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Suggestions for server setup

Moving managed hosting solutions

11:35 pm on Apr 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

We are moving out mangaed host to a more reliable, and larger scale company. In doing this we need to give them specs on the machine we want. Our Current setup is this:

DELL PowerEdge 1950 XEON E5335 DDR2 667MHz PC2-5300 16GB Upgradeable to 64GB 500GB

For the same price we will be possibly going with this setup:

DELL PowerEdge R710 XEON X5647 DDR3 1066MHz PC3-8500 64GB Upgradeable to 144GB 4X 250GB

This is an ecommerce site with anticipated 3-5K visits per day. Our database is large, not huge. 45,000 products plus categories and Magento data. Our site with SQL TARs down to 39GB plus media/images/javascript/css (hosted on a cloud).

Some history: Our hosted solution had some major problems. 1 being whenever a major storm would come through the site would be down until whatever utility lines could be repaired. Our new host has a dedicated underground fiber optic running to a main Seattle Hub, and has 18 days of diesel generator backup.

Second our server response time was TERRIBLE. 7-10 seconds and on a bad day 15-20. I have a development exact clone of the site running on a small i7 server locally and the response including page load is less than 3 seconds on heavy pages, less than 2 on homepage and content pages. I'd say network and/or Equipment mismanagement is probably the culprit here.

We are going to install the latest Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release that way we get 5 year support range. The current setup is Apache/PHP on 10.04 LTS.

Should this hardware configuration (2 servers -- 1 for content, one for data) be sufficient given the limited information I have provided?

ANY comments, thought hesitations or questions appreciated!

-- Zak
11:40 am on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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First you can't compare local connections with internet ones. Second did you identify where the latencies were coming from? Was it host connectivity issues, MySQL queries, badly written php scripts?

The specs of your current server look very good and the store's requirements low for that hardware. I was working with half of the h/w specs of what you currently have with twice as many products on a multi-store and the server response was under 2 secs, not well optimized in terms of webscripts and mysql.

In my opinion you should identify where the latencies are coming from first. If it's the cart, fix the scripts or change carts, if it's connectivity either ask the host to fix the problems or change hosts, I find it hard to blame the hardware for the given setup. Maybe a second hdd for the mysql db but that can come later.
7:35 pm on Apr 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:Jan 12, 2012
posts: 38
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Thanks for your response .. Your comment made me question where the latencies were coming from, and we found that our host's network bandwidth would drop considerably during certain hours of the day. Some change is to be expected, but there were times when bandwidth tested from the servers was down to 500 kbps ... With that in mind, we now have the information we need to move forward. We are sill going with the upgraded server setup on a different host simply because it's the same cost, so why not upgrade. Also we are moving our media away from our current cloud setup and moving it to another cloud that resided where our hosted setup will be, maybe that will speed things up as well. I am going to have our web tech look into poorly run PHP scripts etc. When I got here people had bad habbits like leaving MySQL connections open during a loop etc, so I am sure there is room for improvement there as well! Thanks for your input!

-- Zak

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