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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    [vBulletin] dedicated server advice

    Hi fellas
    I've been lurking on this site for ages, specially in times of very needed sound advice. Last year I had a major issue with my forum software and it was through here that I got it fixed (moved to vBulletin).

    Anyways since then we've grown to 5 times our size last year. With about 30'000 unique visits each day and 50'000 visits according to Google analytics, the load on our shared hosting is simply too much. Thank god we had the best service provider (comvive es). But its definitely time to move to a dedicated server.

    With a normal load of 800 users and maximums of 1400 (min is 300), we are probably going to need something good. However I don't have a clue (really) of what sort of system would we need to provided fast and reliable service to our users.


    * Among other useful information you might need, at the moment we are pushing around 630gbs a month

    * One third of the users are from Spain, the rest are mainly from America [continent] (south mainly) as its a Spanish forum.
    Database size 900mbs. FTP size 2gbs (some backups in there) (otherwise only vBulletin and old files)

    * We are trying to get the servers for around 200 up to ~300 USD (could try to go a bit higher if the benefits justify the cost). We do not make much from the site as we are not for the profit, however that policy is affecting our economical capabilities now hopefully ads will soon start making a difference

    * It has to be fully managed. Non of my staff knows how to run a server. All I know to do as webmaster is to use cPanel to create dbs (not much any more though) use phpmyadmin and install vBulletin, and use FTP. The rest is alien to me, and I would rather not know about the inner workings ^.^

    * I would need a professional to move my site from one place to another (no I'm not stingy I'll pay for it if needed, although some companies seem (or used) to do it.


    This are a couple of hosting options I've considered. The latter one is more appealing though, as I don't have to choose OS or anything really, the management seems to be great, updates etc...

    1st ----
    www softlayer com/servers_spmc_compare html
    the xeon 3000 series the
    CPU Xeon 3220
    HDD 2x 250 SATA raid 1
    2000 gb bandwidth ina 10mbit port
    2gb ram 667 mhz
    price 270$ aprox

    2nd-- something from
    www jonesolutions com/dedicated html

    ------
    I don't really know what sort of power the site needs I'm open to all sort of suggestions, and further questions. You may disagree with the tight budget etc... Anything as long as it's helpful ^.^

    Thanks guys
    NolF

    PS (darn 5 post rule, post looked better with bbcode, sorry to your eyes)

  2. #2
    You may want to try and look for a fully managed server closer to the East Coast of the USA to get good speeds to Europe too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Clearwater, FL
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    I don't think your budget is out of line. You should be able to find an adequate server that is fully managed. You can check the offers section here on WHT. When you do find a couple providers that you are interested in, try testing their speed and search the reviews section here on WHT as well. Remember to ask questions about what's included and if you should expect any other fees.

    I also agree with Christi, you should try to find a provider that is in the southeastern part of the states for latency purposes.

    Good luck on the search
    David Infinger - Sago Networks -
    Dedicated Servers | Colocation | Load Balanced Clusters | 2 World Class Datacenters | Affordable Management
    (866) 366-3640 Extn. 3020
    AIM: SagoDavid | Yahoo: Sago_David | ICQ: 405357708

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Montevideo
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    try rackspace.com and their "fanatical support", softlayer is quite good
    but don't know about how are theirs managed plans / support in managed servers

    if rackspace is as they say they are, then you have nothing to worry about =)

    also if you check at the bottom of this web page you'll see that WHT is
    hosted in RackSpace

    good luck with your search and give us feedback about your provider choice !!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    * Among other useful information you might need, at the moment we are pushing around 630gbs a month
    This won't be an issue, because basically every dedicated server company can & will be able to provide you with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    * One third of the users are from Spain, the rest are mainly from America [continent] (south mainly) as its a Spanish forum.
    Database size 900mbs. FTP size 2gbs (some backups in there) (otherwise only vBulletin and old files)

    Because about 33% of your visistors are from Europe, I would recommend you to look for a server at the east Coast of the US, this will drop the pings by 100 compared to a server at the West Coast and by about 50 compared to the Center of the US, for your European visitors.

