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  1. #1

    Clustering - high traffic db driven sites

    I'm with Rackspace - they're awesome (very, very $$$ but awesome). I've been with them for a long time, BUT...

    I need a clustering/load balancing solution and want some opinions about who's out there... who's good, who's got value for money? My site's not that big but it's busy, and my db is killin me.

    How is Superb? Their site looks good but I don't know anything about their service.


    SWG
    My host history: 2002:register4less, 2002:ipowerweb, 2003:******, 2004:rackspace, 2005-present:fastserversCurrent setup: 2 x dual xeon dedicated servers with the lot and blissfully happy with Fastservers.com

  2. #2
    Hi!

    What are your requirements? One Sever for Web and One for DB? Or more? like 2 Web with load balancing and one database? How busy is your website? How much is your budget?

    Best Regards,
    Charles

  3. #3
    Here are some webstats:

    Total Hits 27951227
    Total Files 15489037
    Total Pages 8802814
    Total Visits 532852
    Total KBytes 96342778

    Total Unique Sites 54915
    Total Unique URLs 2606
    Total Unique Referrers 3548
    Total Unique Usernames 1
    Total Unique User Agents 2790

    . Avg Max

    Hits per Hour 37568 80537
    Hits per Day 901652 1056656
    Files per Day 499646 591962
    Pages per Day 283961 336333
    Visits per Day 17188 23489
    KBytes per Day 3107832 3691262

    I need advice as to the best setup for me - Probably 2 Web with load balancing and one database. The MySQL database is where the load issues are, so putting it on one server probably won't solve the problem. I don't know.

    And my budget is whatever is the best rate with the best solution.

    SWG

    ETA: those figures are for one month. They would be higher if my server would stay up and people had access all the time.
    My host history: 2002:register4less, 2002:ipowerweb, 2003:******, 2004:rackspace, 2005-present:fastserversCurrent setup: 2 x dual xeon dedicated servers with the lot and blissfully happy with Fastservers.com

  4. #4
    Hi,

    What is your current setup?

    I suggest you try it first with 2 servers. One Dual Xeon 2.4 or 2.8 2GB RAM for Web and One Dual Opteron 242 2GB RAM with SCSI Drive for Database. Connect them thru a private switch. Then try to optimize everything, and if still you are not satisfied, that is the time you go with 2 web server and load balancing or upgrading of RAM, etc.

    Good Luck!

    Regards,
    Charles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,780
    A 3 server start is nice. 1 DB server and 2 HTTP machine would be a nice start and get you going for a real LB solution.

    Gernally, having 1 DB server is easier to handle, unless you split the table across differenet servers.

    http://www.ethr.net/LB.gif <-- a little diagram to help you picture how the setup is usually done.

    Jay

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    321
    500,000 visitors per month isn't too crazy, you should be able to handle that fairly easily with one powerful box, eg. dual xeon/opteron, 2-4 gb ram etc. What are the specs of your current server?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
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    I agree with JDMundo...300K pages/day = 12K pages/hour = 200 pages/minute = 3 pages/second (average).

    You said your database is killing you...you probably just need a dual xeon with scsi (15k) drives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    FL, USA
    Posts
    925
    I recommend that you have someone run some performance testing on your server. You can start simply by installing sysstat. I would monitor CPU, disk i/o, and RAM usage over the period of a week. This will give you some baseline data. From there, you may need to pinpoint what applications are causing the poor performance.

    Too often, I see people jump into cluster solutions when simply tuning a single server will suffice.

    A major issue with busy database driven sites is having the database on the same, possibly slow, drive as the OS. Simply off-loading the database to an appropriate disk system can make a tremendous difference.

    If your site is php/mysql or perl/mysql driven, look into various caching solutions, including mysql query caching in Mysql 4.x.

    Moving to a cluster can be a significant undertaking depending on the setup of your current site.

    By simply running mysql over the network, you will incur 7-10% performance penalty over running it locally through a mysql socket. So a move to a database server must provide you with at least 10% performance gain to be noticeable. Also note that traffic sent between the DB server and your web servers is unencrypted, so it should be on a private network.


    The stats are not very helpful until we know more about the site. A hit on a mysql intensive php page is not the same as a hit on a 1 pixel gif.

    I often see busy php/mysql sites have problems with lingering connections. Tuning php/mysql/apache to close these connections can help tremendously.

    We save you time, money, and frustration by handling the server management tasks required to run an online business successfully.
    No prodding required. We just do it right the first time. Red Hat, MySQL, Plesk, and cPanel certified staff.

  9. #9
    Thanks everyone. I really need this advice. My server is down again.

    I am running Invision PB with Xoops CMS. 30,000+ registered members.

    Server Details:

    OS: Red Hat Enerprise Linux - ES 3.0
    Processor: Single AMD Opteron 244 1.8Ghz w/ Dual Capability
    Memory: 4GB
    Hard Drive: 36GB SCSI x 3
    RAID: RAID 5
    BW: 150GB

    Cost: $490 p/m

    --------------

    I have been advised that my problem is mostly with Apache, not MySQL because since upgrading to this server the CPU isn't spiking like it used to which is typical of MySQL usage. I'm not a techie but I am trying to understand.

    I have mrtg installed but I can't access it right now because the server is down. When it come back up I will post some info.

