[sf-lug] Website Hardware Guidance

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Sat Nov 3 12:09:46 PDT 2007

On Sat, 3 Nov 2007, Steven Friese wrote:

> I'm kinda new to the server side of Linux and I need some advice.  I 
> just started working for a company that is building a fairly huge 
> community based website.  This is a revamp of their old site so there is 
> lots of content to be moved while the community will add much more.


> The new site will be made using LAMP and Drupal.  I would like opinions 
> on hardware requirements.  At a guess, we probably get about 50,000 hits 
> per day, and that should increase with the new site.

Not bad.

> How strong of hardware would be minimal?  Thoughts on redundancy 
> (clustering?) and backups would be appreciated.  I would like to have 
> enough room to grow also.

Benchmark it and see.  50K hits per day is less than one per second, so I 
think that pretty much any system will be able to handle it.  You can try 
the tool "ab" (the Apache Benchmarking tool).

You'll probably find that once you enable PHP compiler caching like APC or 
eAccelerator, the bottleneck is the database, and that there are many 
tuning options that could help, but you'll also probably find that 50K 
hits a day is pretty easy to handle.  Ten times that is probably fine for 
your "run of the mill" server these days - a Core 2 Duo with 2-4 gigs of 

You'll probably also find the threading Apache is faster than the forking 
Apache, so long as you steer clear of PHP modules that aren't thread-safe 
(there's a list somewhere).

> I don't know yet what version of Linux we will be using.  I've only had 
> any real exposure to SuSE Professional up to 10.2.  Would a SuSE or 
> Redhat server be better?  What is the general feeling of both of their 
> support services?

I don't have an answer to this, never having tried either's support 
services.  I personally run Debian nearly everywhere I can, but to each 
his own (-; within reason).

> Any other advice would be greatly appreciated also.  Thanks in advance.

Just one more tip: The Drupal folks may know better than we.

Best of luck!

-- Asheesh.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?

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