    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    * We are trying to get the servers for around 200 up to ~300 USD (could try to go a bit higher if the benefits justify the cost). We do not make much from the site as we are not for the profit, however that policy is affecting our economical capabilities now hopefully ads will soon start making a difference.
    For your needs, your budget is fine

    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    * It has to be fully managed. Non of my staff knows how to run a server. All I know to do as webmaster is to use cPanel to create dbs (not much any more though) use phpmyadmin and install vBulletin, and use FTP. The rest is alien to me, and I would rather not know about the inner workings ^.^
    You could go either with a host that does management or go with a management company like PSM.

    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    * I would need a professional to move my site from one place to another (no I'm not stingy I'll pay for it if needed, although some companies seem (or used) to do it.
    This something every host that cares about his customers, will do for you.

  6. #6
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    When someone asks for hosting/servers in Europe i alsways suggest Netherlands. The connections are excellent, the prices there are good and the guys who run web hosts are good in customer support... or at leaset better than those in many other countries.
    DawHB.com - Web Hosting Blog | VPSHostDir.com - VPS Hosting Media

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawhb View Post
    When someone asks for hosting/servers in Europe i alsways suggest Netherlands. The connections are excellent, the prices there are good and the guys who run web hosts are good in customer support... or at leaset better than those in many other countries.
    There are plenty of good hosts here indeed, but they are also more expensive


    * One third of the users are from Spain, the rest are mainly from America
    Because 2/3 of the visitors are from America, I would suggest picking a host in that area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    ask your current host what the server specs are.
    Sneaky Little Hobbitses

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by cristibighea View Post
    You may want to try and look for a fully managed server closer to the East Coast of the USA to get good speeds to Europe too.
    How to simply choose a server IN the EU?
    They're also as fast to US as US servers would be to EU, for sure.

    try plusserver.de

    Great advice for such high claims!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturmnacht View Post
    How to simply choose a server IN the EU?
    They're also as fast to US as US servers would be to EU, for sure.

    try plusserver.de

    Great advice for such high claims!

    No they are not..... Out of gaming experience I know that EU servers are worse for US players than US servers for EU players.

    The TS says Spanish speaking Americans, basically South-America. Which makes the US a central place, fair for both the Europeans and the Americans.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    SL is having Free HDD and RAM again, so you can get this:

    Single Processor Quad Core Intel Xeon 3220
     Processor: 3220– 2.4GHz
     2 x 4MB CPU Cache
    4GB FB-DIMM RAM , 2X 250GB SATAII
     KVM over IP Access / Reboot
     2000GB Public Bandwidth
     Unmetered Private Network Bandwidth
     5 Public IP Addresses
     Windows / RHEL / CentOS

    199$ + 25 Cpanel + 30-45$ for mangement service
    About 260$ a month and you are set.


    2 x 250GB SATAII HDD
    $199/mo NO SETUP
    <<please see forum rules for signature formatting guidelines>>

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    (i would use quotes but no bbcodes yet)

    # Location of the server South-East
    So should I be looking at Texas? Chicago looks like it has good data centers there too. Open to suggestions here, range of places on the suggested area.

    I was wondering though. I connect from Australia to my site (hosted in Spain) about 400ms latency, 50 or 100 doesn't to be too significant for them considering the latencies I'm surfing on.

    # European hosting
    problem with Netherlands and Europe in general is that they use €uros, making everything automatically more expensive. The American dollar has excellent exchange rates with most other currencies at the moment, and it wouldn't hurt to get some money over to help :^).
    It would be a disaster to outsource this too.

    # the request for server aspects
    Dell SC1425
    Xeon 3.2 Ghz
    4 Gb Ram
    2 x 250 GB HDD
    100 Mbits Network port

    In addition my host informed us that we push a max of 10mbits at rush hours. I guess what would be nice is to have a 100Mbit port shaped to 1.5 or 2Tbs, so when it matters it goes fast.

    That server is shared, but apparently we use up to 90% of the requests (petitions) on that server.

    # @ SL ram + HDD offer
    Nice, that would save a substantial amount per month

    # @ my required hardware
    Is the hardware I'm looking at good enough? Dual/Quad at x/y GHz? How much ram would you suggest or CPU for that matter.
    I think this is the most important aspect before going out to hunt down the best option around. Knowing what I'm looking for would help immensely.

