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  1. #1

    shared hosting or VPS for moodle and wordpress?

    Hello All

    I am in the process of setting up a new site, it will be based on Moodle. I'm not sure if I need a VPS or if shared hosting will do.

    I need a server that will be able to handle roughly 600 concurrent users, all logging in about the the same time and accessing the same page. No other activity will take place really, except for a few comments.

    I am worried that shared hosting will just fall flat on its face but also concerned about a VPS, as I have never managed a VPS before.

    I will also have wordpress running on an addon domain.

    I'm not sure what size server to go for, can anyone recommend any good UK hosts?

    Much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Moodle?
    Definitely look at a VPS with adequate RAM for the traffic.
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    Moodle is a open-source Learning Management System.

    What is considered adequate RAM? 2GB?

  4. #4
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    I know what Moodle is.
    Let me rephrase it: When using Moodle, look at a VPS. It's a bit of a resource hog.
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  5. #5
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    As @kpmedia said it will require a good amount of memory as it does take up resources. You can find the requirements here: http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Installing_Moodle#Hardware

    This is from the link above:
    Moodle can support 10 to 20 concurrent users for every 1GB of RAM

  6. #6
    Oh sorry!

    Yes, I have been reading up on that too. I don't know if 2GB is too little but the higher up I go the more expensive it all becomes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
    Oh sorry!

    Yes, I have been reading up on that too. I don't know if 2GB is too little but the higher up I go the more expensive it all becomes.
    You can always upgrade a VPS, try with 1GB RAM and then if you need more just do an upgrade

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by AeonCube View Post
    As @kpmedia said it will require a good amount of memory as it does take up resources. You can find the requirements here: http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Installing_Moodle#Hardware

    This is from the link above:
    Thanks AeonCube.

    I'm not sure what to do based on this info here:

    Memory: 256MB (min), 1GB or more is strongly recommended. The general rule of thumb is that Moodle can support 10 to 20 concurrent users for every 1GB of RAM, but this will vary depending on your specific hardware and software combination and the type of use. 'Concurrent' really means web server processes in memory at the same time (i.e. users interacting with the system within a window of a few seconds). It does NOT mean people 'logged in'.

    If I have 600 people logged on and all access one page but then do nothing else except watch a video, is that "interacting with the system"? The video would be embedded from YouTube.

  9. #9
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    Memory: 256MB (min), 1GB or more is strongly recommended.
    256MB is a minimum by the software itself -- not the size of the VPS. A VPS with a control panel generally uses up about 512MB by itself. So a VPS with 1.5GB or 2GB is probably ideal.

    If I have 600 people logged on and all access one page but then do nothing else except watch a video, is that "interacting with the system"? The video would be embedded from YouTube.
    To even get to the video, they'll have to interact. Actual concurrency may be as low as 10%, but as high as 50%, of that 600 figure.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
    Thanks AeonCube.

    I'm not sure what to do based on this info here:

    Memory: 256MB (min), 1GB or more is strongly recommended. The general rule of thumb is that Moodle can support 10 to 20 concurrent users for every 1GB of RAM, but this will vary depending on your specific hardware and software combination and the type of use. 'Concurrent' really means web server processes in memory at the same time (i.e. users interacting with the system within a window of a few seconds). It does NOT mean people 'logged in'.

    If I have 600 people logged on and all access one page but then do nothing else except watch a video, is that "interacting with the system"? The video would be embedded from YouTube.
    That is something I am unsure on, personally I would recommend contacting the developers and getting their view.

    I would also consider finding a VPS provider with a 30 day money back guarantee and test this. If you can setup everything you need on a VPS with say 1GB/2GB RAM and then see how it goes.

    The best way of finding out is by trying

  11. #11
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    If you are confident about '600 users online at the same time', i would recommend a VPS. You will be able to setup web server /PHP / MySQL according to your needs and it will run a lot smoother.

    If you are only starting out and do not have any traffic yet, i would recommend to start with shared hosting, then upgrade to VPS.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Hosting24 View Post
    If you are confident about '600 users online at the same time', i would recommend a VPS. You will be able to setup web server /PHP / MySQL according to your needs and it will run a lot smoother.

    If you are only starting out and do not have any traffic yet, i would recommend to start with shared hosting, then upgrade to VPS.
    Thanks for your advice. Definitely confident about 600+ users.

    Now, I need to find myself a good reliable UK based, fully managed VPS. I think I'll get a cuppa first...


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosting24 View Post
    If you are confident about '600 users online at the same time', i would recommend a VPS. You will be able to setup web server /PHP / MySQL according to your needs and it will run a lot smoother.

    If you are only starting out and do not have any traffic yet, i would recommend to start with shared hosting, then upgrade to VPS.
    I would not recommend a shared hosting service for the client, do you use/have clients that use Moodle on your shared services?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
    Now, I need to find myself a good reliable UK based, fully managed VPS. I think I'll get a cuppa first...
    There is always time for cuppa

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by AeonCube View Post
    I would not recommend a shared hosting service for the client, do you use/have clients that use Moodle on your shared services?
    No, none at all. This is my first time using Moodle, I'm a little bit apprehensive due to the large class size.

