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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    32

    Question Dual Server - What hardware?

    I have one site on my server, a large portal (forum + download system) that receives over 30,000 visitors per day and 1,100 users online at peak (900 avg) - based on a 15 minute time-out.

    The site is fairly database intensive (although I do cache many queries) and makes frequent use of the audio/video processors SoX and FFMPEG on files up to 7MB in size.

    I've just upgraded from a Xeon "Dempsey" 3.0Ghz to the following, but it hasn't made much difference:

    Dual Core Dual Processor Woodcrest 5130
    2 x 320GB SATA, Hardware RAID 1
    CentOS 4.5 32 bit
    Apache/1.3.37
    MySQL 4.1.21 (ISAM)

    I've done all the MySQL and Apache optimisation I can, so it seems I now need two servers. My question is, what kind of servers would be suitable bearing in mind I'm trying to keep my budget to a minimum?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    410
    Your I/O on the current setup is pretty sad for a DB/Web server. What does TOP show WA time to be? Typical budget setup we have used in the past with great success is a dual cpu dual core (dual quad for the people that need more speed) for the Webserver, and a dual single core with 8 drive SCSI setup for the DB.

    But in your case you might only need to get some faster drives, and maybe some more RAM (you didn't list how much your using).
    Daniel Pautz - WebNX, Inc. dan >< WebNX.com
    WebNX.com Enterprise Hosting Solutions – Los Angeles and Manhattan NewYork based Servers
    High end Dedicated Servers at reasonable prices and a Premium network with 9x providers route optimized with the Noction IRP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Posts
    3,215
    Another vote for harddisk increase. You are merely using a single SATA for such a large website. RAID-1 is only mirroring, it doesn't help read times.

    Try upgrading your harrdisk to 4x SA-SCSI drives on RAID-10.

    And of course, RAM is another factor.

    Usually for such forums, the processors are the least important factors. RAM and haddisk speeds are the first problems you will face.

  4. #4
    Try increasing your RAM, and also upgrade to 4x SCSI that should help!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    32

    Unhappy

    I'm using 4GB RAM. Here's a recent top (taken just prior to peak):

    top - 16:17:34 up 6 days, 23:12, 1 user, load average: 13.79, 8.61, 6.41
    Tasks: 336 total, 13 running, 322 sleeping, 0 stopped, 1 zombie
    Cpu(s): 62.8% us, 6.2% sy, 0.0% ni, 29.0% id, 1.0% wa, 0.0% hi, 1.0% si
    Mem: 4137244k total, 3735152k used, 402092k free, 147968k buffers
    Swap: 4096532k total, 144k used, 4096388k free, 1285996k cached

    PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
    31115 nobody 16 0 20744 10m 3256 S 13 0.3 0:02.90 httpd
    5691 mysql 10 -5 674m 383m 2852 S 12 9.5 2616:18 mysqld
    25900 nobody 15 0 26264 16m 3700 S 12 0.4 0:15.63 httpd
    31027 nobody 15 0 22564 11m 3348 R 10 0.3 0:03.48 httpd
    29688 nobody 15 0 20772 9m 2844 S 9 0.2 0:05.71 httpd
    5786 nobody 15 0 26652 16m 3944 S 8 0.4 10:09.76 httpd
    17876 nobody 16 0 27384 17m 3940 S 8 0.4 4:49.38 httpd
    28582 nobody 15 0 26800 17m 3980 R 8 0.4 21:39.70 httpd
    3591 nobody 15 0 25120 15m 4096 S 7 0.4 3:06.17 httpd
    19567 nobody 15 0 25164 15m 3640 S 7 0.4 0:32.80 httpd
    25892 nobody 16 0 24808 14m 3448 S 7 0.4 0:19.62 httpd
    28570 nobody 15 0 27280 17m 4136 S 7 0.4 22:59.16 httpd
    28579 nobody 15 0 24840 15m 4256 S 7 0.4 24:00.57 httpd
    28590 nobody 16 0 25384 15m 4292 S 7 0.4 23:41.78 httpd
    29312 nobody 15 0 25388 15m 4248 S 7 0.4 23:16.74 httpd
    31034 nobody 16 0 24664 14m 3224 S 7 0.3 0:02.32 httpd
    31051 nobody 15 0 19300 9124 3240 S 7 0.2 0:03.85 httpd
    32038 nobody 16 0 18944 8312 2772 S 7 0.2 0:00.13 httpd
    19565 nobody 15 0 20896 10m 3432 S 6 0.3 0:40.81 httpd
    25691 nobody 16 0 26292 16m 3388 S 6 0.4 0:24.34 httpd
    26580 nobody 15 0 24696 14m 3380 S 6 0.4 0:17.85 httpd
    28577 nobody 15 0 26908 17m 4152 S 6 0.4 24:11.41 httpd
    28595 nobody 16 0 26808 17m 4188 S 6 0.4 21:33.46 httpd
    28919 nobody 16 0 25172 15m 3944 S 6 0.4 6:27.77 httpd
    28927 nobody 15 0 28036 17m 3264 S 6 0.4 0:09.34 httpd
    31809 nobody 16 0 19176 8592 2816 S 6 0.2 0:01.78 httpd
    32019 nobody 15 0 19176 8580 2808 S 6 0.2 0:00.53 httpd
    32040 nobody 19 0 18948 8292 2760 S 6 0.2 0:00.06 httpd
    31224 nobody 15 0 19176 8728 2952 S 5 0.2 0:01.46 httpd
    32020 nobody 16 0 21528 10m 2804 R 5 0.3 0:00.40 httpd
    14202 nobody 15 0 25216 15m 3448 S 4 0.4 0:46.62 httpd
    19566 nobody 15 0 24800 14m 3440 R 4 0.4 0:26.80 httpd
    23696 nobody 15 0 26628 17m 4136 S 4 0.4 3:13.42 httpd
    26503 nobody 15 0 20844 10m 3420 S 4 0.3 0:17.88 httpd
    29445 nobody 15 0 26244 15m 3368 S 4 0.4 0:06.78 httpd
    27983 nobody 15 0 24696 14m 3292 S 3 0.4 0:10.85 httpd
    540 nobody 16 0 26844 17m 4168 S 2 0.4 18:45.47 httpd
    12726 nobody 15 0 24752 15m 4016 S 2 0.4 0:51.29 httpd
    12727 nobody 15 0 26612 16m 3396 S 2 0.4 0:51.67 httpd
    23000 nobody 15 0 25212 15m 4132 S 2 0.4 6:52.78 httpd
    23168 nobody 15 0 26880 17m 4148 S 2 0.4 4:35.30 httpd
    26048 nobody 15 0 20860 10m 3252 R 2 0.3 0:18.80 httpd
    28580 nobody 15 0 25376 15m 4036 R 2 0.4 22:47.74 httpd
    28912 nobody 15 0 26868 17m 4124 S 2 0.4 6:11.49 httpd
    30418 nobody 15 0 20828 10m 3388 S 2 0.3 0:05.26 httpd
    31075 nobody 15 0 19232 9056 3240 S 2 0.2 0:02.61 httpd
    31120 nobody 15 0 24696 13m 2836 S 2 0.3 0:02.66 httpd
    31324 nobody 15 0 22304 10m 2824 R 2 0.3 0:02.17 httpd
    32014 nobody 15 0 18940 8332 2796 S 2 0.2 0:00.32 httpd
    2836 nobody 15 0 26988 17m 3960 S 1 0.4 4:01.39 httpd
    8739 nobody 15 0 25188 15m 3904 S 1 0.4 3:21.13 httpd
    15373 nobody 15 0 25400 15m 3912 S 1 0.4 2:08.33 httpd
    18440 nobody 15 0 25436 15m 3936 S 1 0.4 3:33.14 httpd


    ps aux|grep httpd|wc


    223 2676 21592

    WHM reports that average CPU usage is primarily used up by MySQL and FFMPEG.

