Bit of advice on running two Linodes please..

Hi guys,

I'm after a bit of advice is possible. I did have a 1GB Linode that was often over utilised with my main website, which is WordPress based. So, trying to save money, I spent a lot of time tweaking, changing, and caching every possible thing that I could, but it wasn't enough.

So, I decided to move away from Linode and go with DreamPress - DreamHost's managed WordPress solution. What a mistake that was! The site has been running like crap since I moved. I've decided that I'm not going to try and penny pinch, but rather put the correct solution in place for my needs. So here's what I was thinking:

Server1 - a 1GB Linode to host MySQL, and Varnish.

Server2 - a 2GB Linode to run all of my web files and Apache/PHP.

So my question is this. First of all, will I be ok to run Varnish for the whole setup on Server1, or is it a bad move to have it on the DB server? I'm new to Varnish, so I don't really know. I'm not looking for instructions on how to set Varnish up by the way, I'd had more fun learning for myself, I'm just after some quick advice on it.

If you guys can come up with a better solution for my needs then I am all ears, I thought for $75 (I would have backups as well) this is a pretty good setup. I obviously want something that's relatively future-proof as I'm sick of migrating, and fiddling with the site and it's server(s).

The site currently gets around 100k unique visitors a month, and it's growing at a rate of about 5% month-by-month. Just to give you an idea of the numbers we're talking about.

Any advice would be greatly appreciate guys, thanks!

Kev

17 Replies

@kevquirk:

> if you cant get around nginx it will be harder for you to setup varnish and separate sql linode :)

That's a little unfair. Just because I'm not comfortable using nginx automatically makes me some kind of biff that isn't capable of updating literally a few config files?

Varnish is just a few config files? Then you doesnt really know about it at all.

> It wasn't setting up nginx that was the issue. It was all the knock on issues that I had with PHP.

Its extremely unlikely that PHP will be different on Nginx than it runs on Apache. Because PHP is mostly independent from the web server.

> I'm sorry, but I find that very hard to believe, unless those numbers are monthly, not daily. Anyway, thanks for the comment though, I will be revisiting nginx on my development server as I've heard nothing but good things about it.

I doesnt even need 256MB RAM for my site

lowendbox.com used to run on a 96MB VPS and it had about 10000< daily visitors at the time

http://www.96mb.com runs on 96MB VPS

freevps.us an busy forum which runs on a 96MB VPS

And as an extra here's a site runs on a 32MB VPS - http://32mb.org/

@kevquirk:

The site currently gets around 100k unique visitors a month, and it's growing at a rate of about 5% month-by-month. Just to give you an idea of the numbers we're talking about.

Kev

Do you really mean 100K unique visitors per month? If so, what is the total number of visitors - uniques plus returning ones?

If you mean 100K visitors total per month, that's about 300 visitors per day - on average - so you may well get with a lot less in terms of resources….

Hey Mr Nod,

Thanks for coming back to me. In terms of hits per day, so everything basically, you're looking at around 7-9 thousand per day.

Sorry, should have been more clear on that.

Thanks,

Kev

PS 100,000 a month equates to 3,000 a day, not 300. :-)

Probably a good idea to keep varnish on the same server as your webserver so that Server2 connects to Server1 only if it needs something from the mysql server.

User -> (Server2:Varnish) -> (Server2:Apache/PHP) -> (Server1:MySQL)

Thanks Sandeep, my rationale behind putting it on Server1 was to free up as much resources as possible on Server2 as that's the one that's going to get battered with Apache and PHP. But if that's the best way to go, then I'm happy with that.

use nginx and memcached. you wont need 2 linodes to handle 3k visits a day. just a 1gb linode will be enough

I tired nginx, but I just don't know it well enough to set it up. I wasn't comfortable supporting it on my own. Maybe I'll revisit that though.

