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  1. #1

    Picking the Right Dedicated Server

    I am currently in the process of switching to a dedicated server. Right off the bat I should say that I have never had a dedicated server before, and my knowledge of linux is limited, therefore I think a fully managed dedicated server is the best bet for me.

    Anyway, the reason I am switching to dedicated is that my forums have grown very large and are hogging too much CPU resources on the shared server it is on. I am currently running vBulltin 2.3.4 and would like to upgrade to vBulletin 3, but I have always avoided it because of how intensive the process would be.

    After chatting with vBulletin staff members, we decided it was best for me to get a dedicated server. Here are the stats they recommended:

    On shared server 1GB of ram isn't enough probably 2GB is minimum and 3-4GB is ideal.

    As to what server you would get something like Pentium 4 3.2ghz 800fsb, with 1GB of ram and SATA or SCSI disks, not IDE as they're slower and consumer cpu resources.

    PHP 4.3.11
    MySQL 4.0.24
    2.6.x smp linux kernel

    are recommended
    My forums have almost 20,000 members and take up around 135 gigabytes of bandwidth a month. They take about about 1 gig harddrive space. I guess the good thing about a dedicated server is that I can move all my other sites onto it to (I have 3 or 4 other small sites on separate shared servers).

    Anyway, I'm asking your opinion on what kind of server to look for, and where to look. Like I said, I have never looked for dedicated servers before, so I really don't know if there are any tricks to getting one... for example, I've noticed that CPANEL and sutff aren't always included with the price, and I can't tell if it's an additional monthly price or one-time fee.

    I've done some research and found that seems to have a good rep here, but are there any other biggies I should look into? I was looking at allmanaged's pentium 3.06 HT system.

    Another problem I have is that I don't have a huge budget. Getting the exact machine vBulletin recommended is probably impossible because it is such a high-end machine.

    Any suggestions, recommendations, or helpful comments would be much appreciated. Thanks so much for your help in advance!

  2. #2

    It really boils down to your budget. You can try first a P4 2.8, IDE and 1-2 GB RAM. Upgrade when needed. And I think this can handle your forum, specially if RAM is 2GB. Cpanel is an additional Monthly usually.

    Good Luck!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    FL, USA
    If you only have one site and only a few emails to setup, we suggest avoiding a control panel -- you can install Webmin for GUI type control.

    The reason is that most control panels limit what you can do with apache and mysql. A plain linux system will provide you with much more control over the apache and mysql setup.

    Dual disks would be beneficial as off loading the mysql to another disk can be very helpful. In most of the forums we have worked on we've always found them to be choked by RAM not cpu. CPU spikes tended to be a side effect of using virtual memory (swap space).

    In looking for a server, I suggest you scout out several options. If you go with a managed system find out what "managed" means. You will find this has very different meaning across providers. We have worked on servers at "managed" server companies to find that "managed" meant that if there was a problem they would fix it. Otherwise, their staff did nothing to tune, update or secure the server. We've also worked on "managed" systems that are well maintained.

    There's also the option of getting an unmanaged server and outsourcing management to a systems management group. You can find a long list of such companies floating around on WHT.

    Aside from hardware, the key is to make sure you develop the proper channel of support to meet your requirements without breaking the bank.

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Long Island, New York
    I have to concur - a P4 or Athlon would do the trick quite nicely. You should definitely hire an administrator to do the initial setup of the server for you, and transfer your data off shared hosting. It should go quite smoothly. - Business Web Hosting Solutions & Server Management Since 2003

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