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I am sorry if this really off-topic, but I don't really know where to get the help. My group was asked to create a proposal for renovation of university's web server. The problem is the university server always flooded when students register for courses (because too many people accessing it at the same time), and students browsing the information from server frequently experience page error. I must write a proposal to change this server hardware and system to improve the performance. However, I don't know where to start searching for the cost, performance, and useful information to offer in my proposal. Therefore, can anybody suggest some idea to which server or system I should propose?

By the way, this is an example of the login page: Login Page

I was wondering if there is any different in performance between web language? Therefore, I am not sure if changing that would help.

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Why did they task you with this? I am sorry, but frankly it appears that you lack the technical knowledge required to successfully finish this project. A web frontend for a university is typically a complex system which is not easy to understand so I suggest to get professional help from the outside if you have no qualified personnel in your staff to handle this. –  SvW Mar 27 '12 at 9:03
    
Renovation of the server (which generally means replacement), as suggested by the title, or the web site, as suggested by the question? Either way, if you even need to ask the question I think you are on the wrong site. –  John Gardeniers Mar 27 '12 at 9:09
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@SvenW I would not put off any "would be" administrator at any stage. After all we all started from somewhere. I consider the questions coming from a new starter but valid. They do make sense and even experienced administrators at some point face them. See what Lucas Kauffman says below. –  ank Mar 27 '12 at 9:12
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@ank: We all started somewhere that was within our capabilities. –  womble Mar 27 '12 at 9:14
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@ank: I have the strong feeling the OP is no technical person but from procurement or something similar. Beside, this problem has so many facets and possible scenarios that a beginning admin has no chance to ever understand the situation completely. It's the professional approach to seek out help if you are in way over your head. –  SvW Mar 27 '12 at 9:50
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closed as not constructive by SvW, John Gardeniers, womble, Greg Askew, MDMarra Apr 14 '12 at 21:17

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3 Answers

Start by finding out what you have. Seriously. You have no idea how much MORE power you need if you ahve no idea how much power you HAVE. Also get into it and analyse the bottleneck - no sense in adding a lot more processor speed and RAM when RAM is empty and the thing is IO bound on the disc side. Any price investigation requires you to have a clue first of where you stand.

I was wondering if there is any different in performance between web language?

Yes, there is Even within one language - PHP without or with accelerator makes a HUGH difference. ASP = interpreted, ASPNET = compiled. The performance difference is about a factor of 50. But then, this is only for the lanague - wont magically make a database behind faster.

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I wish I could upvote this a couple of times. There's no point in trying to buy new hardware to improve the performance of a system when you do not know where the problem lies. It could wholly be a software issue, for a start. Actually, diagnosing the actual fault should be the first part of your proposal. –  RobM Mar 27 '12 at 10:13
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Your request is way to broad to draw any useful recommendations.

Some questions that come to my mind that should be answered first are:

  1. what hardware are you using now?
  2. what about your network (what is the capacity, the access to your server, the users's access etc.)?
  3. what software are you running now (web server, applications for registration etc etc.)
  4. what is your budget (would you consider changing your server hardware, network hardware etc)?
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Well, this is not really an easy matter. What you are experiencing is increased load at certain periods. This means that if you buy very powerful hardware, it might just be idling for a very long time.

There are options, for instance MS Azure incorporates this, that sets up a temporary cloud service to load balance the load between your own server and the cloud instance. This decreases load.

You will need to look at:

  • load on the server at peek times
  • what causes load (CPU, memory, IO,network)
  • number of requests
  • ...

It seems you have little expertise in servers/programming, so I suggest getting in touch with a consultant is your best option.

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