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  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    If you host vBulletin - What are your vB stats and what are your server specs?

    I looking for my ugrade path. Currently, I am with zone.net on an 1152MB VPS and very happy. I'm only using half the RAM, so from a RAM standpoint I have plenty of headroom. However, I like to have an upgrade plan in place for when the time comes to move to dedicated.

    So, I am curious:

    How many people you have online at a time normally and at your peak times (number of people and what you timeout is for "whos online")?

    What server specs are: processor(s), RAM, Hardrives (SATA/SCSI, single drive/RAID)?

    10mbs or 100mbs port on server?

    Do you have any performance issues at peak?

    Also, if possible, a link to your forum.

    Thanks in advance. I am sure others, besides myself, will find this useful.
    BroncosForums - Broncos message board and live news feed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Anybody want to share?
    BroncosForums - Broncos message board and live news feed

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    UK
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    How big is your forum?

    Surprised its still lasted this long on a VPS if its a half decent size.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2006
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Only this site on the server www.elrincondelmanga.com <-- spanish forum

    With cookies set at 10 mins
    min people 300, avg 700-900, max 1200
    cpu: Q6600 (quad 2.4Ghz)
    Ram: 2gb (only 50mb left for buffer) fairly cetain i need couple more, should reduce loads too I guess.
    Db size: 1.2gb with 564,000 posts and 140'000 users
    HDDs: 2x36gb SAS drives in hardware Raid 1 +250gb SATA for backups
    Port: I have a 100mbit one, but only push 4.5mbits at peak. All in all about 30gbs out and 7 gbs in a day.
    Visitors: awstats claims 80'000 visitors a day, google analytics a more modest 52'000+ of which 36'000 are unique

    load: off peak 0.3~0.4, normal 0.5~0.7, peak 0.8~1.2

    Server runs perfectly fine at peak hour

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Seems the hard drive is the most important for forums. You can get by with 2GB of ram.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    2,750
    Threads: 18,051, Posts: 205,657, Members: 553

    Average people online is 40.

    Server is AMD Sempron(tm) Processor 2800+

    1GB Ram always sits around 271mb used, although it only has apache and exim running.

    80GB harddisk used 8GB - SATA Drives.

    Load average is normally around 0.60

    www.claretandbanter.co.uk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD Fanatic View Post
    Seems the hard drive is the most important for forums. You can get by with 2GB of ram.
    One thing I have wondered about, if the number of online users (logged in and guests) is in the 300-500 range is whether a single raptor will cut it, or if it needs to be scsi and/or a raid setup.

    It seems that a modest CPU and 2 gigs of RAM is good for quite a few users, but I can't quite get a feel for what is the minimum disk to not get bogged down with disk I/O.
    BroncosForums - Broncos message board and live news feed

  8. #8
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    Jan 2005
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    I guess the server is sufficient since not many members are posting messages. Writing to the hard disk is more disk I/O intensive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD Fanatic View Post
    I guess the server is sufficient since not many members are posting messages. Writing to the hard disk is more disk I/O intensive.
    Not sure exactly what you are saying here. I am not currently on a dedicated, but on a VPS where the host node has a Raid 10 made up of 15k scsi drives.

    What I am trying to get a feel for is if I need to move to a dedicated server once the football season starts back up and the message board traffic starts to peak on game day, and I have to move to a dedicated, I am trying to get a feel for specs.

    I am pretty sure a dual-core and 2 ghz will cut it, but what I am not sure is: sata vs. sata Raptor (10k) vs. scsi (10k) vs. raid. The price of the servers goes up pretty dramatically with each of those four drive options listed.
    BroncosForums - Broncos message board and live news feed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Raid 0 would probably cut it for you, or you could decide to use raptors. I don't really do forums too much any more but we always used Raid 0 or Raid 10 on the server we kept our forum on.

  11. #11
    RAID 0 will increase your chance of HDD failure, and when it does fail, you can't get your data back. I'd get a SCSI 10k/15k drive and a secondary SATA for backups.
    478east
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  12. #12
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    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by cristibighea View Post
    RAID 0 will increase your chance of HDD failure, and when it does fail, you can't get your data back. I'd get a SCSI 10k/15k drive and a secondary SATA for backups.
    I don't think that is the case at all, how would using raid increase the chance of HDD failure? And any HDD you fail you lose the data unless you back it up. Your theory is flawed, it makes no difference in chance of loosing data if you are using SCSI 10k or just raid 0, if you are worried then use raid 10 which does effectively the same thing as raid 0 but uses 4 drives and combines raid 0 and raid 1.

  13. #13
    My theory? You should spend some time documenting yourself a bit. A RAID0 functions differently to a single drive, as data is written to both drives on the same sector. If we were to take a failure rate of 5% on a single drive, having two drives in a RAID0, which offers no fault tolerance, would naturally increase the chances of failure and loss of data.

    A RAID5 will also be useful, as one drive will be able to fail without damaging the contents of the array, and will provide more space than a RAID10.
    478east
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  14. #14
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by cristibighea View Post
    My theory?
    Agreen although Raid0 has its benefits, it does indeed increase the risk by a factor of 2. 2bytes may be split one byte in each drive, so if one drive fails, the other one doesn't have enough info for it to be useful.

