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Server setup

Thinking of converting desktop to web server.



12:23 am on Aug 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

I am thinking of converting a desktop to a web server. Have a PII 233 - 256 MB RAM desktop and thinking of converting to Win 2000 server to run IIS 5 and MS SQL 2000 server.

Do you think it would be able to nicely handle 2000 sessions per day (10,000 page views @ 30K a page)?

What about connection, I can get a dsl server package that can handle 512 Kbps upstream. Would it be enough?

Thanks for your comments.


6:38 pm on Aug 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I can't really give a proper answer about the server as I've never used IIS, but a lot will depend on how intensive the SQL interaction will be. Try timing how long it takes to serve a page locally - for 10,000 pages a day you have an average of 8 seconds or so available per page, so if you're enough inside that to allow for peaks in demand (say 2 seconds or less to serve a page) then you should be okay.

Re the connection, there's one thing to bear in mind:

I'm not sure about DSL, but ADSL (the UK's crippled version) has a 'contention ratio' - ie you are effectively sharing the 512K and your actual available upstream bandwidth may be lower.

Having said that, your 10,000 pages would only use about 5% of a full 512Kbps averaged over the day, so you've got a lot of room to play with.

If DSL has contention, and it's higher than about 5:1 then you could struggle in a traffic peak.

For reference, I'm transferring around 1-1.5G a day through a 512K leased line (no contention ratio) with no problems - even at peak I'm rarely over 70% capacity.


12:13 pm on Aug 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My web server is a dual PII/233 running Win2000/IIS. I run on a 768K symmetric DSL connection. I served up just under 2000 page views a day for the last week. This is pretty close to your specs, except for the dual CPU thing. I am nowhere near tapping out the DSL connection or the machine. Unless you are doing some pretty heavy server-side processing on your web pages, I think your machine can handle it.

Make sure you do something about a firewall, though.


6:31 pm on Aug 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your comments.

About the firewall, do you just use a software or a physical one (ie. hub box).

SugarKane : I looked on the isp's website not a mention of "contention ratio". Their service is actually ADSL - but isn't the point of all the dsl technology to be a dedicated connection that connects straight into DSLAM at the phone company's central office? I am not sure how it could be shared.

Hypothetical question : If you were to improve a web & SQL server's performance (1 box) would you first look at RAM or the chip? I think we can all agree on that the SQL part of the system is much more resource intensive. Therefore increasing the cpu should speed up the the query when it runs, but already executed stored procedures are kept in cache. Increasing RAM should improve retrieval from cache.


8:24 pm on Aug 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Contention starts to matter after the DSLAM, it could have an effect though from everything I've read in practise it shouldnt.

Personally I wouldnt consider ADSL for serious hosting, it can go down potentially for hours during which time your website would be unavailable. One other thing to check is that your ISP allows you to run a server on your connection, some don't allow this as part of their terms and conditions.


9:01 pm on Aug 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

> About the firewall, do you just use a software or a physical one

Both ;)

My service provider has a fairly permissive hardware one (blocks known trojans etc but not a great deal else), and then I lock down my own network with ipchains (Linux). ipchains will run happily on any old 486 you have knocking around.

> RAM or the chip

RAM every time :)

As you say, more memory will mean more cached queries, but also the web server will cache pages. When I restart one of my servers I can see the cpu load visibly drop as it sets about re-caching.

With a database, response time is more about disk access than CPU load, so more memory / faster drives is the way to go...


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