I currently host a rather large (200-300 concurrent users on average) PHP front-end, MySQL back-end entertainment-based web site - similar to what a typical popular forum-driven site has - and am using a dedicated Dual Xeon 2.2 Ghz server from EV1Servers.net (currnetly spending around $300 a month). I've been seeing some solid deals, from both EV1 and others (like 1and1.com) for P4 3.06 Ghz and faster for under $100 a month, and I am tempted to cash in on the savings.
What sort of performance differences can I expect between the Dual Xeon that I am currently using, and a possible change to a P4 3+ Ghz with Hyper-Threading technology? Is the change something that you would consider? Why or why not?
Well you can pretty much cut your customer base in half when moving from a dual proc server to a single proc server. So you will not really be saving anything, the HT doesn't give you a true dual proc speed. In all actuality it has been reported that HT hinders webservers more than helps.
Originally posted by kris1351 Well you can pretty much cut your customer base in half when moving from a dual proc server to a single proc server. So you will not really be saving anything, the HT doesn't give you a true dual proc speed. In all actuality it has been reported that HT hinders webservers more than helps.
He is the only customer on the machine, it's for his own personal site.
With peak loads at 1 it is really hard to say if you would notice a difference or not. The dual machine will leave you room to grow, but you could also consider two p4 machines (around $200 a month) with one for the frontend and one for the database machine.
Ignore the bit about the CPU having Hyperthreading. Hyperthreading doesn't equate everywhere to a two physical CPUs, it merely is some techno mumbo jumbo to mean that the CPU is clever enough to take advantage of the unused CPU capacity and run another thread in it. You may get say something between 10 to 15% extra performance through HT if your CPU is not fully utilized. However, if it is already fully utilized then there is nothing left to HT.
Running from a Dual Processor System to a Single Processor System would mean taken a major step backwards. If you are not utilizing your server as it is now then going a step back would mean no difference in terms of performance and some savings. The worst thing that could happen is that you see a performance hit with the downgrade and people start disappearing from your site.
Keeping the Dual Processor might be an expensive plan but indeed it would give you the best performance and a lot more room to go in the future.
Maybe what you can do is get the single Processor system and mirror the site over and probably repoint the DNS to the single P4 system for a while and see how it feels. If there is no performance different then make the switch to the P4 and if you see a big slowdown then stick to your existing Dual Processor and terminate the new server.
Thanks for the guidance, everyone. So you think that what we're paying right now (about $300 a month) for a Dual Xeon 2.2Ghz is a solid bargain? We're basically looking at reducing our costs without sacrificing too much performance.
I would recommend picking up an AMD instead of a P4. The box linked to above is on Peer1 bandwidth which is very high quality.
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