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

I'm installing a social network using Zend Framework & MySql, with lots of plugins & queries. I want Webserver & Sql server on one box.

I'm trying to choose between two machines (on hetzner.de):

A) intel i7-2600 3.4 GHz 16 GB DDR3 RAM

B) intel i7-920 2.6 GHz 24 GB DDR3 RAM

B has 50% more RAM but 30% slower clock speed. Q is: is it obvious where the bottleneck will be? Would I ever need 24GB of RAM, even with lots of concurrent users?

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marked as duplicate by Michael Hampton, voretaq7 Dec 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.

    
Answer to such a question is so application dependant it's not even funny. If you want help, then ask how to find out if you're RAM- or CPU-bound, then ask the provider for a trial and perform tests yourself. –  Hubert Kario Dec 5 '12 at 23:00
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3 Answers

We really can't answer this without knowing your workload.

If your software chews up a lot of RAM (more than 16GB) then more RAM is likely to be more useful to you than raw CPU speed -- hitting swap space is a performance killer.

If your software is CPU bound (not likely for a web based "social network" unless you're taking pictures and running them through ImageMagick or something) then a faster CPU will be beneficial, as long as you're not using so much RAM that you're forcing the system to swap.

You really need to model your workload and make the judgment call yourself.

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ok, i'll gamble that its not cpu-bound & see. hard to benchmark before installing lol.. thanks –  JJP Dec 6 '12 at 0:16
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I'd go with 24GB RAM server, because I could use most of my RAM caching whatever I can and this will cause lower CPU usage.

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I would go with the i7 2600 machine, since there is a high chance that the ram is faster, and the CPU is generally faster overall.

I would really not recommend hetzner though, lots of horror stories about them on the internet.

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actually the 920, tho older, has higher ram bandwidth –  JJP Dec 6 '12 at 0:16
    
also, hetzner is great IF you dont need software support.. the bad reviews all almost all from ppl who want admin help –  JJP Dec 6 '12 at 0:17
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