Given enough hardware and an appropriately designed application, yes you
will be able to scale up as high as you want to go.  The big questions are
how much money can you spend vs. what performance, stability and fault
tolerance do you want out?

You have lots of options -
Three or four large smp web servers and a one or two replicated mysql
servers in a round robin configuration
dozens of moderately powerful servers running both web server and mysql
server with a smart load balancing switch in front.

Both have advantages and disadvantages.  Partly it depends on how you
write the application, how many sql calls per page you make, how many are
writes vs. reads.  It may also make sense to write it into a multi tiered
app, having the web server make calls to a dedicated php app server that
in turn talks to the database server.

I have ways I like to do things, but it really comes down to what you can
afford dollar wise, complexity wise, uptime wise and management wise.


On Fri, 31 May 2002, Justin Felker wrote:

> Hello to everyone.  This email will probably be quite lengthy so please
> bear with me.  What I am asking is quite important to me, so I will try to
> be as detailed as possible.
> I have spent the last hour pouring over this list's archive.  I have found
> some great information and a lot of you appear to be quite helpful.  I just
> want to thank everyone in advance for their help.  If I have missed
> something obvious or my question is redundant, then please point me towards
> the appropriate links and I will read them right away.
> I, along with several other people am starting a business which will depend
> heavily on its web presence.  Unfortunately, I am in the all too common
> position of having to make technical decisions that will have repercussions
> on the future well-being of said business, with little to no budget.  It is
> crucial that the solution I pick, handle what we hope will become a very
> large load in the not-to-distant future (whether this happens or not is a
> question for another day, heh).  To this end, I am very interested in using
> the LAMP (Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP) approach.  I have experience with all of
> these technologies, but I am definitely not in a position to vouch for
> their worthiness for use in a large scale application running beneath a
> heavy load.
> To quantify LAMP's ability, is it appropriate for say, sites that generate
> on the order of 5 million unique hits per day?  If not, where would you
> draw the line?  At 500,000?  Or 1 million?  If so, how much higher could it
> go possibly?  10 million?  20?
> Keep in mind that we have no problem heavily optimizing the application
> (code tweaks, cacheing, etc).
> We looked into and even began development in JSP w/ Tomcat but found Tomcat
> to be exceedingly unstable for production use (not that it was ever really
> meant for it).   And of course, the other available application servers
> were well beyond our budget.  Also, time constraints have forced us to look
> for a faster-to-develop alternative.
> Just a couple of details about the application we intend to develop.  It
> will be very database intensive (many queries per page) and will also
> provide real-time payment support (for which transactions are a must).
> So, what say you?  Given all that I have said, is LAMP appropriate?  Will
> PHP and maybe even more importantly, MySQL be able to scale well?  I have
> no doubt that MySQL is fast, but just how scaleable is it?  Will it die
> beneath the kind of loads I have described?
> What would be *most* helpful to me is if you could provide web sites that
> exist currently and experience this load and are using LAMP
> (
> I hope you are still with me!  Thanks a lot for taking the time to read
> this and I would appreciate greatly any help that can provide.
> Thanks.
> Justin
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