    Thanks for your replies, I'll be looking forward to your responses. And don't worry I'll tell you what server I'll be going to, and write a review on my current host at due time.

    cya
    NolF

  13. #13
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    That setup looks good just ,

    Softlayer's double Ram/HD offer, only goes for their Seattle datacenter this time:

    SoftLayer Featured Special
    FREE Double Default RAM AND Double Default Drive on any Server Base Priced $179.00 or Higher in our Seattle DC!

  14. #14
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    The server you mentioned is more than enough especially if you optimize it properly. In fact, even with old dual xeon can handle it as long as you have good drives with great optimization for apache and mysql.

    If your concern is the speed also from your location, I would recommend you to ask for an ip to ping from SL if you are going to that route.

    Good Luck!


    Net
    Specially 4 You
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com ( Jones.Solutions ) is on the net 24/7 providing stable and reliable web hosting solutions and services since 2001

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    * I would need a professional to move my site from one place to another (no I'm not stingy I'll pay for it if needed, although some companies seem (or used) to do it.
    Most dedicated companies would not do that job, we use do it in our company, but our prices are higher that you are looking for as we sell 100% managed servers.

    Nice to see other spanish users here, i'm from spain also

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    I can look after your board movement etc if you want (even admin it if you need)

    I admin a bunch of bigboards around, we use sagonet for most of them

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Thx for your suggestions guys here is what I've got so far (is not as long as it seems it is just well formated (i hope)

    For unmanaged server we got two/three managing companies
    • acunett.com (150 outsourced) seem to very extremely good however if the server is not with them its a 150$/server...
    • touchsupport.com (50/100) also seem to be very good and the Lite package feels good enough
    • rack911.com (100+) seems to do managing yet I feel these guys are better as a one time thing
    --
    Then as unmanaged hostings we have. (Note location doesn't really matter)
    • SoftaLayer 220$/month --unmanaged
      • (Quad) Xeon 3220 - 2.40GHz
      • 2 GB DDR2 667
      • 1x250Gb SATA II
      • 100 Mbit port / 2000Gb transfer
      • Can't afford Raid 1 with them
      • 20 GB NAS (Don't really understand the differences)
      Comments:
      • They seem to have a fair bit of negative reviews
      • With management the total price is 270+
      • Location (Dallas)
    • Netdepot 174$/month + 415$ setup --unmanaged
      • Intel C2Q Q660 2.4GHz
      • 2x250Gb HDDs (1 included 1 buydown $113)
      • Raid 0/1 card ($229 buydown)
      • 2000Gbs GNAX Gold bandwidth (100mbit port')
      • Ram 2Gb ($58 buydown)
      • 10Gb back up space
      Comments:
      • Excellent buy down feature (pays off in 6 months)
      • Very low per month cost (I prefer to pay a set up fee and keep it low)
      • Very good location Atlanta, south east, good for SA and EU
      • Good reviews
      • Has RAID 1 DDDDD
    • FDC Servers 199$/month + 399$ setup --unmanaged
      • CPU - Core2Duo 6550 2.33GHz
      • Memory - 2GB RAM]
      • 2x400GB HDD (1 included + $199 buydown)
      • 100Mbit port - full duplex Unmetered
      • Raid 0/1 ($200 buydown)
      Comments:
      • Raid 1
      • Lots of space that I won't be using
      • It's "only" a dual core
      • Includes cPanel (probably won't use it though)
      • Unmetered 100bit port (could allow my users to share pics etc)
      • Not the best reviews but not a bad host
      • Location Chicago
    --
    Then as managed hostings we have. (Note location doesn't really matter)
    • Ubiquityservers 264$/month + 600$ setup --managed incl
      • Intel C2Q Q660 2.4GHz
      • 2x160GB Sata II in RAID 1 (software? $25+ from 1x160gb)
      • 2Gb RAM
      • 1.5Gbs Monthly transfer (100mbps port?)
      • Fully managed (+$100 month)
      • 10Gbs external backup
      Comments:
      • Too few reviews
      • Not convinced with RAID1
      • SLA?
    • Jonesolutions 239$/month + 99$Setup --managed incl
      • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz)
      • 2 x 320 GB 7200 SATAII 16 MB HD's
      • 2048 MB Dual Channel DDR2 Ram
      • Bandwidth: 2250 GB per month on a 100Mbit port
      • Fully managed
      Comments:
      • Very convincing SLA
      • Good reviews
      • Good machine
      • Location Phoenix Arizona (good for Australia )
    • Sagonet 254$/month --managed incl
      • Pentium 3.0GHz Dual Core
      • 4Gb RAM
      • 2x160Gb HDD (don't see a RAID card option)
      • 1500Gb transfer on a 100mbit port
      • "Allmanaged Administration Level II" (biweekly +65$?)
      • 20gbs Backup storage (10$)
      Comments:
      • Not enough reviews (convincing ones at least)
      • Good location (Florida) [Huricanes? ]
    • Acunett 219$/month + 470$ setup --managed incl
      • Quad Core Kentsfield Q6600 2.4GHz
      • 2048MB DDRII 667 Ram (Up to 16GB)
      • 2x250GB SATA II 16MB (Up to 4 Drives) (1 included + 1 buydown $220)
      • 2000GB Transfer
      • Raid 0/1 card (buydown $250)
      Comments:
      • 7 month buydowns
      • Raid 1
      • Location Dallas TX
      • Very very good reviews.
      • Convincing SLA
    ---
    Buff that was a short "summary"... hope people see the thread (again) and respond in kind ^^

