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VPS Resources Needed?

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My site (linked in my signature) was pushing up on resource limits on my current shared hosting during the peak for the site (towards the end of the football season for the club my site is about).

I expect we could see potentially double the amount of people on the site by the end of the year, so I'm hoping to requisition the resources for this level of peak load. We've crashed in the past on the original host I was on (which forces a move to my current host) and I want to avoid any crash happening as we're sponsored and wouldn't want to cause issues with them or lose potential ad revenue.

Our CPU usage has always been high (on a shared 'VIP' hosting with shares in a 4 CPU host server) while our memory usage has rarely hit over 1gb.

There's a VPS provider I've been looking at for a while, and they have a special on their Cpanel CentOS managed VPS' services. Note, I have zero knowledge of running servers so unless you can memory jack server administration into my head in the next few weeks then I doubt I can run it myself.

If we had:

5k members.

1000 online (over 15 minutes) at peak.

350k posts

And we use Content, Board and Nexus what sort of VPS should I be looking at? The only things in their plans that I have to worry about are CPU and Ram. The rest is well over what I'd need even in my wildest dreams right now.

They have a variety of options but the options I was looking at are:

#1 - Two CPU Cores (2.2ghz), 2GB Ram.

#2 - Three CPU Cores (2.2ghz), 4gb Ram.

And then a number of options using either of those two options, but adding extra CPU cores which would result in a highest potential option of 4gb Ram and 8 VPS Cores.

Is 4gb ram enough? 2gb enough? 4 CPU cores? 5? 6? 8?

Obviously I'd want to minimise costs but also don't want to skimp un-necessarily.


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Of the stats you provided,

5k members. <-- not a problem
1000 online (over 15 minutes) at peak. <-- rather high to be sticking to a vps for it.
350k posts <-- not a problem

I think you're beginning to approach area where you need to switch over to a dedicated server if you expect to provide consistent site experience. Unfortunately, a jump to a managed dedi is a huge cost increase, unless, like you said, you start learning asap. lol But it is possible to have someone set it up for you and have no on-going managed service, though that does put you at a risk in the event something goes wrong.

A 4gb managed vps will likely cost as much as a budget unmanaged dedicated server. So, I don't think the pricing range is completely out your means by what it seems like.

While memory is king in the land of vps as it's the only easily measurable and dividable resource, having more ram alone doesn't guarantee a scaled experience.

And the virtualized cpu division is... meaningless. "Three cores", "two cores", etc... all meaningless. Because, consider this. If there is 16 people on a vps and there's 8 logical cores on the hardware. Does it matter if 16 get 3 each or 2 each? At the end of the day, if each nodes decide to push it to the max, you're only going to get half cores each. So, it's a mere tool of threshold in the event that you attempt to abuse the cpu usage -- something you will not likely reach with a website (any website really since they're usually disk bottlenecked).

And then there's more difficult divisions like disk (huge problem of load division) and network (a good host won't have a problem keeping this away from bottlenecks) and etc.


If dedi is completely out of reach, you can try to squeeze as much as possible with the given vps first and give it a slight upgrade in resource (like 2g if you have 1g ram now). There are many topics on it here. Like swapping to nginx + php-fpm instead of apache (high impact). apc or xcache solutions for php caching (very high impact), swapping mariadb instead of mysql... etc. These methods will often alleviate disk usage and therefore making a more efficient use of your cpu and ram.

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I agree with Grumpy once again... 1k users in 15 minutes is too much for a typical vps, you need a dedicated setup for this... 500 maybe on a high end well setup vps... but more than that and you need to have some power behind it and not sharing resources on a vps.

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