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I am running some very small sites that recieve a lot of traffic in bursts. The content served is < 2MB per user but there have been upto 8000 connections at a single time, this would probably be sustained for 2 or 3 hours but would rise and fall. I'm not certain 8000 would be the upper limit because so far I've been hosting on shared webhosting accounts and they've not taken too kindly to the large amount of traffic and have suspended service.

My question is, in order to comfortably handle this amount of traffic should I be looking at a VPS or a dedicated server?

I don't need to have much diskspace at all. Does anyone have any suggestions on cost-effective solutions, bearing in mind that the traffic is spread fairly evenly between the US and Europe at any given time.

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8000 simultaneously is lot, you'll be hitting the C10k problem: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C10k_problem –  mkudlacek Mar 11 '11 at 10:10
I see, Thanks for your quick response. I'd intend to install something quite light - either nginx or lighthttpd, but if they are not going to cut it then I'll just have to accept some maximum value and add more servers as required. How about the RAM/CPU issues? i.e, VPS vs. Dedi? –  arpz Mar 11 '11 at 10:24
I can't say, but think about running multiple cloud servers and adding more in case load gets higher. Should be less expensive than running VPS or dedicated servers all the time. If the content you serve can be served this way. –  mkudlacek Mar 11 '11 at 10:43
Thanks for the advice. I've looked into cloud computing before and didn't really see the point. Having just setup a trial account with a company and deployed a debian OS within 5 minutes I guess you can call me a convert. –  arpz Mar 11 '11 at 11:26

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