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Serving static files from an independent host from the rest of my website is supposed to improve performance. I'm cheap, so I was wondering if I can do that within one standard hosting service. Thoughts?

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I am currently busy with a project on the same topic. I have successfully configured nginx to serve the static files. Can you tell me the type of environment you work in and I will give you some advice on what the best way is to go. –  Saif Bechan Apr 2 '10 at 9:13

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Short answer, it depends. If your current Server is a very bloated Apache setup with lots of modules loaded for serving dynamic content and a load of rewrite rules that get evaluated on every request then you can gain quite some performance by running a second server instance like NGINX (http://wiki.nginx.org/) which only uses few MB of core memory and will serve static content to thousands of concurrent clients while barely consuming any CPU.

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You could yes, not sure you'd gain any performance however, in fact I'd bet you'd lose a tiny bit of performance due to multi-instance overheads.

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