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BrandiDup
11 May 2008, 14:30
I'm wondering if you can tell me about your experience with moving from one dedicated server to two. How big was your site when you made the move (how many concurrent users, how many total posts, etc)? What prompted you to move, were you encountering database or server issues (Slowness, timing out, etc)?

How do you have your site setup now that you have two servers instead of one?

I've basically been told by Liquidweb, as well as a someone else who specializes more in vbulletin and server optimization that I really should consider getting a second server. We've been having issues with slow load times and "server time out" errors, despite having our current server optimized as much as possible.

How do you suggest splitting up the site between two servers, to relieve the pressure on one server? We don't have a lot of images so I don't think we would need one server just for image/attachments, we just have very active posters who love to do searches and keep things very busy.

Just looking for a little advice since this is all very new to me.

Dismounted
11 May 2008, 14:46
If you move to two servers, I'd suggest having a dedicated MySQL node, and a web node. It's the logical way to split tasks anyway.

bobster65
11 May 2008, 14:46
I'm wondering if you can tell me about your experience with moving from one dedicated server to two. How big was your site when you made the move (how many concurrent users, how many total posts, etc)? What prompted you to move, were you encountering database or server issues (Slowness, timing out, etc)?

How do you have your site setup now that you have two servers instead of one?

I've basically been told by Liquidweb, as well as a someone else who specializes more in vbulletin and server optimization that I really should consider getting a second server. We've been having issues with slow load times and "server time out" errors, despite having our current server optimized as much as possible.

How do you suggest splitting up the site between two servers, to relieve the pressure on one server? We don't have a lot of images so I don't think we would need one server just for image/attachments, we just have very active posters who love to do searches and keep things very busy.

Just looking for a little advice since this is all very new to me.

I can't speak for others, but what I have for one of my setups is a 2 server setup (a Web Server and a Database Server). Having the DB on its own server makes a HUGE difference.

I'd talk to Snakes, he seems to have his "stuff" together when it comes to server optimization and setup.

BrandiDup
11 May 2008, 15:01
I can't speak for others, but what I have for one of my setups is a 2 server setup (a Web Server and a Database Server). Having the DB on its own server makes a HUGE difference.

I'd talk to Snakes, he seems to have his "stuff" together when it comes to server optimization and setup.

I think he's actually the one who has been helping me! :D I can't remember his exact username on here but it's snakes something and he's been an AMAZING wealth of information who has gone out of his way to do everything possible for my server. He pretty much agrees with liquidweb as far as me needing to make an upgrade sometime soon though.

This is definitely one of the most difficult things, financially, but it's one of those necessary evils, I guess. Without a server that functions properly, I obviously lose a significant amount of traffic, which I've already noticed. :(

I run two sites, the military one is definitely the biggest and busiest of the two, but my other one is steadily growing and seeing more activity by the day. They are both 100% database driven though, I have vba for both and vbulletin running for both. So, I'm unsure of how I could split the load up to make it most even. I don't have much on either site that isn't database driven, so I'm wondering if I would actually need to split the databases up somehow.

:erm:

davide101
11 May 2008, 15:44
BrandiDup, what are the specs on the server that you're abandoning? We are quickly growing into our quadcore server with 2gig of RAM and I'm trying to predict what the upgrade cycle might look like. At what point is it less cost-effective to get a powerful single server and two moderate servers make more sense?

snakes1100
11 May 2008, 15:58
There are a lot of variables in moving to a two server setup and what you have now may just need to be tweaked to live a bit longer as a single server setup, a RAM upgrade is cheaper that getting another server regardless, but again, the server your on may have a RAM limitation at the mobo level as well.

Splitting the servers is easy in that aspect, its just a matter of copying data, tweaking mysql (typically a 4 day task), setting up the nic's, changing config.php and away you go.

@brandi, ill give you a hint, it has 1100 on the end....

BrandiDup
11 May 2008, 16:01
BrandiDup, what are the specs on the server that you're abandoning? We are quickly growing into our quadcore server with 2gig of RAM and I'm trying to predict what the upgrade cycle might look like. At what point is it less cost-effective to get a powerful single server and two moderate servers make more sense?

