Dan Joseph wrote:

This is slightly OT...

We're wrapping up a new PHP/MySQL driven web site built on the Zend
Framework.  We're anticipating a couple hundred thousand members with
several thousand of them coming to the site at once.  I'm trying to figure
out how to determine how many servers we need to support the load.

I've done initial testing on a Xeon 3220 server, but we're looking at an i7
cpu based server now.

Anyone know a good way to estimate load based on actually numbers compared
to benchmark results from intel on a faster server?

Hammer a single instance of the server with ab, get some figures on how many requests per second you can handle then divide by how much traffic you expect :)

Before investing in the servers, it may an idea to cache as much as you can and let apache serve static files where ever possible, even if the cache'd files are updated once every 10 seconds it's still a huge weight off the server in high traffic sites. Simple web server config tweaks can make a huge difference too, such as dropping the keep alive right down so requests are served and workers freed quicker, likewise with mysql query cache settings and zend optimizer for PHP (+similar).

Personally I tend to split setups for high traffic sites in to 3 tiers, static files on one server, dynamic + app code on another, and db on the final 3rd server - then scale up each tier adding servers as needed.

In all honesty, there is no way for anybody to tell you how many servers of what spec you'll need, because the biggest factor here your PHP code and MySQL queries, if you were purely serving static files though then circa 2000 requests per second is a good guestimate.



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