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  1. #1

    Comparing 2 server specs

    Hey guys, just joined up and hoping I can find some advice.

    At our current host we have 2 dedicated servers that were working OK. Last week our PHP server both died and we decided to upgrade it to a better spec machine, not long after the SQL server died and was replaced.

    Since the website hasn't been running properly. The PHP server, which ran fine before the SQL server died, now has a load of 20+ and runs ridiculously slow most of the time. Our host say the configurations of the machines are the same as before they were changed.

    I have a quote from another company that I hear are reliable. Apparently the spec is much better than my current host but I don't want to just take their word for it, as moving is going to be an ordeal. The new server will cost $500 a month extra.

    One thing that concerns me is the web server processor being 4 core vs 8. Though the new host say that their 4 core is still 50% faster.

    Current server spec

    Web server: Dedicated Server - Dual 5405 / 4x250gb sata / 12gb ram / Raid 10
    SQL server: Dedicated Server - Sun Dual Opteron 2.4ghz / 16gb ram / 147gb scsi

    New server spec

    Web server: Single Processor Quad Core Xeon 5520 - 2.26GHz (Nehalem) /solid state drives / 147GB SAS 15,000 RPM x 3 / 12GB DDR3 / Raid 5
    SQL server: Single Processor Quad Core Xeon 5550 - 2.66GHz (Nehalem) / 12 GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM / Raid 5 / 3 x 80GB solid state drives

    Both have Cpanel

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    The single Nehalem won't beat two Harpertown Quad Cores.

    I'm having a bit of trouble understanding why you place cPanel on both servers, and why you plan to have SSDs in the SQL server, are you really doing that much HDD activity? Are your servers optimized?
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  3. #3
    When I said both have Cpanel, I meant both the new and old servers have cpanel. Not both the web and SQL.

    The servers are optimized well.

    The solid state drives, were recommended by the new host. Though I'm confused also, as to why they were on the SQL server and not the web server. We have lots of image based galleries and so it would have made sense for them to be on the webserver, at least to my limited knowledge. I'll obviously have to question it.

    So confusions aside, does anybody have an idea of how these 2 specs compare and whether the new server is worth the extra money?


  4. #4
    Well, your host assumed you will be doing a lot of I/O work on the SQL servers, so you might need SSD drives (lots of writes and reads performed to the disk).

    Depending on how many images you're serving, I somewhat doubt you need 15K SA-SCSI drives on the first server, and can deal with SATA-II in RAID-5, assuming you are looking to push up to 100mbps worth of data, because if you're on a 1gbps line and frequently push a lot, those SA-SCSI are well needed.

    Haven't mentioned it in my previous post, but for the DB server, the new processor is faster than the old Opteron setup.
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  5. #5
    That was fun, wrote out my post and hit submit, to be told I need 5 posts to use bbcode, clicked back and the post area was blank.

    Anyway thanks for the info on the processor. I think beside that and the solid state drives, the specs appear very similar.

    Our SQL server does get busy. I talked to the current host about a 1GBS line and they said we don't need it as we don't reach the limit of 100MBS so it wouldn't be worthwhile. The new host said it would benefit us. Logically I'd agree with my current host but then I don't understand the technicalities.

    The issue at the current host is random slow downs. Which are usually waiting for the URL to respond. Which I'm guessing is the SQL server.

    Though recently after the SQL server died, the PHP servers load has increased significantly. The host can't find out why. It's becoming frustrating and far too much of my time is taken up with server issues.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    First off reducing the number of cores in an webserver does not mean it is slower, it more over shows that your last configuration was overpowered. The component that slows computers down these days is the hard disk that is right but so adding so much faster hard disk is the right step. Nevertheless I am not sure if you should really investigate in so many solid state discs (SSD) as especially those make the servers really expensive, just ask your new company for an configuration without the SSDs to compare the price.

  7. #7
    Hi Xojac, we've not moved yet. So I don't know how the new server will perform. So I'm not entirely sure we can conclude that the old server is overpowered?

    I spoke to the current host about SSD and they said they'd recommend a RAID10 setup, which is what we went for at the time.

    The delay seems to come from the wait for w w w to respond. Is this likely to be the SQL server?

    Thanks to the replies so far.

  8. #8
    There are programs to diagnose MySQL performance, but if you have to keep adding on hardware, you may want to check your application and see if some optimizations can be done there, as well as on the MySQL table structure and keys.
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