    Big ta from Australia

    EDIT: my favs are acunett or netdepot + touchsupport, but I like also all the other options)
    Last edited by NolF; 02-23-2008 at 11:33 AM.

  18. #18
    Those look like pretty good options, think I would go with management services directly from the dedicated server company since they actually have on-site staff. As for SLA, you will see things like 8 hour service extension for 15 minutes of downtime. Getting 3 days credit for 3 hours downtime isn't really comforting depending on how important your business is. I wouldn't rely so much on the guarantees and rely on customer reviews more.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    [*]Sagonet 254$/month --managed incl
    • Pentium 3.0GHz Dual Core
    • 4Gb RAM
    • 2x160Gb HDD (don't see a RAID card option)
    • 1500Gb transfer on a 100mbit port
    • "Allmanaged Administration Level II" (biweekly +65$?)
    • 20gbs Backup storage (10$)
    Comments:
    • Not enough reviews (convincing ones at least)
    • Good location (Florida) [Huricanes? ]

    Hello No1F,

    You can add the RAID option to your server(s) at the time of ordering at no charge. Just request it in the notes.

    To comment on your hurricane comment. We have Data Centers in Tampa as well as Atlanta, you would just need to request Atlanta if you are concerned about hurricanes. Also, Tampa or the Tampa Bay Area, has not been hit with a major hurricane since 1921. We also have raised flooring, ability to sandbag water entry points, and various topographical advantages of the reservoir for drainage to the east of our building.
    David Infinger - Sago Networks -
    Dedicated Servers | Colocation | Load Balanced Clusters | 2 World Class Datacenters | Affordable Management
    (866) 366-3640 Extn. 3020
    AIM: SagoDavid | Yahoo: Sago_David | ICQ: 405357708

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Perth, Australia
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    Good to know about the raid option

    Although I added the hurricane bit more as a innocent comment I find power issues to to such storms more concerning than flooding. Having the server up in Atlanta would be the solution to sleepless nights though.
    I'm glad, however, that this things have been taken into consideration when designing and building this places


    ///* so many good choices *///

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    [*]Ubiquityservers 264$/month + 600$ setup --managed incl
    • Intel C2Q Q660 2.4GHz
    • 2x160GB Sata II in RAID 1 (software? $25+ from 1x160gb)
    • 2Gb RAM
    • 1.5Gbs Monthly transfer (100mbps port?)
    • Fully managed (+$100 month)
    • 10Gbs external backup
    Comments:
    • Too few reviews
    • Not convinced with RAID1
    • SLA?
    Thanks for the mention NolF. To clear up the questions you'd raised above, we do offer most any variety of custom hardware, especially RAID, and we do have a network and power uptime SLA as well.

