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Can you help me with my capacity planning?

I am launching my social network soon and am looking into hosting. The question I am lost considering is: Do I need separate servers for web vs database vs image handling since there is photo sharing? Or does 1 server handle it all?

Also is more ram better? If I get 50GB ram is that better than having 8 gb ram?

It is PHP codeignitor and MySQL for now. (switch to NoSQL DB later if demand calls for it.) I will be using memcache also. Concept wise it is similar to yelp, so geographic based with lots of user content and image sharing + live feeds an privacy levels. User plan is open question. Without testing the demand for this I cant give a number. But the concept is unique, no one out there with the set of features I am releasing so it could grow. Ideally I want to plan for handling about 1-2 million views / month from launch. If it goes more than that then I will upgrade.

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marked as duplicate by kce, Greg Askew, Sirex, voretaq7 Jul 28 '12 at 4:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Bear this in mind... You are not facebook. I bet you don't get 1-2 Mviews a month from launch. – Tom O'Connor Dec 25 '10 at 9:03
With regard to scalability/redundancy.. Get 2 of everything. – Tom O'Connor Dec 25 '10 at 9:03

You have provided no information relevant to answering the question. What OS are you going to be running? What RDBMS? How many users are you planning for?

As for the RAM, more is always better, but it depends on what you're planning for. You could buy two servers for the price difference between 32GB and 64GB of RAM, for instance.

So think hard about what you actually want to achieve, with specific details, and then come back and ask the question in a better way.

EDIT: Based on your answer of 1-2 million views per month (which is roughly 30 000 - 60 000 per day), you can get away with 8GB or 12GB RAM and run everything on the same box, provided it has enough cores (e.g. four or eight).

In fact, it won't cost you very much at all.

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I've added more info up. – Marty Dec 25 '10 at 4:17
I have added more info to my answer. – user3914 Dec 25 '10 at 4:36

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