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We have a web infrastructure for serving a normal website that has some moderate file downloads (a few hundred K, up to a MB or two). We have a new requirement to start hosting larger files up to 100 or 200 MB. Bandwidth will be pretty light as these be restricted to relatively few users so it will be on the order of tens of downloads per day. Some folks in our group have raised hackles about these downloads eating up too many threads in our web servers and hence they should be moved to separate download site. I don't why our current infrastrucute wouldn't suitable or, at worst require a few more apache instances behind the load balancer. The files are behind access control which we would need to wire into an external download site creating more development effort. My question is does their argument hold water or am I correct? Or is there a middle ground where we can maybe throttle downloads to not chew up too many threads without standing up a new environment?

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Read this: stdlib.net/~colmmacc/Apachecon-EU2005/… - No you probably don't need additional hardware if you've got the skills available to tune your network, OS, storage and webserver. –  symcbean Mar 4 '13 at 22:19
    
This isn't a dupe. I'm asking about the pros and cons of a specific approach. –  jiggy Mar 5 '13 at 13:25
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marked as duplicate by Michael Hampton, Dave M, symcbean, mgorven, Khaled Mar 5 '13 at 10:26

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I can't see why adding another possible 10 concurrent running threads would be an issue unless you are already running into memory or cpu issues. The size of the files doesn't matter so much as the time it takes for the user to finish using the process/thread and how many system resources those requests have.

Can you post up some specs about what you current have and traffic patterns?

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Sadly, I don't have access to that. I'm hearing that it's obviously necessary, but I'm dubious. I haven't heard of.this practice and was wondering if there is convention where a download is used. –  jiggy Mar 5 '13 at 1:33
    
I'd be dubious too if my IT team said is was obviously necessary but won't provide you with any proof. Disclaimer: I setup and maintain servers for people every day. –  Spechal Mar 5 '13 at 22:04
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