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View Full Version : When you outgrew your server....


Lynne
20 Jan 2007, 04:47
did you move to two dedicated servers (one for apache, one for mysql) or did you go for a better configuration (like RAID-10 which seems to be the favored RAID configuration over on vb.com)?

We've been on a Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz server now for almost 2 years. We have an average of 300 users online at a time, 7000 unique visitors a day, and we have a tracker on the site with about 9000 peers. Other stats: Threads: 30,054, Posts: 498,548, Members: 72,520 (we prune all members that are inactive for six months), Post per Day: 600, Registrations per Day: 180

Anyway, I think we are right at that point where we need to consider something more for our site. In November I added another hard drive to the server and move the database onto it and that has helped for now. But, I'm looking into our next step and it seems that people either get a better configuration for their server (the RAID) or they move to two servers. So, I'm wondering what many of you Big Boarders did (we are just about there!) when you first had to upgrade from your first dedicated server.

amcd
03 Feb 2007, 06:41
More hard disks, bigger hard disks, faster hard disks, different RAID level and ultimately all disk based solutions. If you are heavily disk dependant, you are doing something wrong anyway. RAM and more RAM will help you. Disks are for storage. They should not be accessed for normal operation. Anything which is accessed frequently should be in RAM, and that includes php files, css and js files, buttons, smilies and icons, most of the database and even the avatars and signature pics of the most active users.

If you are running a php tracker, think about moving to a better tracker.

Once you outgrow your server, shifting from single disks to RAID will not do you much good if you already have loads of RAM and are not accessing the disk every other second. The only path then is to move the database to a separate server.

Ntfu2
03 Feb 2007, 10:54
Sometimes throwing more hardware at it isn't even going to be a solution. Maybe try to find if any scripts are hogging resources then research alternative options, just locating where everything is bottle necking could save you tons of hosting fee's and unnecessary hardware upgrades.

Brad
04 Feb 2007, 12:51
Sometimes throwing more hardware at it isn't even going to be a solution. Maybe try to find if any scripts are hogging resources then research alternative options, just locating where everything is bottle necking could save you tons of hosting fee's and unnecessary hardware upgrades.
This is very sound advice, as the old saying goes "Don't throw hardware at a software problem".

Lynne
08 Feb 2007, 17:18
mysql has been using up a lot of my CPU. Sometimes when I watch 'top', it even goes to over 100% of the CPU. I have also noticed the RAM maxing out at times. Ultimately, I have decided to go with one server for the database and one for apache/php. My other server was two years old for us and memory for it would cost more than memory for the new servers. So, I'm about to move to two servers of this configuration:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
- Dual Core 2.4 GHz/4 MB Cache/1066 MHz FSB
- 64-bit Enabled
- 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM
- 250 GB SATA Hard Drive
- 100 Mbps Switch Port
- 2000 GB Data Transfer

I have been watching my scripts alot and have done what I can to any queries I've added to make sure they are efficient. I made a lot of changes to the vbtt installation because the queries or coding was not efficient at all.

These new servers are much more configurable than the other server we had. My next step is to change trackers (get away from the php-based one). I'm in touch with someone who has integrated XBT (a non-php based tracker) to vB. He currently put it on another site, so I am watching that as they work out the small problems. We are a site that runs on donations, so I only add/change things as we get the money.

amcd
08 Feb 2007, 18:00
xbt is an excellent tracker. Olaf also has a mod to integrate it with vbulletin, but it is not free. We are running it, and it is good.

For your new servers, make sure you have an additional gigabit network interface on both servers, separate from the internet interface. Connect the two servers by a cross cable across the gigabit interface. This is essential. If this is not done, you will derive no benefit from having two servers. In fact, you will have even more problems. Most hosts will not charge you anything extra for this, and even if they do, it will a nominal charge for the additional hardware. The traffic between your own servers will not be added to bandwidth consumed.

You do not need 2000GB transfer on the database server. You will only need a small amount for maintenance access and backups.

Lynne
08 Feb 2007, 18:24
I've seen Olaf's version and also the VBTT3 version. They both cost about the same. I like the interface on the VBTT3 version better (of course, I'm also more familiar with it since we are running VBTT 1.3 right now).

I ordered a GigE crossover for the servers on the advice of vb.com. I had tried using two servers before without the crossover and it did not work well at all. I know I don't need that much transfer on there, it is just the standard amount from my host.