Our current server specs are

AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 5000+
OS: Linux - CentOS 4
Memory: 4GB DDR2 SDRAM
Hd1: 160GB 7200RPM SATA / 8MB Cache
Hd2: 160GB 7200RPM SATA / 8MB Cache

We're looking at probably just adding a second one like this. I need to do a bit more research before making a final decision. I'm somewhat server stupid. :(

--------------- Added 1210521814 at 1210521814 ---------------

There are a lot of variables in moving to a two server setup and what you have now may just need to be tweaked to live a bit longer as a single server setup, a RAM upgrade is cheaper that getting another server regardless, but again, the server your on may have a RAM limitation at the mobo level as well.

Splitting the servers is easy in that aspect, its just a matter of copying data, tweaking mysql (typically a 4 day task), setting up the nic's, changing config.php and away you go.

@brandi, ill give you a hint, it has 1100 on the end....

There you are! I was thinking you were 1001. :D Yeah, I need to pester you again when ever you get a chance. I need to be advised by the wise one, as to what I should do. :erm: This is definitely not my forte! Heh...

royo
11 May 2008, 17:03
Alternatively, you can stick with one server and just get faster hardware.

wmlvb
11 May 2008, 22:26
BrandiCup
Sorry to hijack your thread, but I looked at your military forum and it is very similar to a military forum I will be creating. I will not compete w/ you as it is for a different geographic group of military. Is there way I can contact you and ask you some questions about your style (i like the look)? Also I would like to know how you have handled security issues related to military families! I think you can pm me w/ you contact info. I will check my settings.! Thanks

Marco van Herwaarden
12 May 2008, 10:15
AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 5000+

This is the start of your problems. An Athlon (http://www.amd.com/gb-uk/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_9485_13041,00.html)is a processor designed for desktop computers, not for servers. Unfortunatly there are a lot of hosting companies that offer this processor for (cheap) servers. :(

The 2nd bottleneck might be your disks. SCSI disks in a good RAID configuration will outperform the single (assuming you have just 2 single SATA disks) disk.

I really doubt if the memory (RAM) is the bottleneck.

BrandiDup
12 May 2008, 11:52
AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core 5000+

This is the start of your problems. An Athlon (http://www.amd.com/gb-uk/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_9485_13041,00.html)is a processor designed for desktop computers, not for servers. Unfortunatly there are a lot of hosting companies that offer this processor for (cheap) servers. :(

The 2nd bottleneck might be your disks. SCSI disks in a good RAID configuration will outperform the single (assuming you have just 2 single SATA disks) disk.

I really doubt if the memory (RAM) is the bottleneck.

Oh wow, that is really interesting. Do you think any of these would be a better alternative?

Pentium 4 3GHZ Hyperthreaded
Intel E4500 DUAL CORE
Intel Q6600 QUAD CORE

Or do you have any specific suggestions for what type of processors I could look at?

This was the first dedicated server I had ever been on, so I didn't have a great idea of what to look for when I signed up for the original plan.

Thank you for your help!

Marco van Herwaarden
12 May 2008, 12:23
I don't have any specific suggestions regarding the processor, other then to get a processor designed for servers. (check the manufactor website).

Also post in Server Configuration (http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=14) might get you some valuable information (George/Eva2000 knows his processors ;))

Dismounted
12 May 2008, 13:02
Oh wow, that is really interesting. Do you think any of these would be a better alternative?

Pentium 4 3GHZ Hyperthreaded
Intel E4500 DUAL CORE
Intel Q6600 QUAD CORE

Or do you have any specific suggestions for what type of processors I could look at?

This was the first dedicated server I had ever been on, so I didn't have a great idea of what to look for when I signed up for the original plan.

Thank you for your help!
Q6600 > E4500 > P4

Technically, they are all desktop processors, but the Xeon ("server") equivalents (X3220/Q6600) are practically the same. The only real difference is that the Xeon processor is usually binned higher, and have been more rigorously tested. Also, the Xeon processor equivalents' pin contacts have a few extra layers, not that it matters.

For a "real" server chip, you will need to find an Xeon processor not in the 3-series, which uses LGA771 (Socket J) instead of the "desktop" LGA775 (Socket T).

BrandiDup
12 May 2008, 14:39
Q6600 > E4500 > P4

Technically, they are all desktop processors, but the Xeon ("server") equivalents (X3220/Q6600) are practically the same. The only real difference is that the Xeon processor is usually binned higher, and have been more rigorously tested. Also, the Xeon processor equivalents' pin contacts have a few extra layers, not that it matters.

