Architecture 101 - What's my first step?

I am completely new to Linode and cloud hosting, my past experiences have all been on VPS platforms for about 40 Wordpress driven websites.

My first step here was to set up a 12GB Linode with a LAMP Stack and have WHM / cPanel installed. I've taken "baby steps" by migrating about a dozen extremely low-traffic sites over and ensuring that all is behaving as it should. I'm here to tell you that the performance has been nothing short of outstanding … rock solid / lightning fast response and according to the graphs, my Linode is hardly breaking a sweat. I understand things will start looking different when some of the more active / resource intense sites come on board and that's the point of this post.

In your experience, if I were to add a second Linode mirroring the first one and a Node Balancer to act as "Traffic Cop", would that be the best first fallback, or would it be better to use a second Linode for running the databases, or as a storage block for images and other "downloadable files"?

I understand that I am starting very small - like I said, this is my first step in to the cloud and just want to start getting comfortable with how this all goes before throwing a ton of money at a big mess.

Thanks for your suggestions!


4 Replies

If you need a 12G Linode ($80) to run a bunch of small websites, it means your stack is horribly misconfigured. I run highload configurations (to the tune of millions requests a day) on 8G Linodes. Apache + mod_php is _SLOW_. Change the Apache MPM module to event (or switch to nginx), switch to PHP FPM, replace local TCP connections with UDS, fine tune browser content negotiation so that static content is cached by browsers correctly and you will likely see ENORMOUS increase in performance.

You do not need a loadbalancer. Never try to solve a problem you do not have.

Wow - thanks for the smack-down, I guess I now understand the nature of this community!

Good for you that you have managed to limit your clients' media sufficiently that you don't need much storage space for all those sites. I, however, have the size Linode that I selected because I needed that much storage space for the various sites' media.

I ask a simple question in the hope of learning how I can better serve the people I'm hosting for and the ONLY answer (almost a month later) is "Shut up kid, you don't need what you're asking for."

OK - If that's the way it is, fine.


I ask a simple question in the hope of learning how I can better serve the people I'm hosting for and the ONLY answer (almost a month later) is "Shut up kid, you don't need what you're asking for."

My answer most certainly wasn't intended to be a "smack down". I apologize if you took it that way. All I am saying is that you do not need a load balancer and that you can probably further improve performance significantly. The only scenario that makes sense to me here is for you to possibly have a separate server for static files, in which case you could use a load balancer, but only in the sense of distinguishing between static and dynamic resources and routing the requests accordingly. Then again, you could also start using a CDN which would achieve the same results and would arguably scale better.

Thanks for the clarification. The first post sure didn't read the way you explained it here.

I appreciate the guidance regarding use of a storage block for static media and will look in to that further as a 'first step' in further improving performance and reliability.

Again, thank you for making the time to spell it out more clearly.


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