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dedicated server questions

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dedicated server questions
I've been browsing through all the posts about dedicated server specs... and I need advice about upgrading my server. I just moved from virtual to dedicated this week. Today was the first day both of my sites were running... and it crashed! (DreamHost was my virtual host, and a very good one considering I had no prior problems!! Check them out if you are looking!!)

I have 2 high traffic sites (Already 1.4 million page views this month on one, almost 1 million on the other). I use Links SQL and a few cgi scripts. I want to continue to grow, and adding e-commerce to the mix is not out of the question.

Here is what I have now:

700 MHz PIII
128 RM RAM (completely used up)

I now know that I need _AT LEAST_ 256 MB RAM, and will try to move up to 384.. maybe 512. I was wondering about adding another hard drive. I read in one post about using 2 hard drives... Can anyone explain futher? I think it involved putting the web files on one and log files on the other. (This is my first server, so I am still learning.) Also, I've noticed that RAID is often offered when there are 2 hard drives... what can you tell me about this?

Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.


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Re: dedicated server questions In reply to
First, RAID is not the solution for most sites. It _is_ the solution for large database servers and mission critical applications, and for sites that need to tweak a certain performance level out of reads. (Writes seem to bog the whole system down). Anyway, it's a technical thing, and best left to system archetects if you are really interested, you'll have to go get advice).

The biggest thing is to get two SCSI discs. Figure out where your bottlenecks are, and divide the load.

Usually, and perhaps not the best, people put the system and logs on one drive, and the webspace (including MySQL data files) on the other.

Remember, your logs are always open -- system, apache, etc -- and being written to. If you leave that disk alone for other tasks, the heads are better positions for the next write operations.

This is an _art_ not a science.

The only way to make it a science is to spend more than just adding additional hardware in a common sense manner would cost :) (Or, if you already have more hardware than common sense would allow <G>)

If your server runs an active mail server, that creates a problem... do you put the files on the web drive, or the system drive?

That would depend on the activity of your server, I guess. If you have a very active site, serving a broad base of content (ie: stuff that can't be cached) then most likely your system drive is less bogged down, and you can use a partition on that for your mail. (That is what most layouts seem to do, ie: /var or whatever is a partition of the system disc, but that is far from standard anywhere.)

These are just thoughts. Your thoughts, and actions may vary.

Oh.... especially on an Intel box, you'll get MUCH better performance with two SCSI cards -- one per disc or device, than with both on one card. You'll also have better fault tolerance if one device fails... you'll either save your system/logs/mail or webspace, you probably won't lose both <G>

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