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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    40

    Specs Recommendation

    If there is already a thread for this, please refer me. I could not find anything on this so I am starting a new one.
    Most seems to be looking for a site with their own specifications, I just don't know much as to what to get.

    I run a dynamic site and IPB forum that usually has 50-60 users concurrently. I am using godaddy's shared account, and its not able to handle to load so I decided to upgrade to dedicated.
    There is quite likely that once my server is able to stand the user load, I would average atleast 100-120 users.
    Each page of the website is about 60-70kb and has 4-5 sql queries. The forum has a shoutbox on each page which also puts load on the server, but its one of the way my site is active so its essential to have it on each page for convenience.
    The website takes up 2-3gb with files, and database is about 300mb. The site needs 400gb of bandwidth each month, probably rise up to 600gb.

    As for my knowledge level, I have used a vps with cpanel/whm, so I know how to create a cpanel account and such basics, and I have used ssh to install p7zip and use the program. I am not much knowledgeable on setting up ftp accounts and creating databases without usage of some sort of control panel on linux OS. I do run xampp on my home computer, but never worked with a linux OS.

    As for my budget, I can go up to $80. I need help up with deciding as to what kind of specifications should I look for when choosing a dedicated box.
    What kind of processor?
    How much ram?
    Which OS would you recommend?
    Would 10mbps suffice, or 100mbps is needed?
    Can webmin do what I need to, directadmin, or cpanel/whm is the only way to go?
    I only need 2 ips, and use a domain which I have already registered.

    Any help you can give me, I would highly appreciate it.

    Thank you if you took the time to read my post, I hope to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga, USA
    Posts
    35
    Due to your low disk space and bandwidth requirements you will not have any trouble finding a dedicated box to meet your needs. 10mbit port is plenty fast enough to push a few hundred gigs per month.

    512mb/ram may be enough since your DB is only 300mb but I think you will be able to find a server with 1GB in your price range. Having enough ram is key to making the server feel fast.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    40
    I am sure 10mb will provide enough bandwidth. What I am concenred about is speed for the users. Currently it takes 2-3 seconds for a page to load, I am afraid that if I switch to 10mbit then it will take longer for page to load and frustrate my users.
    Thank you for your post. I thought I could also try and experiment with different specs and see how it goes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga, USA
    Posts
    35
    Quote Originally Posted by hsbsitez View Post
    I am sure 10mb will provide enough bandwidth. What I am concenred about is speed for the users. Currently it takes 2-3 seconds for a page to load, I am afraid that if I switch to 10mbit then it will take longer for page to load and frustrate my users.
    Thank you for your post. I thought I could also try and experiment with different specs and see how it goes.
    That really sounds like a server problem not a network speed issue. Most of your visitors will have a maximum download speed of ~3mbit. From your first post I assume you mean 50-60 users are "active" on the forum at a time, not 50-60 concurrent downloads. Suppose the average page view time is 30 seconds. You would still only have about 2 users actively transferring data.

    The nature of forums means many small requests coming to your server for html pages, smileys, avatars, and the occasional larger file. The slow page loads are probably due to latency not bandwidth issues. Most likely your web server is doing a lot of swapping as it accesses the database and pulls small files because there is not enough ram.

    Without specific information on your site/server I can't offer much more assistance.
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  5. #5
    price is good enough for low end dedicated server but i think it will totally match with your requirement.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    40
    I decided to try out a dedicated from Hostgator with the specs:
    Pentium 4 2.4Ghz
    1gb Ram
    The server was running slower than when I had it on a shared account. So I made the forum show the shoutbox only on the index page.
    I updated my queries to with inner join and stopped using a webstat script for each page. The page started to load faster but users are receiving mysql error "Max_user_connections" reached. I need to contact my support and figure out if i can change that, but I have not because of the cpu load. I am afraid I might increase it.

    I have Whm/Cpanel installed and its shows Apache Status:
    Server uptime: 8 days 46 minutes 44 seconds
    Total accesses: 13247459 - Total Traffic: 76.0 GB
    CPU Usage: u224.19 s270.49 cu0 cs0 - .0713% CPU load
    19.1 requests/sec - 114.9 kB/second - 6.0 kB/request
    Can someone help me interpret "CPU Usage: u224.19 s270.49 cu0 cs0 - .0713% CPU load"?

    When i go to CPU/Memory/MySQL Usage it shows everything in red so I am guessing its all bad
    01-17-2008 : Nobody 110.49 %CPU 71.51 %MEM;
    mysql 35.43%CPU 7.87%MEM

    01-18-2008 : Nobody 112.57 %CPU 79.28 %MEM;
    mysql 36.08%CPU 7.01%MEM

    01-19-2008 : Nobody 119.43 %CPU 46.22 %MEM;
    mysql 36.71%CPU 7.52%MEM
    Top Process %CPU 63.0 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start -DSSL
    Top Process %CPU 49.7 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start -DSSL
    Top Process %CPU 41.0 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -k start -DSSL
    I would appreciation an interpreation on these % in comparison as to what is 'normal' or a good cpu usage will be? I am not sure what kind of numbers should I be seeing nor am I able to comprehend how bad is this much cpu usage.

    I am using Invision Power Board as the script for my forum and it has an ajax shoutbox on the index page. I want to have it on all pages.
    Furthermore on the website, each page has 5-6 queries.
    The website Page Size: 92 K
    The Forum Index size: 131 K; Gzipped Size: 18 K

    I am not worried about bandwidth usage. The forum compression is a default feature of the site, and I dont know how much it contibutes to the cpu usage postively or if its negative.

    What I want to know is what I need to do to better serve my users. Do I need a faster cpu? More ram? Is there any other way I can obtimize the server itself?
    If I have the database on another server, would that help or just increase cpu on apache because it has to connect to different server?

    Let me know if there is some other information you need to better help me or need something clarified.
    Last edited by writespeak; 01-20-2008 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Edited by request

  7. #7
    You can get that error from mySQL, here are some things to try:

    These errors can be prevented by making some coding tweaks into your code.

    1. Use of mysql_connect() for connections to mysql dbs in your code.

    The advantage is :

    "The link to the server will be closed as soon as the execution of the script ends, unless it's closed earlier by explicitly calling mysql_close()."

    2. Use of mysql_close() explicitly. Although mysql_connect() closes the connections, use of mysql_close() in conjunction with it would make sure that the connection is totally closed.

    3. Prevent use of mysql_pconnect(). The disadvantage is :

    "The connection to the SQL server will not be closed when the execution of the script ends. Instead, the link will remain open for future use (mysql_close() will not close links established by mysql_pconnect)"

    I am not a php expert or mysql expert in any case. So if any programmer would like to add some more tips & tricks to this, they are always welcome.

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