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I am a programmer. My experience with managing web servers is non-existent.

I am writing a multi-site CMS where users can quickly setup new sites. And my code will create a new vhost record for each new site.

All sites will be running on the same web app. When a new site is created it will simply setup a new vhost record and a folder that the vhost record will point to. The folder will contain a single file with the site's settings. The file simply load the web app after loading the site's settings.

Now, My question is: does high number of vhost records slow down a server (let's assume constant number of visitors on the server)? Again, assuming constant number of visitors: Will the server suffer from performance issues simply because I have too many vhost records?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Unlikely to really pose any significant impact unless your talking tens of thousands of vhosts.

The biggest things you'll be worrying about is efficiency of the code to render quickly, the number of concurrent connections your handling and the efficiency of any database at the back.

Having handled servers with over 5000 vhosts, the issue was literally managing the vhosts content itself, rather than the pure number of vhosts being ran.

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I might reach 10000 vhosts (hopefully). I've seen some people creating separate vhost files for different sites. Where some stick everything in one file. Do these methods matter? – ryy Nov 7 '11 at 23:16
No, but it might make managing all the vhosts easier having them in seperate locations. – Matthew Ife Nov 8 '11 at 0:47

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