How many users could these servers hold?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Peyton, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #1
    Hi everyone, I'm about to launch a website with people who will need anywhere from half a mb to about 30 mb and I was wondering how these servers would do with that many people


    http://www.lunarpages.com/plan3.php

    Its the Dedicated III that I am looking at.

    I would like to have a number for how many users can be accessing the website at the same time. (or any vague range of numbers would be great) Also, if anyone knows, I would probably have to split up the website onto several servers and I don't know how to do that, does anyone know how to do that?

    Finally, would a server running linux be better than windows? currently all my websites are running on linux, and they're great, just wondering. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Knox Administrator

    Knox

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    The key question is whether the pages are going to be mostly static HTML & images or have CGI/Database usage involved. If there is no or little CGI usage then the limit that will be reached first is memory - for each person that connects simultaneously Apache will use a bit of memory. However, you should still be able to cope with maybe 1,500 simultaneous visitors - add more memory and that figure will go up.

    Note that with a bit of tuning you can get that figure to rise considerably - the MacRumorsLive servers are all roughly the same as Dedicated I on that page and they each coped with ~30,000 simultaneous visitors. The key is more memory efficient web servers, which you could install if you're willing to take some time to set it up.

    If, on the other hand, you are dealing with CGI usage the limit tends to be the CPU, and with databases, the hard drives. Difficult to guess as CGI usage is never the same, but the number of simultaneous visitors would probably drop to say 500 or so.

    Depends completely on how your site is written unfortunately, but the basic rule is look for areas that you can segment. If you just need to split the smaller 0.5-30MB accounts between servers then you should be able to have a note of what server individual accounts are on and then direct them to that server, but difficult to know exactly without seeing the site and how it works.

    I would go with what you know, basically - stick to linux if that's what you're familiar with.
     
  3. Peyton thread starter macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #3
    Knox, what an excellent answer! Thanks so much.

    I realized I was vague on my specific needs, yes, it will be probably 60%- database/CGI, so I can imagine those numbers would drop unfortunately.

    I am assuming 1gb of ram is what you are referring to, how much would you recommend to max out the amount of simultanious users? Also, MacrumorsLive is more HTML, but the forums and things are a bit more database I suppose, so 30,000, while staggering, isn't likely to be likely for me, no matter how efficient my servers are with the memory, but that's exciting! I assume MR servers are pretty efficient.

    Thanks, I'll show off the website when it launches in a couple months!
    Again, thanks for the help :)

    PS, those links you provided are amazing and I'll definitely be installing them!
     
  4. Knox Administrator

    Knox

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    One thing to be sure of before you decide is whether you're certain you are going to get heavy loads from the start, or are just wanting to plan ahead. To get a server that supports a large number of users can get particularly expensive as you move away from the standard configurations and add extra memory, faster HDs & RAID, which tend to be where the hosting companies make their profit.

    You may be better to look at one of the lower servers now, but have a plan of how to add capacity if necessary. One simple way of improving capacity is to move the databases onto a separate server, which can be optimised for that purpose (i.e. lots of memory and fast hard drives). Another way of expanding capacity is to have two servers accessing the same files & database, which also adds a degree of redundancy at the same time. Whether this is possible depends on the way the sites are built.

    Assuming you are looking at several hundred simultaneous users, you would be looking at 2GB or, particularly with heavy DB usage, 4GB of RAM. Also, for heavy DB usage RAID and/or 10k/15k drives would probably be something to look at. (By heavy I'm meaning 50+ queries/second when the server is running both web & db)

    For reference, the Dedicated I server would probably support about 100-150 simultaneous users with 60% CGI.

    (Of course, it's far easier to optimise a site once it's live and you know what the bottlenecks are! :))

    Yeah, MacRumorsLive is, by design, entirely static - it's the only way we could support the insane number of visitors that there were without throwing vast amounts of money at it. The forums are run off different servers which are more powerful than the Dedicated III level you're looking at, and there are 3 of them - together they have an approximate max capacity of 4,500 users (although they haven't yet been tested at that level, so it's a guestimate).

    lighttpd is probably the best one to look at - thttpd has limited CGI capability unless you pay for the premium version.
     
  5. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Depends on how much resources a website is using. I have 100+ on one server now and it handles it like theres no problem I continually add more.
     
  6. Peyton thread starter macrumors 68000

    Peyton

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #6
    Thanks again for your solid answers, I really appreciate it! :)
     

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