For a "real" server chip, you will need to find an Xeon processor not in the 3-series, which uses LGA771 (Socket J) instead of the "desktop" LGA775 (Socket T).

Good info, thank you.

What do you think of something like this?

Processor
Dual Xeon 2.8GHZ Hyperthreaded


Options:


Memory
4GB DDR Registered/ECC
6GB DDR Registered/ECC
8GB DDR Registered/ECC

Primary Hard Drive
160GB 7200RPM SATA / 8MB Cache

Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Dual 160GB SATA / Hardware Raid 1
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
73GB 10,000RPM SCSI / 8MB Cache
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Upgrade to 15,000 RPM
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15,000 RPM
Dual 73GB SCSI / Hardware Raid 1
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Upgrade to 15,000 RPM
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15,000 RPM
3 x 120GB SATA / Hardware Raid 5
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
4 x 120GB SATA / Hardware Raid 5
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
4 x 120GB SATA / Hardware Raid 10
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
3 x 73GB SCSI / Hardware Raid 5
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Upgrade to 15,000 RPM
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15,000 RPM
4 x 73GB SCSI / Hardware Raid 5
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Upgrade to 15,000 RPM
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15,000 RPM
4 x 73GB SCSI / Hardware Raid 10
Primary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Upgrade to 15,000 RPM
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15,000 RPM

Secondary Hard Drive
160GB 7200RPM SATA / 8MB Cache

Secondary Hard Drive Upgrade:
73GB 10,000RPM SCSI / 8MB Cache
Secondary Hard Drive Upgrade:
Upgrade to 15,000 RPM
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15,000 RPM
No Backup Drive



Operating System
Linux - CentOS 4
Windows 2003 Server



Bandwidth
4000GB Monthly Transfer (2000 in + 2000 out)

Gigabit Uplink Port
10 Mbit/s Unmetered Port
Unmetered Port Speed Upgrade:




What upgrades would you make to the package? Would something like that be as good as getting 2 of my current servers? Better Worse?

I think that I definitely do need to upgrade soon, as I'm about to start a somewhat large promotional campaign for one of my sites, and I am not comfortable with doing so with my current setup that is already crapping out on me.

Edited out the links after reading the announcement. Sorry guys. I didn't mean for it to turn into hosting talk. :( I'm just trying to figure out what's going to be the best setup for me before I stupidly choose something that is not going to be worth my time or money.

Marco van Herwaarden
13 May 2008, 08:07
No more memory then 4GB will probably be needed. Depending on your storage requirements (and budget), i would suggest to look at a SCSI/SAS RAID configuration for your data. 1 additional (cheap, IDE/SATA) larger disk for backup.

Dismounted
13 May 2008, 08:12
If you are using 4+GB of RAM, you will need to go with a 64-bit OS, or you (or rather, your server) will not be able to access the full amount of RAM available as a 32-bit OS is limited to only 32-bits of memory-addressing space.

BrandiDup
13 May 2008, 17:42
Okie dokie, I think I"m getting ready to make the move in the next day or two. I've decided instead of using two low end servers, I'm going to go with one higher end server. However, I'm still a little undecided as far as what my best option would be. Which type of server setup would be best, in your opinion?

# Dual Xeon E5405 Quad Core (Harpertown) (8 cores total, 2.0GHZ per core.)
# 4GB RAM
# 4,800GB Premium Tier1 Bandwidth
# 160GB SATA Main Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB
# 160GB SATA Backup Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB

OR

# Dual Xeon 2.8Ghz HT EMT64
# 4GB DDR Registered ECC RAM
# 4,000GB Premium Tier1 Bandwidth
# 160GB SATA Main Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB
# 160GB SATA Backup Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB

OR

# Dual CPU + Dual Core Opteron 2212 (4 cores total)
# 4GB RAM
# 4,800GB Premium Tier1 Bandwidth
# 160GB SATA Main Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB
# 160GB SATA Backup Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB

I don't really know what the difference is between them and the cost difference is fairly negligible. They did tell me if I go with the XEON, I'd have about 8 hours of downtime since I'm currently on an AMD server and they can't do a swap unless I go with the Operton. Which, in the grand scheme of things isn't a huge deal, I'm more concerned about longer term performance. Just looking for a few outside opinions before I make the big move. I'm nervous :(

royo
13 May 2008, 17:58
If you're worried about downtime being too long, I'd go with the Opteron. The HDD choice though might be a problem; I think you should go with an SCSI drive with at least 10k RPM for the main drive, as it will allow more I/O, though the space on it will be smaller and will cost more than a SATA drive.