    Although Raid 10 is the best one regarding redundancy etc... I had to stick to Raid1 because I couldn't afford tht many SAS drives... It (raid1) might not have the write advantages of Raid0 but it does increase read time and increase your chances of a having oen standing drive with all the data

    I would never go with Raid0 in a server. Just too risky in my opinion. Besides even in an active forum most of the task is going to be "reading" (raid1) and not writing (raid0). The combination obviously is the best, but depends on the budget ^^

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
    I am pretty sure a dual-core and 2 ghz will cut it, but what I am not sure is: sata vs. sata Raptor (10k) vs. scsi (10k) vs. raid. The price of the servers goes up pretty dramatically with each of those four drive options listed.
    If so many people are writing messages at the same time I guess IO is quite important.
    I help to run a small/medium forum, with a 990 people online record and 500-600 average during peak hours, 543,671 messages on a simple 2x7200rpm sata drive setup (software raid1) and the Q6600 with 2gigs ram is almost idle all the time (0,70 of 4,00 during peaks). Also note on the same server I run a wordpress blog with 40-50.000 page views each day.

    CentOS 64bit helped quite a lot, at least with the stock kernel I use (on this server i have no kvm system installed, so i do not dare to recompile the kernel), 64bits got me a +10-15% speed increase.

    Don't know if it helps. Anyway I have shared what I know ;-)
    "I want" never gets ...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny-l View Post
    If so many people are writing messages at the same time I guess IO is quite important.
    I help to run a small/medium forum, with a 990 people online record and 500-600 average during peak hours, 543,671 messages on a simple 2x7200rpm sata drive setup (software raid1) and the Q6600 with 2gigs ram is almost idle all the time (0,70 of 4,00 during peaks). Also note on the same server I run a wordpress blog with 40-50.000 page views each day.

    CentOS 64bit helped quite a lot, at least with the stock kernel I use (on this server i have no kvm system installed, so i do not dare to recompile the kernel), 64bits got me a +10-15% speed increase.

    Don't know if it helps. Anyway I have shared what I know ;-)
    Thanks, it helps a lot. Your forum usage is what I see as the 'high' side of what I can expect this year, but that is what I am trying to develop a upgrade path to handle if I start having problems.

    Can I ask, are you running a vBulletin message board or PHPBB or another? I am not sure how they compare in terms of server, I/O loads, but I would imagine they would be similar.
    BroncosForums - Broncos message board and live news feed

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NolF View Post
    Agreen although Raid0 has its benefits, it does indeed increase the risk by a factor of 2. 2bytes may be split one byte in each drive, so if one drive fails, the other one doesn't have enough info for it to be useful.

    Although Raid 10 is the best one regarding redundancy etc... I had to stick to Raid1 because I couldn't afford tht many SAS drives... It (raid1) might not have the write advantages of Raid0 but it does increase read time and increase your chances of a having oen standing drive with all the data

    I would never go with Raid0 in a server. Just too risky in my opinion. Besides even in an active forum most of the task is going to be "reading" (raid1) and not writing (raid0). The combination obviously is the best, but depends on the budget ^^
    Again, one will fail and therefore you will loose the data. What is the difference between that and just having one SCSI drive failing? You still loose the data either way.

  18. #18
    Let's make this easier:

    You have one hdd. If it fails, you lose the data. (About 5% chance)

    You have two hdds in RAID0. If either of them has corrupted data or fails, the data is lost on both. (About 5% chance per disk).

    Still having doubts?

    Edit: sorry for hijacking the thread, trying to make a point .
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
    Thanks, it helps a lot. Your forum usage is what I see as the 'high' side of what I can expect this year, but that is what I am trying to develop a upgrade path to handle if I start having problems.
    Well, is important to note your forum could experience different "peaks" as the one I am used to. Seeing it is about sports infact, everyone could head to the forum during or just after a match, which is a different peak usage from mine.

    It's also important to note, to keep resource usage low, I don't employ any control panel (these are real performance - especially ram memory - killers), but I use plain linux systems.

    Anyway, as I also run a very busy wordpress blog on the same vbullettin server and I have never managed to see the load going over just 1 core out of 4 of my Q6600 cpu, i am confident a dual core with 2gigs ram will be MORE than enough for you under similar and slightly heavier loads.

    The way I see it, back to the VPS argument, the real issue would be RAM. Infact memory managment on virtuozzo, even with SLM is far from optimal (xen is another kettle of fish in my opinion): in my experience to achieve the same reliability of a 1gb ram dedicated server you need *at least* 1.5gb on a virtuozzo vps.
    I wouldn't worry about cpu instead, as these vps host machines tend to have 8 core powerful systems, but I/O could be an issue too - at times - depending on the i/o scheduler configuration. Think about it : on a 32GB ram typical host machine, 15 hi-end 2gb-each VPS would need to share a 4 disk 15.000rpm raid10 array ? Well it's enough to do the math to understand a simple consumer grade sata disk - if dedicated - would be still faster than a topo scsi array/15 big users (as the ones likely to buy a 2gb vps).

    Can I ask, are you running a vBulletin message board or PHPBB or another? I am not sure how they compare in terms of server, I/O loads, but I would imagine they would be similar.
    I run Vbullettin. And in my experience is the lightest and more optimized forum under loads (I have never tried invision anyway, but i know smf and phbb).

    I run it with VBseo extensions, some mods (not too much), Apache 2.2 + Php 5.x stock version of centos 5.1, and custom compiled x-cache as an opcoder (loaded as a zend extension, using 192mb cache out of 2gb of my server): which in my opinion gives a really nice performance boost.

    Though I am not exactly a forum expert (my major experience is with wordpress servers) feel free to ask if you have any addictional question about my configuration. Hope it helps.
    "I want" never gets ...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggerboy View Post
    Again, one will fail and therefore you will loose the data. What is the difference between that and just having one SCSI drive failing? You still loose the data either way.
    Have you ever studied calculus of probability ?

    The chance at least 1 of 2 disks failing are way higher than the chance of just 1 disk failing. So a single disk is better than raid-0 as for reliability. At least on a probabilistic side. I second cristibighea.

    Check for yourself here
    "I want" never gets ...

  21. #21
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    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Of course the chance is higher, are the benefits worth it though? If you have data backed up then you should be fine.

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