we would want to stay with a provider which offers DDOS protection like our current one, Staminus, does.

  6. #6
    have you tested your site under load? Just going with "more servers" isn't going to help if you don't know what bottleneck you're going to hit. At the very least, you need to do a load test, and see how many hits you can sustain on a given hardware platform, as well as what your constraining factor is. Is it ram? Cpu? Disk i/o? If you don't know your constraining factor, then you won't know what you need to upgrade when the time comes. If you don't know what kind of performance to expect on a given server, you won't have any idea whether 1 server will be adequate, or if 10 servers would be totally inadequate.

    Although I'm usually loathe to recommend "the cloud" for a wide variety of reasons, it does sound like your particular use case could benefit from something like amazon EC2, as you can just add more servers more or less instantly as you need them, and just pay for the time that you have them set up. If you really just have no idea at all the kind of processing power you're going to need, and you're going to have a big launch event, this can be a painless way to scale up without over-investing. Once you've got a good feel for the consistent loads your site will be seeing, I would recommend switching to dedicated servers to save a lot of money, however.

    As to no database, does the site really not rely on any kind of centralized storage?

    If it really doesn't need a centralized database, session storage, or anything like that, then yes, scaling out *could* be just as simple as adding more servers, cloning a copy of the site and server configuration over, and adding one more ip in round robin dns. If you really have no shared storage / shared database at all, these servers could also be in different datacenters without any serious issues there.

    That said, it's pretty rare to have a large site that doesn't require any database or centralized / synchronized storage. I would be very careful about thinking you can just add servers in order to scale if you haven't already tested this beforehand.
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
    Email: sales [at] ioflood.com
    Skype: iofloodsales
    Backup Storage VPS -- 1TBVPS.com

  7. #7
    Funkywizard, thanks for your reply.

    Our side is basically a mashup of various apis, so at this point there indeed will be absolutely no storage. We're working on getting the initial page download to under 200 kb, after that everything will be client-side.

    "it does sound like your particular use case could benefit from something like amazon EC2"

    I'm nervous that could might have lower response time compared to a dedicated server. Speed will be of paramount importance in our site.

    "these servers could also be in different datacenters"

    Any opinion about the pros/cons of doing this?

    In any case, we definitely want to do some load-testing. I'm looking at various 3rd party load test providers. Can you recommend any?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by feivi18 View Post
    Funkywizard, thanks for your reply.

    Our side is basically a mashup of various apis, so at this point there indeed will be absolutely no storage. We're working on getting the initial page download to under 200 kb, after that everything will be client-side.

    "it does sound like your particular use case could benefit from something like amazon EC2"

    I'm nervous that could might have lower response time compared to a dedicated server. Speed will be of paramount importance in our site.

    "these servers could also be in different datacenters"

    Any opinion about the pros/cons of doing this?

    In any case, we definitely want to do some load-testing. I'm looking at various 3rd party load test providers. Can you recommend any?

    Thanks!
    no problem, glad to help.

    If there's really no shared anything, that certainly frees up a lot of configuration options that wouldn't be viable for a more typical kind of project.

    As to going with multiple datacenters, obviously that increases the amount of work involved with keeping track of multiple support logins, paying multiple vendors, etc, but from a technical side, I don't see any disadvantage to it in the scenario you've described. The plus side is, that with round robin dns, most modern browsers will automatically fail over to a different server if one is totally unreachable, so you get a kind of poor man's high availability in case one datacenter is having issues. Then again, for more even balancing of loads, using a load balancer at a single datacenter would provide more granular control over loads and a more elegant solution to failures. So there are pros and cons to each method.

    If you're looking to have a solid launch, and you really don't have any technical requirement to be at one datacenter, I'd probably split my servers between two providers. You don't want to over complicate things by dealing with a bunch of companies, but if you have issues with one company, you can fall back on the servers you have at the other.

    I needed 1-2 servers for proxies a while back, and went ahead and ordered from 3 different providers, which was a good thing because one of them took two weeks or more to even provide me with anything. If I hadn't ordered from more than one provider I would have been dead in the water. My needs were pretty simple "just any ol' server with 10 meg unmetered, not provided by my primary host", just price and setup time was important there.

    If you're with an existing provider and haven't had any problems with them, then by all means you could certainly stick with that.

    As to amazon, because it is a glorified VPS, yes, there is the potential for lower speeds than on proper dedicated hardware. That said, if you order some of the larger instance sizes, they seem pretty well correlated to the amount of resources that would make sense to put into a dedicated server, minus a bit of ram for the dom0. So I suspect the larger instance sizes, you may not end up sharing the server with anyone, at which point your performance hit would be because of the virtualization layer, but probably won't see inconsistent performance any more than you would on a dedicated server.

    As to load testing, I can't really help there much. I've been "lucky" enough in the past to run a site where it doesn't much matter if the site goes down for a couple minutes to run a load experiment on live traffic Pretty handy for figuring out the real world performance of a new processor, or the breaking point of a server, not so great on a site where the traffic is actually worth much of anything.
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
    Email: sales [at] ioflood.com
    Skype: iofloodsales
    Backup Storage VPS -- 1TBVPS.com

Similar Threads

  1. WHM Multiple back configuration
    By oozypal in forum Hosting Software and Control Panels
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-06-2009, 02:37 AM
  2. Multiple servers configuration, through a load balancer?
    By Teckinno in forum Dedicated Server
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-09-2007, 01:25 AM
  3. Basic Network Configuration with Multiple IP's
    By gregr66 in forum Hosting Security and Technology
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-11-2006, 08:25 AM
  4. Multiple Vhosts configuration
    By someuser01 in forum Hosting Security and Technology
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-26-2005, 06:32 AM
  5. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-21-2005, 12:04 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •