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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Mar 2010
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    Server configuration


    I am the webmaster of a high-traffic web site that serves 115 Apache requests and 600-700 MySQL queries per second. Right now, as I have analyzed costs, it would be cheaper for me to buy and own a server and colocate it, rather than rely on a hosting company.

    As I have been browsing Dell, as a webmaster, I am lost in a wide array of hardware configuration options. Managing servers I am ok with, but hardware is another thing. My questions are as follows:

    • For example, on the PowerEdge R710 model, what should "guide" me in making a decision on the processor? Ultimately, in condensed dummy terms, what's the END result of the difference between a 2.93 GHz E5570 Xeon vs a 2.26 GHz E5520 Xeon? I noticed that the 2.93 GHz costs about $1000 more. What?! Why?

    • Does a larger CPU cache make a significant difference in performance? When will I see the performance differences of a 4M cache processor vs an 8M cache processor? Able to handle heavier loads at peak times?

    • For processors, what exactly is "max mem" (i.e. 1066 MHz max mem)? What significant difference does it have on END result performance? When I talk about END result performance, I am talking about the hardware's impact on front-end processes that a LAMP server runs (i.e. Apache, MySQL). Faster? More efficient?

    • RAM: Single ranked or dual ranked? Which is generally better for high-traffic web servers? Do recommendations between the two options change with different processors?

    • RAM: UDIMM or RDIMM? Which is generally better for high-traffic web servers? Do recommendations between the two options change with different processors?

    Thanks in advanced!

  2. #2
    Certified Ethical Hacker silver trophybronze trophy dklynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    19 Post(s)
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    My first question of you is whether you're capable of monitoring and "fixing" problems 7/24/365? IMHO, unless you have that experience (and staff to monitor constantly), you're better off buying those services from a hosting company.

    To answer your specific questions, I'll have to leave those to some of the hosts which frequent these forum boards.


    David K. Lynn - Data Koncepts is a long-time WebHostingBuzz (US/UK)
    Client and (unpaid) WHB Ambassador
    mod_rewrite Tutorial Article (setup, config, test & write
    mod_rewrite regex w/sample code) and Code Generator

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard HarryR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    London, UK
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    Most of these options might do with some consideration and thought if you were doing something that's actually compute intensive (3d rendering for example), however you're not -- you can fuss over if the latest DDR3 will give you a speed boost for weeks, but the point becomes kinda moot when with some reasonably simple software tweaks you could handle 15%+ more visitors.

    Also remember: if you're providing your own equipment you're also the one that will be fixing it. Drive dies? Stops powering on? PSU goes? Time for a trip upto the colo facility to fix it - all while your site is offline.

    Compare that to having DC staff on-site 24/7 with hardware spares and vendor contracts etc.

    Anyway, on with the questions:

    1. Go with whatever offers the most cores within your price range.

    2. Larger cpu cache will make a small difference, but web serving & lightweight database stuff won't stress it enough to see it.

    3. 1066mhz is the ram refresh rate, doesn't matter.

    4. Doesn't matter.

    5. Doesn't matter.


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