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Old 10 Mar 2006, 15:03
RMS-Chef RMS-Chef is offline
 
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Distributive Computing for hosting?

I guess I will start things off here.

I manage a forum with that poses some unique issues. The big issue it that they are really busy only about 2 days each week. It is based around a current television show so 5 days a week it is a relatively quite place with 200-300 users online. Then, on the same day and time each week (when the show airs) like clockwork, they get pummeled and get hit with 1200-1500+ users online. This peak usually maintains for at least 36-48 hours.

Now we have them on a single server, Dual Operteron 246's, 4GB RAM, SCSI drive. We push the envelope of that poor machine and turn off showing logged in users and full DB read marking during peak times.

My server provider has mentioned they are testing a distributed computing system that will allow us to use a second server's resources during our peak times, but when we don't need the extra juice, someone else would be using it. I am interested since we really don't need a second server at all 75% of the time and I hate to have to have my client paying for a second server when they only need if for 48 hours or so out of the week so we are interested as a possible solution to help limit costs.

Has anyone had any experience with this type of setup? Is it new in the server market?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 10 Mar 2006, 15:09
Marco van Herwaarden Marco van Herwaarden is offline
 
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Did your host give you a link to the description of what he plans to use?
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 15:37
RMS-Chef RMS-Chef is offline
 
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Originally Posted by MarcoH64
Did your host give you a link to the description of what he plans to use?
Not yet. I use LiquidWeb for that server and durning our weekly "damn the server is getting killed, please restart apache because I can't even get into CPanel" talks they mentioned they are in the final phases of testing the system. They claim they could be ready by the end of the month.
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 16:22
Marco van Herwaarden Marco van Herwaarden is offline
 
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There are some techniques that could fall under this category, advanced load balancing or GRID computing.

Would need more info to comment on it.
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 19:54
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Paul M Paul M is offline
 
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I find it curious that you seem to suffer with only 1200 or so users online - we have a dedicated server that only has 2GB RAM and a single HT Xeon. We had a burst during the week that saw over 1000 users/guests online and it barely flickered.
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 19:58
filburt1 filburt1 is offline
 
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You will be better off running the database and web servers on separate machines, likely connected via gigabit ethernet or something faster. Distributed computing is more meant for sharing CPU load for intense calculations whereas most web applications simply need fast RAM, storage, etc.
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 21:17
jwocky jwocky is offline
 
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Distributive hosting.. a question for those not as smart.

So i've read alot about people moving their large vB forums to dual machine setups, one for the DB and one for the webserver.

My question is HOW does one go about setting this up ? I'm no fool, but I just don't understand how you tell vbulletin to look for its database material on a different computer.

Or am I barking up the wrong tree and is this something only a host can setup for me ? (I like to do most of this admin/setup stuff myself instead of relying on my host)

If anyone can point me to a good thread or site that might describe this more to me it would be mucho appreciated!
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 21:43
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Paul M Paul M is offline
 
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You set the location in your config.php. Normally it will say "localhost" - you change this to the url (or ip address) of the database machine.
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 21:54
jwocky jwocky is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Paul M
You set the location in your config.php. Normally it will say "localhost" - you change this to the url (or ip address) of the database machine.
I see, ok this makes sense, thanks for the reply!

Is it as simple as plugging in an IP or Url in that config setting and then go?

thanks much !!
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Old 10 Mar 2006, 23:27
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Paul M Paul M is offline
 
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Mysql on the DB server will need to be running networking, this is often disabled when php and mysql are on the same box as it they will use a unix socket to talk to each other, not tcp/ip.
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Old 11 Mar 2006, 05:35
RMS-Chef RMS-Chef is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Paul M
I find it curious that you seem to suffer with only 1200 or so users online - we have a dedicated server that only has 2GB RAM and a single HT Xeon. We had a burst during the week that saw over 1000 users/guests online and it barely flickered.
wow. Do you display logged in users on FORUMHOME and use full DB read marking with those kind of users without issues? Are the people posting or just browsing? This forum averages around 2,000-3,500 post per day.

Maybe it's because we are running CPanel? I have been told that we would be better off without CPanel and running lighter apache/SQL applications only and cutting out Cpanel and all the added crap that comes with it. It's just that I don't know enough about the server backend stuff to be without it.

The one forum is the only thing on the server and we recently had to up the RAM to 4GB from 2GB because with the two, things were ugly at around 1000 users. I was told by vB support that when you start hitting 1000 users you really need a two server setup so doing OK with 1400-1500 on the one machine I thought we were doing OK.

And as I said before, the reason that we don't just opt for a two server setup right now is that it's only needed for two days a week. It just seems silly to me to have my client paying the extra monthly cost when 75% of the time they don't even need what they have now. It has become a tough balancing act.
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Old 11 Mar 2006, 06:20
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Originally Posted by RMS-Chef
wow. Do you display logged in users on FORUMHOME and use full DB read marking with those kind of users without issues? Are the people posting or just browsing? This forum averages around 2,000-3,500 post per day.
Yes to both the first two. The users are posting, but not at the rate you have, about 650-800 per day.

Originally Posted by RMS-Chef
Maybe it's because we are running CPanel? I have been told that we would be better off without CPanel and running lighter apache/SQL applications only and cutting out Cpanel and all the added crap that comes with it. It's just that I don't know enough about the server backend stuff to be without it.
Well we have Plesk, not Cpanel, but I think your OS and apache versions will have more influence. Apparently the linux 2.6 Kernel/Apache 2.0 combination (such as we have) can handle much more than linux 2.4 or Apache 1.3. FYI, we run mysql 4.15 and php 4.4.2.
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Old 11 Mar 2006, 06:37
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Trigunflame Trigunflame is offline
 
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Most server issues come by way of improper configuration, scaling servers is not always the best solution. You can just keep throwing hardware at something but your cost are going to keep skyrocketing, if possible it is always best to maximize the resourcefulness of what you have.

I have managed servers that average upwards of 2500 during idle times and 4000+ when busy with just using 1 dual xeon 3ghz/ht 4gb memory server using a custom compiled mysql (changes to mysql source)and lighttpd/fast-cgi / php 4.4.x/eaccelerator with offloading image/video to a seperate media server (we are talking somewhat huge files that would normally bog down traffic for page browsing); and the loads would generally stay around < 2.5.

When running database intensive applications such as vbulletin that is where most of your load is going to originate; if you setup your mysql configuration properly atuned to your server MOST people are just wasting money by running multiple servers.

Ps. If you have a large site with many Request/s, do NOT use apache as it is potentially the largest cause of swapping you can have even with a good setup due to the pre-fork model that 95% of people use.

Step into the new world, move to non-blocking IO servers such as lighttpd that use kqueue/epoll etc.. that have loads of advantages.
1. Tons less memory usage, these servers are built to run with small memory footprints yet handle more concurrent connections/request then apache could ever dream of.
2. They natively implement the fast-cgi model which is a Must for a heavy traffic site. mod_php is fine for small servers, but when you get into heavy traffic fast-cgi is the only Proven Stable platform for handling such loads.

Thats all from me on this issue

Last edited by Trigunflame; 11 Mar 2006 at 06:51.
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Old 11 Mar 2006, 06:46
RMS-Chef RMS-Chef is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Trigunflame
Most server issues come by way of improper configuration, scaling servers is not always the best solution. You can just keep throwing hardware at something but your cost are going to keep skyrocketing, if possible it is always best to maximize the resourcefulness of what you have.

I have managed servers that average upwards of 2500 during idle times and 4000+ when busy with just using 1 dual xeon 3ghz/ht 4gb memory server using a custom compiled mysql (changes to mysql source)and lighttpd/fast-cgi / php 4.4.x/eaccelerator with offloading image/video to a seperate media server (we are talking somewhat huge files that would normally bog down traffic for page browsing); and the loads would generally stay around < 2.5.

When running database intensive applications such as vbulletin that is where most of your load is going to originate; if you setup your mysql configuration properly atuned to your server MOST people are just wasting money by running multiple servers.

Ps. If you have a large site with many Request/s, do NOT use apache as it is potentially the largest cause of swapping you can have even with a good setup due to the pre-fork model that 95% of people use.

Step into the new world, move to non-blocking servers such as lighttpd that use kqueue/epoll etc.. that have loads of advantages.
1. Tons less memory usage, this servers are built to run with small memory footprints yet handle more concurrent connections/request then apache could ever dream of.
2. They natively implement the fast-cgi model which is a Must for a heavy traffic site. mod_php is fine for small servers, but when you get into heavy traffic fast-cgi is the only Proven Stable platform for handling such loads.

Thats all for me on this issue
I know we could get more out of it. The owner's Goggle revenue has been quite steady in the lower $x,xxx range per month for a couple of months now so I plan to soon try and convince her to allow me to requisition somone with advanced server and vBulletin specific knowledge to give her machine a once over. I personally think that will help quite a bit.
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