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  1. #1

    * Why the slowdown?

    It seems that I have plenty of available resources on my current server (1&1) but sometimes things bog down at peak times. I am looking for a new server and am trying to find out what I need more of (faster processor, ram, ?) Heres the specs

    memory used 6.5 GB allowed 63 GB
    transfer volume used 17GB allowed 500 GB
    Bandwidth used 175GB allowed 500 GB
    Pentium 4
    1024 MB DDR RAM
    80GB IDE hard drive

    I am running 2 large message boards that EACH have 150-200 people online at any given time. There are lots of photos used (in signatures, avitars, posts, and lots of smileys) Software is vbulletin message board.

    Any clues as to why it would be slow? I want to be sure I get a faster server (am paying $79 now but would be willing to go up to $200.....and not $201

    THanks for any input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Missoula,MT
    Posts
    45
    memory == disk ?

    You probably will want a dual cpu machine, at least 2 drives for improving disk performance of MySQL and 2GB of RAM. SoftLayer has an entry level machine that you can spec out to near $200 with those requirements, I'd take a look there. As with most providers, if you email/call them and ask what you want and set your top limit on price, often times they will match it.

    Once you get the server, make sure you tune MySQL to max RAM usage, that is probably your largest bottleneck, as with most forums, it's 100% db driven and using RAM instead of disk will help it's performance the most.
    SupportLayer - Enterprise Linux Server Management

  3. #3
    Their prices look pretty reasonable for what youre getting. How much faster is 2 processors going to "feel" when using the site? Would you describe it as.... noticeable? definitely a difference? or night and day difference!?

    so if you say to tune mysql to max ram useage, should I look for higher Ram overall?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Missoula,MT
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by excitingname
    How much faster is 2 processors going to "feel" when using the site?
    Well, MySQL is both disk and CPU intensive. Because your application relies on MySQL for every page load and you are pushing moderate traffic, you will need to take into account how one goes about improving MySQL performance and specifically where the bottlenecks exist in a forum running MySQL.

    1. Disk I/O - check vmstat to see if you are blocking on disk during peak usage, if so this would indicate the need to acquire faster disks and to either use the new Partitioning in MySQL or to map your MySQL tables, data directories across different drives.

    2. CPU, when competing with Apache, your network traffic and writing to logs, MySQL will lag.

    Given that your current solution is a single CPU config, the dual CPUs will give you the ability to handle 2 threads simultaneously in each CPU. Be sure to set thread_caching in your my.cnf, to lower the cost of thread creation per connection, whenever possible.

    I recently ported a dual CPU machine to dual core dual CPU, the improvement in MySQL performance benchmark went from 3.2 seconds per page to roughly 0.89 seconds per page. In that, the application bottleneck on CPU was lowered and responsiveness of their pages increased. The machine was also upped from 2GB of RAM to 4GB and swapped out 10K drives for 15K drives.

    Also, look into caching tools like APC and memcached, they can help you reduce the number of queries that reach MySQL and in combination with query caching in MySQL, will help dramatically speed things up.

    Quote Originally Posted by excitingname
    Would you describe it as.... noticeable? definitely a difference? or night and day difference!?
    I would describe it in terms of benchmark performance. I've seen whole second improvements in page response time, by simply upgrading HDD specs, going from single to dual CPU and improving RAM. Remember, the more MySQL can use RAM for handling key lookups and caching the better the overall performance. Also, check your apache config for keepalive settings, that in combination with persistent connections can cause severe degredation in performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by excitingname
    so if you say to tune mysql to max ram useage, should I look for higher Ram overall?
    Well, yes and no. You only need the amount of RAM you will consume. Having more RAM than that is a waste. What you want to be sure is that MySQL is allocating itself enough RAM to store as much of the key_buffer in RAM as possible, in addition to MySQL query cache and other params in your my.cnf that you can tune to increase RAM usage and thus performance. I have posted at length on those params recently, do a search and you should find some usefull threads/posts.

    Some commands for you to use in helping with performance tuning:

    free -m (will tell you current memory usage)
    vmstat (will tell you current CPU usage, disk I/O waits and more)
    Last edited by sockopt; 01-09-2007 at 04:41 PM.
    SupportLayer - Enterprise Linux Server Management

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