pollywogsJune 29, 2009 in Classic self-hosted technical help
I'm currently upgrading from an aging server to a new one, and am looking for recommendations as to what to run on it. I currently have an Intel Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz with 4GB RAM. The software is as follows:
Debian 4.0 x86
lighttpd (lighttpd 1.4.19-4)
mySQL (MYSQL 5.0.51a-9-log)
PHP (5.2.6-2 [cgi-fcgi])
XCache (1.2.2 I think?)
This server is aging for us, so I'm upgrading to Dual Xeon 5420+ processors with 16GB of RAM. I'd like recommendations on the best setup of software to install, if I should go with mySQL 5.1 or if I should use a newer version of PHP or if I should use a different PHP accelerator besides XCache, etf.
I'm installing Debian again (x64 obviously this time), but I'm open to pretty much anything else. Would also like input from developers if at all possible since this is such a large site going on such a powerful server. Thanks!
There are known security vulnerabilities in < PHP 5.2.10 now ( unless you don't have the exif extension installed), so it might be wise to go with 5.2.10.
Well obviously I'm going to go with one of the latest versions, not like you can get what I was running before. But questions I was wondering were like what web server to use, and what version - I'm not sure which one is the best for IPB (this server EXCLUSIVELY runs IPB and just static images), or if I should use PHP 5.2 or 5.3? What version of mySQL, 5.0, 5.1, 5.4? What PHP accelerator works best with IPB 3.0? It's questions like these that I'd like help with, because like I said I run a very large site.
Personally, I'd recommend CentOS (latest Stable release), Apache 2.2, PHP 5.2.9, Mod suPHP (for security, and ease of keeping permissions straight), IonCube Loader for PHP, Mod Security (modsec), and MySQL 5.0.77-Community. Enable other options as you see fit, during install.
That's what's installed on my dedi, along with WHM/cPanel/Fantastico for administering the Domains on it, and it's been great so far.
In my experience Apache has horrible performance, and on a super large site should be your last choice <_<
I also have decided to use ubuntu server instead of debian!
Good luck then.
You really should have chosen to use CentOS or Debian IMO... :P
Well I'd like to use Debian, but for some reason the datacenter doesn't have it - only Ubuntu Server :(
And Ubuntu is the closest thing I can get to Debian, it's practically the same damn thing, no?
Alright well I think I can convert ubuntu server to Debian 5.0, unsure though, but the most important thing to me is what PHP accelerator to use with IPB 3.0 :)
Well, as long as you're NOT using Zend then you can try PECL:APC for caching to see how it performs under your setup.
You seem to have started by asking some questions, then ignored the answers and told us what you've chosen in any case!
PHP does seem to be having security issues, and updates are issued on a regular basis.
I guess what you use really depends on what you are able to support yourself, and what your host is prepared to support.
Personally I run CentOs 5.3 with yum updating every week or so. I use Apache not lighttpd, amd MySQL 5.0.X.
At the end of it all though, performamnce isn't really down to just the software levels, its down to the tuning that you then do to suit the specification and workload of your server.
Well the only thing I've really been "ignoring" is the fact that I'm pratcially limited to ubnutu server instead of debian. As for Apache though, in my experience, it's too slow. I have 2000 users online at a time on my site, and need everything fast fast fast. If Apache has changed recently and it's faster and can be used for 2000 users at a time and if that's what's being recommended by the pros then so be it.
Configuring Apache is a black art IMO. I have seen servers killed because of just one directive in the httpd.conf file. There's a balance to be drawn between how many processes should be allowed to exist concurrently, how long each thread should be allowed to keep alive, how many connections each process should serve, the amount of memory per process, etc, etc.
A lighter web serving process such as lighttpd kind of 'hides' these issues, but if your server became uber busy it would eventually suffer the same slowness that can be attributed to badly tuned Apache.
So with that said, you're still recommending Apache? How can I make sure Apache is tuned correctly with all those settings you talked about? I've used lighttpd for the last couple of years with no problem, but would be willing to use Apache if I could get the same performace - I guess I just don't know how to :(
Also which PHP accelerator would you recommend?