@kevquirk:

I tired nginx, but I just don't know it well enough to set it up. I wasn't comfortable supporting it on my own. Maybe I'll revisit that though.
if you cant get around nginx it will be harder for you to setup varnish and separate sql linode :)

You really doesnt need 2 linodes for this one. I have a wordpress blog (not the one on my sig) which I run on a 256MB OVZ instance. Apache and no caching of any sort. It gets about 1300-1500 visitors, 2500 page views and the load is almost 0.

> if you cant get around nginx it will be harder for you to setup varnish and separate sql linode :)

That's a little unfair. Just because I'm not comfortable using nginx automatically makes me some kind of biff that isn't capable of updating literally a few config files?

It wasn't setting up nginx that was the issue. It was all the knock on issues that I had with PHP.

> You really doesnt need 2 linodes for this one. I have a wordpress blog (not the one on my sig) which I run on a 256MB OVZ instance. Apache and no caching of any sort. It gets about 1300-1500 visitors, 2500 page views and the load is almost 0.

I'm sorry, but I find that very hard to believe, unless those numbers are monthly, not daily. Anyway, thanks for the comment though, I will be revisiting nginx on my development server as I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Why do noobs ALWAYS fail to post the website they're asking for help with?

It's a PUBLIC website, you allow thousands of strangers there everyday, yet you feel the need to hide it from the people you're asking advice from?

10K/day could be tiny or HUGE it all depends on what it's serving up.

If it's general blog drivel, then a single 1G or 2G Linode should be more then enough (and a single box is ALWAYS easier to manage, security, monitor then multiple boxes).

> Why do noobs ALWAYS fail to post the website they're asking for help with?

Why do old hands always get on their soapbox and dictate to "noobs"?

I didn't post the link because a lot of forums don't like users posting links - especially new users. Didn't want the thread going to spam. Just a thought, but in future maybe something like "hey, you didn't post the link to your site. Can you do so please?" Would make you seem like much less of a douche.

I absolutely loath elitism. Just because I'm new to this forum, doesn't make me a noob.

Kev, vonskippy can be a bit annoying at times, just ignore him. Generally on these forums the best thing is to post the site so people can see for themselfs what kind of site it is and how resource-heavy.

A quick google leads to http://refugeeks.com/ - is that the site?

ruchirablog - if that's the case, then that is an awesome setup you have there. Like I said, I am going to look into nginx more, as it does seem really good. Also, as I said before, I don't know Varnish, my comment above was aimed more at getting SQL to load from another server. Apologies for the confusion, and for coming off as being rude. Didn't mean for it to come across that way (I was in work and very rushed).

Maybe I should get a 1GB Linode again and hir you to set it up for me! ;-)

That's the badger Nuvini. I'll remember the URL thing for next time, like I said, didn't want to come across as a spammer, or as someone looking for free support as RefuGeeks is currently hosted with another company.

I've been working with DreamHost support this afternoon, and they seem to have resolved the issues with performance (after 3 days). However, considering it's a "managed" solution, I had to stamp my feet, A LOT to get my ticket escalated to someone who actually knew what they were talking about.

Even though the issues are resolved, I'm still looking to move back to Linode, as let's be honest here, they are second to none. So I am still looking for the best advice on how best to host me site.

Thanks all!

My personal favourite with Wordpress is quite simple. A standard LEMP stack (Linux Nginx MySQL PHP) using Nginx's fastcgi_cache to cache posts for anonymous users. Assuming most of your users are anonymous then each page is served as if it's a static page. This works pretty much the same way varnish does but without the added complexity of running varnish. With that stack there wouldn't be a problem handling the traffic you're talking about on a single 1GB node.

Thanks Obs, I'll look into that.

@kevquirk:

Maybe I should get a 1GB Linode again and hir you to set it up for me! ;-)

If you need help message me on the contact form found on my signature link web site

@kevquirk:

PS 100,000 a month equates to 3,000 a day, not 300. :-)

Doh yes sorry - fingers not keeping up with brain ;-)

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