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  1. #1

    Is this Normal ? Should I upgrade?

    Hey All,

    I run a social network that enables users to share, search, and download mobile files (ringtones, themes, ...etc). I'm getting 27,000 visits per day, generating over 600,000 page views per day, and currently have 400,000 users, with 1,500 new users on a daily basis.

    I use a Dual Xeon 3.6 GHz, 2 GB memory with a SATA hard-disk.

    The average CPU usage is 60%, I am not quite sure whether I should upgrade or not. Is it normal to operate such a site with 600,000 page views per day on a server with this specification? I guess what I am asking is, have I done enough optimization (i use memcache, optimized apache/mysql, eAccelarator, gzip compression)? Or do you think a server with these specification can handle more?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixtized View Post
    Hey All,

    I run a social network that enables users to share, search, and download mobile files (ringtones, themes, ...etc). I'm getting 27,000 visits per day, generating over 600,000 page views per day, and currently have 400,000 users, with 1,500 new users on a daily basis.

    I use a Dual Xeon 3.6 GHz, 2 GB memory with a SATA hard-disk.

    The average CPU usage is 60%, I am not quite sure whether I should upgrade or not. Is it normal to operate such a site with 600,000 page views per day on a server with this specification? I guess what I am asking is, have I done enough optimization (i use memcache, optimized apache/mysql, eAccelarator, gzip compression)? Or do you think a server with these specification can handle more?
    Depends how much CPU usage is growing over time. If you have enough money which you should be monetizing the site with, if you really have that many users, then you should go for a high end harpertown, or some high end quad core
    The server research guy

  3. #3
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    The question you should be asking is "do users experience slow access times" if yes then upgrade, I'm guessing your sites a php/mysql based system? Your system spec's should be-able to handle a million hits. Have you thought about offloading some of the site images onto another host/cdn?

  4. #4
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    If you're getting that much traffic, you have to be making some decent bucks off of the ads (unless you don't run any). I'd recommend to get a failover system setup and then even move to a CDN perhaps when your revenue grows. If you're running this on a single drive/server, that's a huge point of failure and I am sure downtime for you would be devastating.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TVLm View Post
    The question you should be asking is "do users experience slow access times" if yes then upgrade, I'm guessing your sites a php/mysql based system? Your system spec's should be-able to handle a million hits. Have you thought about offloading some of the site images onto another host/cdn?
    Yes the site crashes sometimes because of extra load (starts swapping like crazy)

    a million hits per day? million page-views per day you mean?

    As for the images, I though of using a thttpd to server the images (on the same server) to reduce the load, haven't done that yet.

    Thanks for the response

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by chrismo View Post
    Depends how much CPU usage is growing over time. If you have enough money which you should be monetizing the site with, if you really have that many users, then you should go for a high end harpertown, or some high end quad core
    I just submitted a request to upgrade for a Quad Core Xeon 3220 - 2.40GHz (Kentsfield) - 2 x 4MB cache, and I upgraded memory from 2 GB to 4 GB. Hope that helps.

    If you're getting that much traffic, you have to be making some decent bucks off of the ads (unless you don't run any). I'd recommend to get a failover system setup and then even move to a CDN perhaps when your revenue grows. If you're running this on a single drive/server, that's a huge point of failure and I am sure downtime for you would be devastating.
    I run ads but AdSense doesn't generate that much when most of site visitors are from the Middle East Anyhow, you're absolutely right about the single point of failure issue, could you please elaborate on the failover-system setup?

    Thanks for the info
    Last edited by unixtized; 01-29-2008 at 07:12 PM.

  7. #7

    Upgrade

    The BEST upgrade and it is essentially "free" is to get Windows 2003 64-bit (if ur app is 64-bit compatible). The benchmarkings that are out in public (whether it is a virtual server or dedicated). Most recent servers are already x64 compatible.

    You can expect about a 10-15% performance increase for doing nothing extra. It does depend on how ur app is written (i.e. old VB won't scale, but .net will).

    Furthermore, by going 64-bit you can add RAM to ur heart's content and ur not limited to 4 gig.

    So, I would seriously consider the 64-bit option as a way to get some extra bang for the buck and future RAM upgrades.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev4bart View Post
    You can expect about a 10-15% performance increase for doing nothing extra. It does depend on how ur app is written (i.e. old VB won't scale, but .net will).
    For the most part, we have seen slightly worse performance with 64 bit OSes. Can you show me the benchmarks which demonstrate the Core 2 architecture improves performance by just changing from the 32 bit to 64 bit OS.
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  9. #9
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    Also, the Enterprise edition of Windows Server 2003 (32bit) can use 32GB ram and the Datacenter edition can use 64GB ram.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    For the most part, we have seen slightly worse performance with 64 bit OSes. Can you show me the benchmarks which demonstrate the Core 2 architecture improves performance by just changing from the 32 bit to 64 bit OS.
    How about a 32 bit system with 4GB+ RAM (using PAE) vs. the same system but 64 bit?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    How about a 32 bit system with 4GB+ RAM (using PAE) vs. the same system but 64 bit?
    Yeah, we haven't done testing on that, which is partially why I'm interested in the benchmarks. :-)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    How about a 32 bit system with 4GB+ RAM (using PAE) vs. the same system but 64 bit?
    Is the PAE thingie the same on servers ( server 2003) as on desktops (XP)?
    By editing the settings in either regedit or boot.ini?
    I did something with the PAE back in 2004-2005 or so on a 32-bit XP.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vipeax View Post
    Is the PAE thingie the same on servers ( server 2003) as on desktops (XP)?
    By editing the settings in either regedit or boot.ini?
    I did something with the PAE back in 2004-2005 or so on a 32-bit XP.
    I believe PAE is part of the hugemem kernels.