    SWG
    Last edited by skiwebgirl; 05-25-2005 at 09:13 PM.
    My host history: 2002:register4less, 2002:ipowerweb, 2003:******, 2004:rackspace, 2005-present:fastserversCurrent setup: 2 x dual xeon dedicated servers with the lot and blissfully happy with Fastservers.com

  10. #10
    Originally posted by huck
    I recommend that you have someone run some performance testing on your server. You can start simply by installing sysstat. I would monitor CPU, disk i/o, and RAM usage over the period of a week. This will give you some baseline data. From there, you may need to pinpoint what applications are causing the poor performance.

    Too often, I see people jump into cluster solutions when simply tuning a single server will suffice.

    A major issue with busy database driven sites is having the database on the same, possibly slow, drive as the OS. Simply off-loading the database to an appropriate disk system can make a tremendous difference.

    If your site is php/mysql or perl/mysql driven, look into various caching solutions, including mysql query caching in Mysql 4.x.

    Moving to a cluster can be a significant undertaking depending on the setup of your current site.

    By simply running mysql over the network, you will incur 7-10% performance penalty over running it locally through a mysql socket. So a move to a database server must provide you with at least 10% performance gain to be noticeable. Also note that traffic sent between the DB server and your web servers is unencrypted, so it should be on a private network.


    The stats are not very helpful until we know more about the site. A hit on a mysql intensive php page is not the same as a hit on a 1 pixel gif.

    I often see busy php/mysql sites have problems with lingering connections. Tuning php/mysql/apache to close these connections can help tremendously.
    I will look into the possibility of offloading the database to a disk system - going to a dual won't make a huge difference. Probably only about 20%. My site is growing too fast for a small solution.

    I have cached as much as I can on the front end although I haven't gotten someone to change mySQL query settings - possibly they have tried this already. I have closed persistent connections - I've changed max_ settings...

    The site is very php/mysql intensive. The forum is VERY busy and there is a database driven gallery through Xoops. The whole site is database driven. I have phpAdsNew java code implemented on a small scale.

    That's about it.

    ~SWG~
    My host history: 2002:register4less, 2002:ipowerweb, 2003:******, 2004:rackspace, 2005-present:fastserversCurrent setup: 2 x dual xeon dedicated servers with the lot and blissfully happy with Fastservers.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    995
    If your site is growing quickly, you definitely want to separate out the DB.

    In order to do serious load balancing, your options are definitely significantly more limited in terms of providers, and a serious solution will not be cheap.

    Do you have figures on where you think your traffic levels will be in 3, 6 and 12 months?

    Sam
    Sam Machiz / Director, Product Development / Ubersmith
    smachiz[at]ubersmith.com / [direct] 212-812-4194

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    FL, USA
    Posts
    925
    EV1 servers offers "private racks". We've helped a number of their clients get setup. The nice thing about their private racks is that you get your own subnet and inter-server taffic is not counted against your bandwidth.

    Other than EV1 (I am sure other's will do something similar), co-location may be your best option. Though you have to incur the upfront cost of the equipment, depending on your bandwidth, you may find it to be less expensive over the long run.

    We save you time, money, and frustration by handling the server management tasks required to run an online business successfully.
    No prodding required. We just do it right the first time. Red Hat, MySQL, Plesk, and cPanel certified staff.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    623
    How fast is your site growing?

    At this moment, I really don't feel there is a need to go beyond what you have right now. 3 page views/second won't kill your system, even if the page is very db/php intensive. I think your server is down by some othe reasons.

    However, if the growth rate is high, then it is time to plan ahead. I would suggest co-lo since dedicated servers with private lan will cost a lot.

    You should look at what Jay (Mfjp) offers. Your bandwidth usage is not high, so you can get a quarter rack with 1mbps to start with for under $400. However, you will need to manage the server yourself (or contract someone).

  14. #14
    My site is growing at the rate of about 50 - 60 new members per day, every day.

    The traffic levels are growing, I only installed mrtg last month so I can't get an accurate rate unless I go back through my old stats. 50% growth per year is a best guess. More if I start advertising.

    I agree with planning ahead. I have had to upgrade 3 times since October. I want something that will give me stability for at least 6 months to a year.

    I need to be managed.

    Co-lo sounds like a possibility I need to look into. Does that solution address load issues? Is it a mater of entire site being split across the two or a duplicate setup?
    My host history: 2002:register4less, 2002:ipowerweb, 2003:******, 2004:rackspace, 2005-present:fastserversCurrent setup: 2 x dual xeon dedicated servers with the lot and blissfully happy with Fastservers.com

  15. #15
    As I said above, I suggest that you get another server, much lower that your current one make it as a web server so that your Opteron will be your Database Server and connect them to a private switch. This is the most cost-effective and with future expansion solution that I think is best for you.

    A dual xeon 2.4 with 2GB RAM will be good enough for your web server.

    Regards,
    Charles

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    623
    With dedicated server solution, once they set up your private lan, it will be difficult to add another server because they require your servers to be physically close for the private lan.

    Your site has a lot of visitors but doesn't use much bandwidth. It is ideal to use co-lo - get quarter rack, start with 1 db server and 1 http server, and you can add servers as the site gets more popular, yet the cost won't increase much. Like I said, from Jay's (ethr.net)'s price list, you can get the bandwidth/space for under $400 for up to 10 1U servers.

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