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Recently a 'consultant' came in to talk to bean counters at my place of employment, with regards to being more efficient with our IT infrastructure.

They suggested to be more efficient we should only load the Apache modules that are required on our web servers. (This is just 1 of 1Ks of suggestions). The Bean Counters are very excited, and prepared for me to spend the time to investigate this avenue of cost cutting.

I don't mind this mundane exercise, I see it as a learning experience! I guess this leads me to the actual question: How can I determine the minimum required apache modules for a PHP based application without actually going through the code, or plain old trial and error?

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What modules are we talking about here? Like server components or something else? – Brent Pabst Nov 28 '12 at 16:52
Oops! Apache Modules - Lemme update my question – Mister IT Guru Nov 28 '12 at 16:55
What on earth do they hope to accomplish by not loading a few redundant modules? It's not like extra modules loded are hogging up alot of extra power, especially if they are not used. This almost sounds like the kind of person who would suggest removing bold fonts because that costs extra cpu power. – Sandokan Nov 28 '12 at 16:59
Sandokan - I'm currently in the middle of that argument right now with the powers that be, I'm explained that the savings gain pretty much already been wiped out by just the interest on the consultants fee! – Mister IT Guru Nov 28 '12 at 17:10
You should try to get the consultant to really specify what kind of efficiency he's talking about like in $/day or such. Then ask if he can show a distict difference by benchmarking loaded and not loaded modules. – Sandokan Nov 28 '12 at 17:13
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your consultant is blowing smoke. And probably getting very highly paid to do so. We're all in the wrong business...

There are good reasons to limit the Apache modules that you install and use. Security and stability come to mind as the top reasons. But efficiency? Do they mean power savings? Unused code doesn't consume any electricity. I can't imagine what is supposed to be meant by this. You've spent more than a year's power savings from such "efficiency" just typing out your question.

As for WordPress, its requirements are pretty minimal. You don't even need Apache...

And advise the bean counters that they aren't getting their money's worth from that moron consultant. I'd ballpark the savings from this one at around 3 cents per year per server. You can use that as an example of the quality of recommendations you're receiving.

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Thanks Michael!! This is my current argument with the suits - I could understand if we hosted 100K+ websites/instances, but it's under 200 actual sites, using WP in MU mode - Thanks for giving me the confidence to talk back to the people who can fire me! – Mister IT Guru Nov 28 '12 at 17:13
Disabling Apache modules will reduce RAM usage of an Apache worker process, I suppose, but unless you're running something on the scale of it's unlikely to make much of a difference. – ceejayoz Nov 28 '12 at 17:13
@MisterITGuru I've been using WordPress since 2004 and I even contributed a few bug fixes and enhancements to it. So I know a few things about it. :) – Michael Hampton Nov 28 '12 at 17:15

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