I don't use an accelerator either. I think if lighttpd has worked for you, there is absolutely no reason to consider changing it. I think my message is that it really is not possible to give a definitive answer to your question. You have ideas of what works for you and your server load/visitor profile, my config works for me.
I manage with 1/8th of your memory, slow disks, and much slower processor, and only a 10mbit uplink. Peak concurrent visitor numbers are about 1/3rd of yours. But getting the optimal performance has involved months of tweaking Apache and MySQL configuration parameters.
Fair enough. I think I'm gonna take your (and everyone elses) advice and give Apache 2.2 a try. I haven't tried Apache since 1.3 I think, or if I tried 2.* it was 2.0 and they might have improved it since then. If worse comes to worse, I can switch to lighttpd as that isn't a huge deal. I'm more interested in PHP accelerators though, I understand you don't use one rct2dotcom, but I'd like to see if anyone else has an opinion on that.
Thanks for the advice :)
I can't seem to be able to get PHP 5.2.10 on Debian/ubuntu, I can only get 5.2.6 :(
mySQL 5.0 is the default, but I'm pretty sure I can get 5.1 installed though!
[quote name='pollywogs' date='01 July 2009 - 03:44 AM' timestamp='1246416272' post='1817990']I can't seem to be able to get PHP 5.2.10 on Debian/ubuntu, I can only get 5.2.6 :(
One of the joys of choosing a Linux distribution. They only update after testing has completed. You can probably find a newer PHP version somewhere, indeed you could always download the source code and compile it, but it's not in the official repositories yet.
We used to use Apache 2.0 that was dire always crashing the server etc, went back to 1.3 on a fresh OS, and have now upgraded to 2.2 and it's much quicker. We also installed eaccelerator and that gave a little boost to generation times.
Well I'm all setup right now, but the question that still remains is the caching system.
I currently am using the Disk Cache, but think a PHP Caching system would perform best. There are 3 major kinds though, eAccelerator, XCache, and APC. APC is going to be included in PHP6, so one would think it is the best and everything - but it can depend on the software, and version. I know on the resources site a number of years ago for 2.1 bfarber recommended eAccelerator, but I'm not sure if that's the same case for IPB 3.0 or not. I want to make best use of it, including adding it into my conf_global.php so I'd like a recommendation please, from staff if at all possible :)
Or maybe the disk cache is the best? Or maybe I can/should use both? Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I just want best setup possible. Thanks!
What I could recommned?
First of all - dedicated hdd for db - just now I have SAS 2x 146gb 15k rpm in raid stripping mode and performance of DB is brilliant.
Second issue is - forget about apache - use something smaller and lighter - example is nginx.
After such operations I had reduced costs of the server two times :-)
FWIW, all distros backport security fixes so even if you have 5.2.6 rest assured that you have the latest security patches.
I think CentOS and RHEL backport fixes across years.
The latest release just means it's more likely to have undetected bugs.
I've been running nothing but debian stable since sarge.
Don't forget about memcached btw.
Don't go with Apache unless you need to have a control panel, but I'm assuming that you don't need one. CentOS is mainly for control panels too. Both of these aren't exactly, optimized, in my opinion.
I would recommend using lighttpd (or litespeed if you have the money) on Ubuntu if you want to save money on the server hardware. In fact, I would say that you should keep the current configuration, but just migrate to a different OS. Maybe you could poke memcached into it to get the most out of everything.
It would only be logical to use Apache as the webserver if your servers can handle a much higher load, as Apache does have more compatibility and stability in some or most ways... but I agree that it has horrible performance when compared to a server with the same hardware running lighttpd or any of the other known light webservers.
[quote name='ByteAir' date='07 August 2009 - 03:51 PM' timestamp='1249656683' post='1839934']CentOS is mainly for control panels too.
:unsure: What leads you to draw that conclusion?
[quote name='ByteAir' date='07 August 2009 - 03:51 PM' timestamp='1249656683' post='1839934']It would only be logical to use Apache as the webserver if your servers can handle a much higher load,
:unsure: Why put extra load on the server if its unnecessary. There must be reasons for using Apache versus lightttpd.
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