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How do you do Load Testing and Capacity Planning for Web Sites

Let me refine my questions:
1. How can I improve MySQL performance?
2. Will adding more RAMs help?
3. Will server 1 (details below) get bogged down even with more RAMs?

My setup:
Server 1 - Dual-core Xeon, 1GB RAM (max 8GB), LAMP (as image cdn server, not really using the M part)
Server 2 - Quad-core Xeon, 8GB (max 24GB), LAMP (as main server, AMP running exclusively on this server)

Current situation:
Server 1 (top command) - rather free, not much happening, CPU utilization is idle most of the time
Server 2 (top command) - heavily loaded with MySQL (where mysqld can take 100-175% CPU utilization easily)

My plan is to do primitive MySQL load balancing between the two servers (edit PHP and channel say 40% of mysql queries to Server 1).

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marked as duplicate by Ward, Wesley, Khaled, Iain May 14 '12 at 7:50

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1 Answer

100-175% CPU on a 4 core machine isn't necessarily an issue. Performance improvement has to follow this process,

  1. Baseline - know what your performance stats are with a given workload, in fact, with several well defined workloads (i.e. 0 connections, 100 connections, 10 queries, 5 users, whatever makes sense).
  2. Change - make a change, there are many tuning options for mysql which you need to read up on, mostly around cache sizes.
  3. Re-baseline - after making the changes, rerun your tests to see how it behaves now.

There's no magic bullet with performance tuning, especially when you don't tell us anything about your application.

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My application is my own custom cms and a wordpress blog. Actually your #1 makes sense. I will do a study on my server's baseline performance to see if that is expected (as you mentioned 100-175% on quad-core is not to be alarmed). –  mohdyusuf May 14 '12 at 14:19
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