    Are faster drives the bottleneck or is this something that will only be resolved with two servers combined with faster disks?

    Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Posts
    3,215
    I think your server started to use swap. That means,

    - Your RAM is hitting the limit, so the server wants to use swap,
    - Your disks are slow, so swap is a bottleneck.

    What you should do is, increase your ram by 2 Gigs, and add faster disks (4x SCSI on RAID-10). That should double your server capacity.

    You may also want to look at litespeed to double your capacity twice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    99
    Doesn't swaping always lead to high load and a server crash? (although there isn't swap use in the latest TOP)

    What about quarter stroking
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=322

    Instead of faster disks?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Posts
    3,215
    Quote Originally Posted by reasonpolice View Post
    Doesn't swaping always lead to high load and a server crash? (although there isn't swap use in the latest TOP)

    What about quarter stroking
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=322

    Instead of faster disks?
    Faster disks are still necessary, he needs SCSI drives for such a database. SATA can't compete with SCSI even when stroked, and we are talking about RAID-10 of 4 SCSI drives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,891
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkPW View Post
    I have one site on my server, a large portal (forum + download system) that receives over 30,000 visitors per day and 1,100 users online at peak (900 avg) - based on a 15 minute time-out.

    The site is fairly database intensive (although I do cache many queries) and makes frequent use of the audio/video processors SoX and FFMPEG on files up to 7MB in size.

    I've just upgraded from a Xeon "Dempsey" 3.0Ghz to the following, but it hasn't made much difference:

    Dual Core Dual Processor Woodcrest 5130
    2 x 320GB SATA, Hardware RAID 1
    CentOS 4.5 32 bit
    Apache/1.3.37
    MySQL 4.1.21 (ISAM)

    I've done all the MySQL and Apache optimisation I can, so it seems I now need two servers. My question is, what kind of servers would be suitable bearing in mind I'm trying to keep my budget to a minimum?

    Any help would be appreciated.
    dual clover ,raptors in raid +areca

    $400x2+$150x2 +$400 approx

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    35
    I strongly encourage you to upgrade:

    1. Memory
    2. MySQL to 5.0 (if possible)
    3. Apache to 2.2
    4. PHP to 5.2 (if possible)

    Best regards
    www.n3v.net provides affordable system administration and support to companies and individuals with dedicated and colocated servers

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    328
    Cheapest way for now is Litespeed. Best bang for the buck i can say. Free to Try anyway.

    Your I/O Diskwait is not too bad. But SCSI would help.

    IMO, After you have about 1500 user online then you can think about adding more server.
    <<please see forum rules for signature formatting guidelines>>

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,891
    Quote Originally Posted by viettechorg View Post
    Cheapest way for now is Litespeed. Best bang for the buck i can say. Free to Try anyway.

    Your I/O Diskwait is not too bad. But SCSI would help.

    IMO, After you have about 1500 user online then you can think about adding more server.
    litespeed aint cheap at all...
    how about lighttpd instead?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    328
    I meant instead of adding another server. Litespeed is cheaper.

    Lighttpd does not compatible with control panel. Very hard to config.
    <<please see forum rules for signature formatting guidelines>>

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,891
    Quote Originally Posted by viettechorg View Post
    I meant instead of adding another server. Litespeed is cheaper.

    Lighttpd does not compatible with control panel. Very hard to config.
    yeah but you are gonna still have the "crappy" hardware with an optimized software.. not ideal..
    my2c

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    260
    Try one upgrade at a time and see how the performance changes.

    I recommend starting with a RAM upgrade since you are at 90% usage now.

    Go to 6 or 8 GB, whatever is offered by your server host and makes sense with your budget.

    Then if performance is still lagging, go to faster hardrives like SCSI 10k or 15k RPM. The choice of RAID is up to you.

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