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I need a new dedicated server to host my web app and am wondering what kind of load (average requests per month) this server could support. It will be running Windows Server 2008 Standard, and SQL Server 2008. The server info is:

AMD Opteron 1218

6 GB DDR2 Memory (up to 667MHz)

2 x 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA II , RAID 1

Unlimited (10mbps) bandwidth

Also, is $129 a month a good deal for this hosting?

Thanks!

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5 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In terms of load, the dual core Opteron is fine, the RAM is more than enough, but how much traffic are you anticipating/hoping/wishing to have? In addition, is your Win2k8 64-bit? Is SQL Server 64-bit? Have you thought about the potential security and performance issues having the web server and database server on the same box?

Again, without having all the information or particulars about your setup, if your web app (I assume it's only 1 web application) is just starting out and you're not anticipating a large load immediately, why not consider shared hosting first? It'll be cheaper (in the beginning) and most providers usually make upgrading easier to server hosting rather than going down from server hosting to shared.

But to get to your question:

I need a new dedicated server to host my web app and am wondering what kind of load (average requests per month) this server could support.

If you're talking about static pages (cached preferably) with little to no database interaction. You could easily do hit 10k/min like mrdenny mentioned. I can't forsee any issues with taking that kind of load. Bear in mind some IIS7 tuning is necessary, but the hardware should have no issues in dealing with that.

Now if you're taking about one ASP.NET webapp with heavy database interaction and with a lot of performance tuned programming (app pool tuning, using partial cache, refrain from viewstate, using inproc sessions or cookie sessions, etc. etc.) I'd be fairly optimistic and say that ~250/min is achievable. I'd really like a little more explanation of what you're trying to do rather than the equipment you're planning to use.

Also, is $129 a month a good deal for this hosting?

It's a little steep but I'm sure they have 24/7 support, high SLA uptime, redundant power available on-site, etc. etc. Personally, if the traffic isn't going to really be used and the server isn't really being utilized (~65%-70%+ utilization), maybe you're better off starting with shared hosting. Sorry to be repetitious, but don't spend all the money at the beginning. Most providers are helpful if you need to move from shared hosting to server level hosting anyway.

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Per month that can support a crazy high number of page views. Think smaller. How many page view per minute can this server support. That's an easier number to process.

The number of requests that can handle all depend on how database driven your site is, and how well designed your database is. For just HTML pages with very little database work being done that could probably have 10k+ a minute without issue if not higher (that's only 166 per second). If you have a large database that isn't correctly designed and optimized then that number could drop to as low as just a few hits per second as the CPU and memory will all be taken up by the SQL Server.

Can't say anything about the cost, we host our own servers in a CoLo.

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There are so many different things you can do with a machine, that simply nobody will be able to tell you how far you come with that server - it will depend on how much overall data you have to deal with, how much data is going back and forth between server and the web clients, how many, and how complex database requests will happen - and that's just a rough overview. If your application is programmed well, you can have a lot of throughput, if it is built badly, you can reach the limit much sooner.

As for the plain data throughput similar - a good designed server hardware can give you much more performance than a bad one - even though the numbers above are the same. And bandwidth is nice, but it depends a lot how the datacenter is connected and built.

So, to know if the offer is good compared to others, you have to look at hosting comparison sites to see that rattings your provider gets - to calculate if that server is enough to handle your application, you'll have to test it.

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It's impossible to say what's "enough" without actually testing it. As others have mentioned, it varies by content. Are you doing lots of server side/database work? Are you serving lots of images or video? All of this could affect your decision.

I was serving out many images at one time and decided to go with Akamai to distribute them. It freed up my server for grunt work and let the CDN deliver the static data. Considerations like these matter.

Based on your description, assuming the pipe is fat and that you get decent access to the configuration, it sounds like an OK deal - but, you should probably take the time to research the provider you're considering joining. Google them and see what comes up.

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Sounds likes its ample in terms of server resources. However, I wouldn't look for a server until you have done some load testing to determine basic load of the application. Get some sort of request recorder to capture some sort of basic session on the server.

From this you should be able to estimate some performance characteristics such as:

  • Average page size which can indicate how much bandwidth might be consumed for a given set of users

  • How long pages take go generate, giving you an idea if your app is cpu intensive in generating the html served up.

  • How much ram is consumed in the test environment under this load, will more ram on a bigger server help/hurt

from this you can deduce if you need to rework the app a bit and then make an informed decision if this server fits your needs at a price you are willing to pay.

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