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  1. #1

    Server Division of Labor

    I know this is a hard thing to ask without seeing actual traffic/load numbers from apache and mysql, but I am just looking for some advice about how I use our servers.

    We are not a web hosting company, but a network of related web sites. Pretty popular group of sites. We currently have five dedicated servers:

    1 - Pentium-4 2.8 Ghz, 1024 Megs, 200 GB IDE RAID-1 - MySQL
    2 - Celeron 2.8 Ghz, 1024 Megs, 200 GB SATA - Primary Apache
    3 - Celeron 2.4 Ghz, 512 Megs, 80 GB IDE - Apache for forums/login and adserver, also our secondary nameserver
    4 - Celeron 2.4 Ghz, 512 Megs, 80 GB IDE - Mail server and primary nameserver
    5 - Celeron 2.4 Ghz, 512 Megs, 80 GB IDE - Newest server, currently mirroring #2 and nothing else. Am thinking about installing Pound or another reverse proxy and doing some load balancing to this one from #2.

    We'll probably need to add another server soon as well. But I can't help but wonder if I could better use the servers we have. Our sites are VERY dynamic, many database queries. I try to lessen the blow by doing using ADOdb (php db abstraction layer) to do some local caching of common queries.

    Anyway... not sure what I'm asking, maybe for advice/ideas or experience .. or configurations you have set up that have worked well with dynamic, high traffic sites.

    Thanks in advance!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    North Yorkshire, UK
    You'd probably be better consolidating some of those machines onto faster Dual CPU hardware, this gives you the flexibility to burst up when your sites become busy without causing too much of a slowdown.

    Perhaps something like the below:

    -Dual Opteron SCSI Drives (DB Server)
    -Single Opteron SATA Drives (NS1, Primary Apache)
    -Single Opteron SATA Drives (NS2, Secondary Apache)

    If what you're running is a forum and it's all DB based, all you really need is to have the same forum files on each Apache machine, and round robin the DNS, gives you a simple load balancing solution over the two boxes without too many complications.

    To be honest if you're using Celeron chips for DB intensive sites and aren't having issues then you're doing pretty well and your site probably can't be optimized much more code wise.


    Last edited by dkitchen; 05-01-2005 at 06:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Server Division of Labor? Sounds like some kind of government agency

  4. #4
    Well, it's not just a forum but the forum does get maybe 40% of the traffic load, I'd guess. It's all custom PHP code that I have written (even the forum) so I appreciate the theory that it is good and optimized code. :-) It has had a few times when it's slowed down but overall has been very good.

    Someone else suggested some consolodation as well to me via IM. Maybe that's what I need to do. It just seems nice to have separate servers for separate functions so that if one goes down, not everything is down (unless it's the mysql then we're in trouble! although we still have our email!).

  5. #5
    By the way I have about a $450-500/month budget to play with, so I can't get all Opteron-ed out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    North Yorkshire, UK
    You could probably fit something in for around that price using slightly lower spec machines, as long as you were prepared to manage the lot yourself.

    So long as you've got a rock solid SQL machine which can handle a large amount of queries with ease, you can add additional frontend servers to push out your pages as you grow.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Originally posted by kastro662
    By the way I have about a $450-500/month budget to play with, so I can't get all Opteron-ed out!
    You can get a small cluster for that budget.
    Servers are relatively cheap nowadays.
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