    It would be extremely embarrassing if on the first lesson my website crashed! I hope I can avoid that.

    I think it would be wise to go for a VPS with minimum 1GB RAM and take it from there, as you said earlier, I won't know until I try.

    Thank you all for your help, if there's any other bits of advice, please feel free to share as I am more than happy to listen.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
    No, none at all. This is my first time using Moodle, I'm a little bit apprehensive due to the large class size.

    It would be extremely embarrassing if on the first lesson my website crashed! I hope I can avoid that.

    I think it would be wise to go for a VPS with minimum 1GB RAM and take it from there, as you said earlier, I won't know until I try.

    Thank you all for your help, if there's any other bits of advice, please feel free to share as I am more than happy to listen.
    Happy to help, most people here at WHT enjoy helping people with their questions.

    Best of luck finding your VPS provider, make sure to let us know who you went with and how it goes.

    Enjoy that cuppa

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
    Hello All

    I am in the process of setting up a new site, it will be based on Moodle. I'm not sure if I need a VPS or if shared hosting will do.

    I need a server that will be able to handle roughly 600 concurrent users, all logging in about the the same time and accessing the same page. No other activity will take place really, except for a few comments.

    I am worried that shared hosting will just fall flat on its face but also concerned about a VPS, as I have never managed a VPS before.

    I will also have wordpress running on an addon domain.

    I'm not sure what size server to go for, can anyone recommend any good UK hosts?

    Much appreciated.
    Hello Jaffa,
    The community members are already stuffed their input on your thread and all of them are correct as well. I would like to put my input here as well and will try to help you with all aspects. Basically I am not much familiar with VPS and shared hosting because I prefer to use cloud hosting service and it has proven to be the best one in town as well; in terms of reliability and scalability.

    You haven’t mentioned the complete details in your questions. You have to be specified that what type of content is going to be on your website and how users are going to work upon. Considering your limited details, I think 6GB RAM would be an adequate one to start with and it will go further if suddenly your traffic jumps up. If images will be there, then you should integrate CDN, to decrease the load time to your website.

    Last thing- I would recommend to mind looking at Rackspace and eUKHost. Just look at their pricing with respect to your requirements.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
    I am worried that shared hosting will just fall flat on its face but also concerned about a VPS, as I have never managed a VPS before
    You can just ask the host to provide reseller access on the VPS. You use the reseller account, the provider manages the VPS. Much easier that way.

    I too would recommend starting with at least 1GB RAM. Choose a provider that allows you to upgrade memory on its own without you having to upgrade the plan (more expensive).
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  19. #19
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    People are quick to suggest a VPS based on traffic projections - but bear in mind that running a VPS is a LOT more work than a shared hosting account. With a shared account, the hosting company handles security, upgrades, backups, etc. Whereas with a VPS (self-managed), that is all your responsibility, and can easily be a full-time job in itself.
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  20. #20
    I would recommend a VPS in this case because Shared Hosting may not provide you with sufficient resource usage.

  21. #21
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    Big Managed VPS and rethink the logistics

    My daughter is a Distance Learning student, in a university in Texas. They use Moodle. I suggest that you rethink the logistics of this, to keep the DataBase connections as low as is possible, and the RAM requirement as low as is possible; when linking to the YouTube video(s). Seek some other way you can provide links to the YouTube videos, to your students, without them all being on the Moodle CMS at the same time.

    Possibly you could use another method to do this, offloading some of it: For example a phpBB forum, or sending the URL(s) for the video(s) via a "Mailman" Mailing list (your provider probably will have hourly limitations on how many emails you can send out each hour, so check with them about that).

    I think you should join the Moodle Mailing List and explain what your idea is and ask for suggestions there. Moodle began in Australia, but is used worldwide now, and there is a large user base that can help you, with ideas about how to do this, efficiently.

    This, I believe, will NOT fly on Shared Hosting. I think you should contemplate a Managed VPS, with a lot of RAM.

    GL

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanny View Post
    Moodle began in Australia, but is used worldwide now, and there is a large user base that can help you, with ideas about how to do this, efficiently.
    True, I was using Moodle at collage today. Low spec PC and Moodle pages loaded fast. The collage must have hundreds or users accessing the site at the same time using lots of RAM (concurrent connecttions).
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  23. #23
    Thank you all for the advice. Just to update everyone, we actually decided not to go with Moodle as it had far too many features we would not be using. Instead we went for a wordpress setup.

    This has been going ok so far, we decided to host it on the cloud and it managed fine with almost 2000 users logged on at one time but unfortunately the good news didn't last that long.

    During one class the there were too many database connections and this resulted in a locked table and the dreaded error database connection! This was resolved by contacting the hosts, they were great and helped get things back up quickly.

    Now I'm concerned about this happening again even though database connections have been reduced. We're also opening up a forum and I'm wondering if a managed dedicated server would be a better option?

    Really not sure what to do.

  24. #24
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    A high spec managed VPS would do just fine, the key is having someone who can optimise it properly to avoid problems like the one you've had, and support a much higher number of users on the same hardware than would otherwise be possible.
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  25. #25
    Did you check VPS.net?

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