    Default RAID Options (also in the order system grouped with hard disks)
    http://www.ubiquityservers.com/more/server-hardware.php

    Service Level Agreement (linked on the main page)
    http://www.ubiquityservers.com/sla.php
    Corey Northcutt | Northcutt
    Competitive inbound marketing with a hosting industry competency.
    Social | Content | Optimization | Outreach

  22. #22
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    Dec 2006
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    Perth, Australia
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    I just read something very disturbing as my situation is rather similar here is the post
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpo...0&postcount=15
    Even though we don't have 300k registered users, we do fulfill the 1000+ users bit (which is more important than registered)[people don't bother registering in open forums]

    I'm concerned with the system they are usingto solve I/O and max_connections and slowness in general. According to phpmyadmin we have a ~85 queries/second (8 days avg) and I wouldn't be surprised that when I move it won't increase as my max users online is being limited by max_connections (darn that gives a bad image )

    anyways... 3 servers to get that forum running properly? Don't know their db size (mine isn't over 1Gb) but it certainly got me thinking.
    I was most probabily going to go with the acunett option (mentioned above #17) but will it cope ?

  23. #23
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  24. #24
    Join Date
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    Franklin, TN, USA
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    NolF,

    It is quite an honor to see we are on your list!

    If you are going with a Quad Core, make sure you run the latest MySQL 5 version. Earlier versions of MySQL5, as well as prior versions of MySQL (3.5, 4, 4.1), thread terribly. As a matter of fact with those versions, performance on the quad cores will actually underperform compared to single core or dual core machines.

    For such a heavy forum, I would recommend 15K SAS Drives, or RAID'd SATA II Drives. You also want to look for a server with a much higher FSB and clock speed (Woodcrest, Harpertown, higher-end Clovertowns).

    I would like to clarify that our outsourced support plans are for end user support. I believe what you are looking for is server management. The cost for that from us is $50/month with a server, or $65/month $35 setup for a server from another provider.

    (Mods, I am providing a correction to op's post, if it's against the rules feel free to edit!)
    Last edited by AcuNett; 03-04-2008 at 10:23 PM.
    Linux Problems Solved. | Built for the Hosting Industry
    Server Management. Node Management. Helpdesk Management.
    ( AcuNett, Est. 15 Years, RateLobby 5 Stars )

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Good to see you here

    Sorry about the incorrect information on your outsourced server management plan, I have no idea how I came up with 150$. When I noticed it was 65$ + setup it was too late to edit

    Regarding the MySQL I wasn't aware of the threading issues older version had (don't know much about servers yet, just what threads actually are) so thanks for the tip, will certainly be going with the latest version. No wonder my current hosting has issues with us...

    SAS drives are a bit too expensive for us at the moment unfortunately. We need to keep the monthly cost down, but don't have the money for SAS (36gb) + raid 1 buy down. I guess SATAs in raid 1 should do the trick for the moment

    The CPUs were and are an issue. I wasn't sure about the processing power our site uses (our current hosting isn't very helpful either giving some idea of what we use) so the Q6600 seem the best options, 4 cores at an acceptable 2.4... Obviously not the best out there, but at out price range it certainly seems like the best option.

    Thanks for your comments
    I'll probably be contacting you guys soon

  26. #26
    I would recommend SoftLayer out of all of those hosts, on their Dallas datacenter, also get the $10 or $20 (100Mbit for $10, 1Gbit for $20) port upgrades, and you will get very good speeds. It's well worth the money.

    I would them recommend for $29, get Platinum Server Management to manage your server.

  27. #27
    Heya,


    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    www softlayer com/servers_spmc_compare html
    the xeon 3000 series the
    CPU Xeon 3220
    HDD 2x 250 SATA raid 1
    2000 gb bandwidth ina 10mbit port
    2gb ram 667 mhz
    price 270$ aprox
    If your forum is the only service (basically) running on your server, then you can get by with a lot less than the above (even if it is a nice setup). Do you have an idea on how many queries per second your forum generates?

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Perth, Australia
    Posts
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    Yes, we have 85 queries/ second (week's average) I imagine that at rush hours this number grows significantly

  29. #29
    A major hazzle I've noticed when running a vBulletin board is that often the actual forum perfomance (even for the kind of forum that you have) is fine, but when you want to run a backup - the whole system can seem to almost grind to a halt... Then again, you don't know until you have tried (and you can always trim your vBulletin installation if you get into any performance issues - at least as a temporary measure)

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