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Topic: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums? (Read 3958 times) previous topic - next topic
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VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

I am shopping around for VPS and the above question come into my mind. So I was wondering, those big forums, how do they handle their users when they are using the forum simultaneously? Normal server would have been congested and jammed if it is used simultaneously like that. So, what is the server specs and software normally used by them? Do share your knowledge, experience or thoughts. I am interested to learn more about this.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #1
All they need is enough bandwidth, a good processor and enough RAM. Value of these vary according to the traffic they receive

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #2
Ok. That're the specs but what about software setup?

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #3
You could most things with cPanel.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #4
From what I gather around the forums, I understood nowadays, most of the big forums are using more or less the "usual" stuff: of course linux+apache+mysql+php (LAMP) then nginx "in front" of apache to basically handle all the static files (nging is lighter and faster than apache+php AFAIU so it's better when there is no need to start php at all, i.e. static files). Then a search server, usually Shpinx, to reduce the load on mysql during searches (that is the most complex stuff done on the database).

This of course goes for the common php forums, if you want to go with something else, then replace php (and anything that is required by it) with the software of your choice (for example node.js) ... more or less.
I understood that Discourse (written in Ruby) is distributed only via a Docker container (that is a sort of "thing" that contains anything the software needs in order to run except the OS).

The exact specifications really, really depend on what is your traffic. It can go from a simple shared hosting (I've see in the realm of 1M+ forums hosted on shared) up to multiple dedicated servers with specific roles (web-server, mail-server, sql-server, reverse-proxy) with more or less redundancy.

I'm not sure how cPanel is that useful in most of the "big" forums... if you don't know what you are doing (i.e. you just click here and there like me) it's likely you pay someone to take care of the servers, otherwise everything crumbles at the first problem...
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Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #5
If I understand correctly, similar to webmin/virtualmin, cPanel to have a one click installer. Like, for mail server they have Dovecot and the likes, you can also install LAMP stack with guidance from the web panel.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #6
most of the big forums are using more or less the "usual" stuff: of course linux+apache+mysql+php (LAMP)
Thank you @emanuele. I think I got this basic one covered but these other suggestions I need to research some more.

then nginx "in front" of apache to basically handle all the static files (nging is lighter and faster than apache+php AFAIU so it's better when there is no need to start php at all, i.e. static files).
I'd say this static files' handling is smart and wise.

Then a search server, usually Shpinx, to reduce the load on mysql during searches (that is the most complex stuff done on the database).
I am not familiar with this Sphinx but this search server is also smart and wis.

The exact specifications really, really depend on what is your traffic. It can go from a simple shared hosting (I've see in the realm of 1M+ forums hosted on shared) up to multiple dedicated servers with specific roles (web-server, mail-server, sql-server, reverse-proxy) with more or less redundancy.
I have not yet test the multiple servers yet but already got its documentation ready (ISPConfig3).

For the time being I still use my own server (linux-ubuntu+apache+mysql+php) for all the testings. I will research about all the suggestions.

Thanks guys.


Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #8
If I understand correctly, similar to webmin/virtualmin, cPanel to have a one click installer. Like, for mail server they have Dovecot and the likes, you can also install LAMP stack with guidance from the web panel.
As usual, it all depends on what you want to achieve:
https://features.cpanel.net/topic/sphinx-with-cpanel <= if you want to use Sphinx, cPanel is of no help.
https://features.cpanel.net/topic/as-a-server-administrator-i-want-standalone-nginx-supported-as-an-alternative-to-apache-so-that-i-can-offer-faster-speed-and-lower-load-on-smallers-servers <= if you want to use nginx you'll have to wait until they implement it

Of course, with cPanel you can do most of the things people need, but once you scale up to a certain level, cPanel becomes just a tool to help the web-admin to do the mundane tasks, while the sysadmin job will be done by someone with such a knowledge to do the job. ;)
It all depends where you want to set the level.
I've "worked" for people with dedicated servers that (the owners) only had access to a kind of limited cPanel interface, while the sysadmin part was managed by the hosting (of course paid).
There is no "right way" here as in many other situations, there are a range of possible alternatives from which you can pick. ;)
Bugs creator.
Features destroyer.
Template killer.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #9
cPanel is a paid software which I do not prefer to use. I am using ISPConfig 3 and will stay with it as it has all the advantages to create multiple dedicated servers with as well as their mirrors, if needed. One can also become a subscribed member and get all the support he needs.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #10
cPanel costs about $12 per month per license.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #11
Noted that @meetdilip. I'd still prefer ISPConfig 3 for control panel as I only use it for personal / private use. Besides, I'm already being used to it.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #12
cPanel costs about $12 per month per license.

InterWorx costs $7/mo for a VPS license, $20/mo for a Dedicated Server license.

Also, disclaimer: I run a web-hosting company here at EidolonHost. For most use-cases, even a small $5 VPS from DigitalOcean, Vultr and many other providers can run a forum fairly easily if you know how to configure your VPS to your exact liking.

As for me, my setup's that I have InterWorx's Single Domain license, usually only available to authorized Resellers (of which I am one and can get you the license), which is free for those who need just one domain on their VPS, running on EidolonHost.com because it simplifies management of everything for me.

There is such a thing as too much messing with things. :P But, it really is up to you how you decide you want to proceed. :)

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #13
...if you know how to configure your VPS to your exact liking.
I am looking more on how to configure VPS other than its specification or provider for big forum. I am running my own private server, so I think this should not be that difficult.

Re: VPS - The Server Specs And Softwares Used For Big Forums?

Reply #14
...if you know how to configure your VPS to your exact liking.
I am looking more on how to configure VPS other than its specification or provider for big forum. I am running my own private server, so I think this should not be that difficult.

Aaaah. In that case, what OS and what're you looking to configure? Answer that and I can get you guides to just about all you need.