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I'm thinking of a setup for our rather popular website to be able to scale on the CPU side of things. We are running quite a few CPU intensive image conversion jobs at random times (user input) and the need for more CPU might increase soon.

We are currently running nginx + passenger on a single server. My question is, if I would want to run nginx as a reverse proxy and add a second server to the cluster, how do I handle the static assets we have (images and video)? They are obviously not present on the new server unless I mirror them somehow or mount an asset server path to it. Do I need to use NFS or something similar to handle this? We also have a few protected assets that read the data directly from the file system as well, so not everything is directly placed in /system/images.

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Instead of creating more web frontends, why not separate things by duty? I would farm out these image conversion jobs to another server. And I would also not add a reverse proxy at this stage, but separate the static content to a different server. See also this story I typed up this morning.

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That is definitely an option. I guess I'd have to Google this too, but is it possible to keep the assets on the one server as it is now and only run imagemagick + paperclip on another server without passing the images back and forth? –  miccet Apr 6 '13 at 15:24

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