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Can you help me with my capacity planning?

I received an email the other day from one of the websites in the global top 100 saying they are going to link to me on their homepage in a few days time. Approximately 5% to 10% of people usually click it, so they said to expect about a million visitors every 24 hours.

I'm only serving a plain HTML page, with one or two images, and a few zip file downloads - but this is running on a VPS with 512MB of RAM with access to a single 2.5GHz processor. I am using nginx which is pretty efficient but I need to know whether it will be sufficient as the site falling over is not an option.

This content is served from a subdomain, but the main site is configured in nginx as a reverse proxy and uses SSL so if a lot of these visitors click through there will be a lot of requests there. SSL is quite CPU-hungry.

There is also only 5GB of free space, and I have logging enabled.

So my question is will my setup be sufficient for the load I am expecting? Are there any changes I need to make? I'm aware moving to a dedicated server is an option, but the costs are currently prohibiting.

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marked as duplicate by EEAA, Shane Madden, Iain May 5 '12 at 22:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Answered by – gWaldo May 5 '12 at 22:53
For static content, network bandwidth will normally be the first limit you reach. (Depending heavily on your precise setup.). A CDN with a free tier such as CloudFlare would be the route I would take to survive a sudden burst of traffic. A cloud offering such as EC2 or S3 would be another option. Lowering the TTL on that subdomain now would be a smart idea to give you flexibility when the traffic comes. – Ladadadada May 5 '12 at 23:32

Since you know how many visitors you expect, why don't you run a benchmark? There are many tools out there which can help you estimate how many visitors your server supports: ab, Flood, Jmeter, just to name a few.

If failure is not an option, you should test this for yourself.

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+1 for JMeter - really easy to set-up and you can very quickly load test with many hundreds (even thousands) of concurrent users. This will help you find basic connection limit, memory and CPU related problems that may exist on your web server. – emtunc May 5 '12 at 21:36

One of the benefits of virtualization is that you can dial the resources up and down.

You should test, but if you don't have time to, why not just dial up the resources now and then dial them down once the traffic has subsided (probably after a few days)?


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