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We have an enterprise web app to which our clients post/upload lots of documents [mainly images and pdf files] via web interface, iphone app etc etc. We are also using imagick to split pdf documents into images.

Also, large number of mysql SELECT/UPDATE/DELETE queries happen all day.

Currently, all of this is happening on same server and we are planning to split the process in 3 stages :

1) a server only for database

2) a server only for documents (document upload, splitting etc)

3) a server for the main php web app

Is there any drawback with this kind of structure as compared to hosting everything on same server ?

Please guide.

Thanks, Amit

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1 Answer 1

to have a separate server for db is always a good idea, my question is: what is the reason you are moving towards this 3-server architecture? what is the bottleneck you are experiencing?

only drawback i see is the power consumption of 3 servers but i guess this was more of a capacity management question right? :)


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Hi Richard, thanks for your quick response (+1). We recently observed that pdf document splitter (which uses imagick to convert pdf to images) is sometimes using lot of CPU when file PDF file size is huge... and we have clients uploading lots of documents simultaneously. So, this is one of the issue. –  Amit Aggarwal Feb 22 '11 at 7:49
Other is we have basecamp like subdomain based code archtecture so each of our client have a separate domain/subdomain which uses common database and app code base and each client may have more than 1000s of his clients (so our sub-clients) using the app. So, not sure if having everything on one server will help us scale up. Please advise if I am heading in right direction. Also, please ignore all cost related issues. we are okay with paying for 3 servers. –  Amit Aggarwal Feb 22 '11 at 7:52
yes you are definitely heading the right direction with balancing the load between multiple servers there is no doubt about that. –  njekto Feb 22 '11 at 8:06
for scaling purposes i prefer having more servers, this way you can easily isolate the bottleneck and take actions (add cpu or whatever) without affecting other services. –  njekto Feb 22 '11 at 8:19

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