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Right now I have a xeon quad core (2.8ghz I think), 8gb ram, and 150gb WD Raptor drive with centos.

We have a few sites that get around 600k page views and just under 10 million search engine bot crawls a month.

We're using Nginx which directly serves the images/javascript and then reverse proxies directly to apache for all dynamic pages (php). All apache is doing right now is just rendering the php files and then serving that back to nginx.

We've been using this setup for about 2 years now and haven't had a single problem yet, all pages load instantly. I'm not a hardcore server engineer, but when I do the "top" command in ssh there is alwasy ~10 httpd processes using between 0.5 - 5% cpu each and mysql using an average 15% cpu.

I'm tempted to replace apache with fastcgi to avoid apaches overhead, but I'm not sure what the ramifications might be such as security or stability or if it would even reduce cpu load.

Would this change be worth it?

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If it ain't broke; don't fix it. –  vcsjones Jul 29 '11 at 22:09
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

One of the golden rules of system design and admin is never to change a working production system 'just for the hell of it' - system stability is key.

If you're interested in changing things around to see if there'd be any benefits do it on a different system - perhaps replicate your current production system, benchmark that then make your changes and test again. Only when you're sure it's stable and offers significant benefit consider moving over the production platform.

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that would make the most sense, thanks! –  Joe Jul 29 '11 at 22:44
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