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Recently i got a project i'm working in financed by a friend. So he gave me access to a 60mbps dedicated connection link and a HP Compaq 8200 Elite.

The HP is just a desktop, but i'm using it as a server, since well... i can't afford a new VPS right now and it got some nice specs.

It have:

  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500 CPU @ 3.30GHz;
  • 4GB RAM DDR3;
  • 500GB HD 7200RPM.

Like i said, a desktop, but with some nice specs. So i installed Nginx, PHP-FPM, Percona's MySQL and APC, to run WordPress, the platform i will use for this project.

Nginx is configured to use microcache, since i find it faster than Varnish. The cache from nginx goes to RAM, using tmpfs. I also use WP-FFPC for "advanced cache", W3 Total Cache for CDN, minify and DB cache. APC Object Cache Backend for object cache and FX Gravatar for gravatar cache, all mounted to RAM.

So it seems like a good setup on my head, but when i started to do load tests, it seems not so great.

On i get 10~20 timeouts at every test i make, and it says i could get 9,699,500 hits/day, max. Pretty good, but problem is: on a low end VPS i run, with 512MB and 1.2GHz 1 core CPU, i get the same results, but without the timeouts.

Only difference is the VPS takes around 250ms to show the content, while the server takes only 60ms, but i think that is because of latency.

Anyway... my whole point here is: why the speed seems better, shows this server can handle the same my VPS handle, even if this server is like, 3x faster?

With Apache ab test, i also got only 15 req/sec... that seems REALLY low, since i see some people getting some insane numbers, even with WordPress.

I wonder if all of this is because my server is a desktop, maybe I/O related? Or network? Could you guys take a look at my settings and see if they are correct, or this is all my setting's fault, please?

Nginx configuration files

PHP-FPM configuration files

MySQL configuration files

So, can anyone help me out, please? I'm still doing tests, trying different settings to see what i can make, but nothing worked so far, been doing this for 2 days :/

share|improve this question
There are tons of tutorials discussing your type of setup. Just curious if you've read through a few of them to get a baseline configuration. – Daemon of Chaos Sep 14 '12 at 1:51
I read a lot of them to get to the point i'm right now. Problem is: even if i tweak it a lot, i can't seems to get pass the 10m hits/day at and 15~20 req/sec on Apache AB tool :/ – Julian Fernandes Sep 14 '12 at 2:16
How much RAM is currently free with your current setup? Have you tried increasing your pm.max_children in your pool.d/www.conf? What modules do you have loaded in Wordpress? Have you tried benchmarking just a static .html page and then a non-dynamic (i.e. no database) .php page? – Daemon of Chaos Sep 14 '12 at 13:05
@KayakJim I used about 300MB only, another reason why i think i'm doing stuffs wrong. Raised pm.max_children to 100, still no change... only plugins in WP are the ones mentioned and i'm benchmarking a WordPress install with default theme and demo content. – Julian Fernandes Sep 14 '12 at 13:37
Typically I wouldn't advocate either, but have you tried siege instead of ab. They are both fairly poor at any type of genuine testing, but if you want vanity figures, give it a test. – Ben Lessani - Sonassi Sep 15 '12 at 22:07

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