  14. #14
    @Karl

    Here are some bechmarks:
    AMD Unix/LAMP Stack
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/363677/Ben...it-mode-Ubuntu

    Different results but overall definitely %-gains in the range (even more than I mentioned)

    VMWare (Virtual Servers) + SQL Server 2005 benchmarks:
    http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/SQLServerWorkloads.pdf
    (scroll down to conclusion)

    Of course, if your app is not compiled/native-scale to 64-bit. It will run in 32-bit mode in x64 architecture and run slower. Same thing, if u have 2 procs*4 cores at 2.0 gighz it will run slower than on a single proc single core 3.6 gighz if ur app is not multithreaded.

    @Viepax,

    If ur going to "waste" money on enterprise/datacenter 32-bit just to get more RAM ur wasting money. On SoftLayer for example, it costs 50-100/month more to get enterprise than standard windows 2003. Why would I do that? It a waste of 600-1200/year.

    Furthermore, u might get 16 gig of RAM on the server. Certain apps like SQL Server 2005 32-bit even if its installed on datacenter still can only access 3 gig of RAM max.

  15. #15
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    it costs 25$/month more for enterprise @ softlayer, 2nd: my applications dont run on 32bit.


    from SL:
    Windows Server 2003 Standard (32 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Standard (64 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 (32 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 (64 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 SP2 (32 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 SP2 (64 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Enterprise R2 (32 bit) $25 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Enterprise R2 (64 bit) $25 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Enterprise R2 SP2 (32 bit) $25 $0
    Windows Server 2003 Enterprise R2 SP2 (64 bit) $25 $0
    Windows Server 2008 Enterprise RC0 (32 bit) $0 $0
    Windows Server 2008 Enterprise RC0 (64 bit) $0 $0

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rev4bart View Post
    @Karl

    Here are some bechmarks:
    AMD Unix/LAMP Stack
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/363677/Ben...it-mode-Ubuntu

    Different results but overall definitely %-gains in the range (even more than I mentioned)

    VMWare (Virtual Servers) + SQL Server 2005 benchmarks:
    http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/SQLServerWorkloads.pdf
    (scroll down to conclusion)

    Of course, if your app is not compiled/native-scale to 64-bit. It will run in 32-bit mode in x64 architecture and run slower. Same thing, if u have 2 procs*4 cores at 2.0 gighz it will run slower than on a single proc single core 3.6 gighz if ur app is not multithreaded.
    Both of those are AMD tests... I KNOW AMD processors run better in 64 bit, as they are specifically designed to run at 64 bit. The question I asked was regarding the Core 2 architecture, which is basically 32 bit with some additional rules to work in 64 bit in order to address more memory.
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  17. #17
    @vipeax,

    Wrong...what did u pick the Pentium D series on special?

    If you pick the mid-range servers it is 50/month for Enterprise. If you pick the high-range servers it is 100/month. Spec out a server and add 16-32 gig of RAM. You will get something like the screen shot attached.

    My point being...its completely not worth 25, 50 or 100/month for enterprise (unless u have other reasons) just to get the RAM and run under 32-bit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Win2k3Ent.JPG  

  18. #18
    @Karl,

    Sorry, I didn't read ur post exactly talking about the Core Duo's. You probably are right about that (I know a decent amount hardware, but no expert). Wouldn't suprise me if it wasn't true 64 as Intel does cut corners just like the "quad core"

    I know we did benchmarks on 64-bit tempdb performance for SQL Server 2005 and it definitely did improve performance when doing sorting/grouping/ordering type operations. We are an Intel shop, but I do not know what exact SKU of the procs was tested.

    I also dealt with several vendors for enterprise applications and they all recommend 64-bit for memory/performance. Take MS for example....Exchange 2007 is 64-bit only. SharePoint 2007 is the last 32-bit release and don't quote me on this, but I think SQL 2008 will be the last 32-bit release as well. No doubt, these types of apps will have their instruction set optimized for 64-bit operations.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by unixtized View Post
    I just submitted a request to upgrade for a Quad Core Xeon 3220 - 2.40GHz (Kentsfield) - 2 x 4MB cache, and I upgraded memory from 2 GB to 4 GB. Hope that helps.



    I run ads but AdSense doesn't generate that much when most of site visitors are from the Middle East Anyhow, you're absolutely right about the single point of failure issue, could you please elaborate on the failover-system setup?

    Thanks for the info
    Personally I'd pay for a second server not an upgrade, with that volume and from personal experience you should be making about $400-500 a month (or switch to a different Ad provider, CPX interactive are quite good). It's better to remove your single point of failure. There are many different way to setup 2 systems, use round robin dns for a cheap/free load balancing solution. Use server1 as DB and server2 for http delivery. Setup server1 and server2 identically and use DB replication and rsync to sync user uploads.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TVLm View Post
    Personally I'd pay for a second server not an upgrade, with that volume and from personal experience you should be making about $400-500 a month (or switch to a different Ad provider, CPX interactive are quite good). It's better to remove your single point of failure. There are many different way to setup 2 systems, use round robin dns for a cheap/free load balancing solution. Use server1 as DB and server2 for http delivery. Setup server1 and server2 identically and use DB replication and rsync to sync user uploads.
    Thats very good info about the advertising.

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