BrandiDup
13 May 2008, 18:08
If you're worried about downtime being too long, I'd go with the Opteron. The HDD choice though might be a problem; I think you should go with an SCSI drive with at least 10k RPM for the main drive, as it will allow more I/O, though the space on it will be smaller and will cost more than a SATA drive.

Can you explain in layman's terms? :D

I'm honestly not worried about having the downtime, if it means me being on a better server. 8 hours is nothing, in the grand scheme of things. So, if the downtime would be worth having a better setup, that is totally fine by me.

I did check out the SCSI drive upgrade and it is an additional $120 a month. You say it helps with I/O, does that mean In/Out? As in traffic?

And, honestly, the space isn't a big issue for us right now at all. We are FAR from outgrowing the space on our current, lower end server. It's mainly just database resources that are killing us, because I've got the two forums running on one server.

Eventually, I know I will need to house each forum on their own server, but one of my sites is still so small right now, I don't have an immediate need for it.

The person I spoke with at my hosting company said that the bench marks for the xeon and operton are nearly the same, with very negligible differences, but xeon tends to just be marketed better... kind of like Nike versus Rebok or something. I just need some second opinions from people who are familiar with how vbulletin forums tend to run on different types of servers.

royo
13 May 2008, 18:17
Well, clicking a thread for example will make a request to the MySQL database to retrieve the post data contained inside that thread. The more requests that happen per second, the slower the server will be. You could have a 4 x quad opteron setup with 16GB of RAM, but with a simple SATA drive, the 'wait' time of the HDD will pretty much render all the other hardware useless.

Something that should be analysed is the %wa that appears when you do a top command in Linux; if it is over 10% you will start to see slowness.

A SCSI drive spins faster than a normal IDE or SATA drive, decreasing access times and allowing for more mysql interaction per second. You should consult with your service provider about this, as they should be able to tell you if this is causing trouble during peak load times on your website.

BrandiDup
13 May 2008, 18:24
Well, clicking a thread for example will make a request to the MySQL database to retrieve the post data contained inside that thread. The more requests that happen per second, the slower the server will be. You could have a 4 x quad opteron setup with 16GB of RAM, but with a simple SATA drive, the 'wait' time of the HDD will pretty much render all the other hardware useless.

Something that should be analysed is the %wa that appears when you do a top command in Linux; if it is over 10% you will start to see slowness.

A SCSI drive spins faster than a normal IDE or SATA drive, decreasing access times and allowing for more mysql interaction per second. You should consult with your service provider about this, as they should be able to tell you if this is causing trouble during peak load times on your website.

Ahhhh, I gotcha. Totally makes sense then.

I guess I'm caught in a place where I NEED to upgrade b/c we are noticing definite server issues, but I'm also going to be at the very top of my budget once I do upgrade, without the additional $120 a month factored in for the SCSI. Oh, how I wish this whole process were easier... and cheaper. :D

I appreciate your help though. I'll go ahead and contact them in regards to the SATA vs SCSI issue to see if that's something that I need to heavily consider.

--------------- Added 1210708009 at 1210708009 ---------------

Update:

After googling and searching vbulletin.com like crazy, I decided to go with this:

# Dual CPU + Dual Core Opteron 2212 (4 cores total)
# 4GB RAM
# 4,800GB Premium Tier1 Bandwidth
# 160GB SATA Main Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB
# 160GB SATA Backup Drive - Free Upgrade from 120GB

However, I am also currently educating myself a bit more on the SATA vs SCSI and will probably end up upgrading that, as well, eventually. For right now, I'll see if the basic upgrade will work for us for a while, then upgrade again if needed.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me out!

Dismounted
14 May 2008, 07:49
The Harpertown would be the best. Combined with a 15k RPM SAS/SCSI drive, and you have one blazing server.

supergper
29 May 2008, 22:01
Sorry, I know this is a little old (couple weeks) but I thought I'd make a very important point regarding the hard drives. More spindles will always be better than spindle speed. For Database performance, Raid10 is where it's at. Since you're already at 4GB of memory, you'll see more performance increase by upgrading to a raid10 then you will by switching to a SCSI drive. A single drive in any kind of server is always a bad idea and will almost always be your bottleneck. So, take it for what it's worth.