Need your Opinion
Hi everyone, first off let me say I know absolutely nothing about anything mentioned on this site, so I can use as many opinions as possible on this.
We have a dedicated server with Rackspace that we've had for about 5 years. I've repeatedly asked them if our hardware is really going to play any role in the speed of our MYSQL, or browsing speed for our members. In other words - all I care about is speeding up how quickly our pages load. Nothing more.
I want it screaming fast.
Many of them have told me that our harware is sufficient for our level of traffic. We're a medium sized site:
hairlosstalk.com - Traffic Details from Alexa
But I am not satisfied with how quickly our MYSQL stuff renders (forums, store) and how quickly our pages load.
Last week a support rep made a passing comment that our server was "kinda old". He said we are running a "Single Core Athlon 2600" and yes we have a Linux server.
I asked him if that hardware was slowing us down at all and he said yes. First time I'd ever heard that. He wasnt interested in selling me a better server. He isn't a sales rep. He said our server is about 5 years old, and we could definitely use something better.
1) Given our traffic rank (alexa above) etc .. and knowledge of servers, will our server affect our ability to serve up HTML and MYSQL content? Our speed is "okay" but I know it could be screaming fast too.
2) What exact hardware / processor / etc would you recommend for a sweet screaming speed rendering HTML and MYSQL content?
Look at your budget and spend 60% of it on ram, 20% on the CPU and the rest on the rest :)
I don't really have a "budget". I pay them something like $350 a month right now for a dedicated server service.
Can you suggest some specific hardware that will make a site of our size browsable at top speed?
What is your connection speed 10MBPS or 100MBPS of the server...it plays an important role
It is actually pretty surprising how well a linux web server with fairly low specs can perform if its not overloaded with traffic. We have a secure web server at work (to upload information for clients that may contain credit card numbers, etc) and it's a pretty old machine. Less than 512MB of RAM if I remember correctly, but we have had ZERO performance issues. But we only upload .csv files, and a few other things (although it's quite a lot of them) so there is no database stuff on the server.
But like someone has already asked, what is the connection speed that the server is on? This could possibly be a slightly bigger factor than hardware in this situation. By all means though, if you have the funds, getting a newer server never hurt anything :P
if you are renting the server from them isn't it their place to upgrade the hardware? you didn't buy the hardware, you are renting a server, and for $350 a month you should be getting a damn nice server
obviously for a business, dns doesn't allow you to change on a whim :)
but you could ask the hosting company.
dedicated server - Google Search
Thats a good point actually. You'd think after 5 years they would have upgraded my box, but they haven't. I see the same exact "plan" being sold today on their site with significantly better hardware for the same price.
I know when I ask for more memory they want to "rent" it to me for $20 a month ... which is absolutely absurd considering thats how much the memory costs ... and Id have to keep paying $20 a month for the rest of my time with them.
it sucks to change providers because of dns. but I would say get someone on the phone and explain how ridiculous it is to be paying the same amount as a current plan but getting a couple year old server. Tell them they need to upgrade your server or you will take your business elsewhere. Like I said though, changing providers usually means having to deal with dns propagation and if for making money, people don't usually want to do that.
How long of a contract did you sign up for and when did you last renew it?