Can somebody point me in the direction of recommended hardware to satisfactorily run a web server that hosts several ASP.NET sites on IIS 6? Our stubborn sys admin thinks it's appropriate to only allocate 1 CPU and we are experiencing performance issues.


  • What "performance issues" are you seeing? Is the CPU at 100% constantly? What core does it have? How many people hit these websites? There is not enough information in this question to answer it satisfactorily. – GregD Jul 26 '10 at 13:47
  • CPU @ 100% for several minutes at a time. The websites are loading extremely slow. I don't think we have a huge amount of traffic. Intel Xeon CPU X5450 @ 3.00GHz. – Mike Cole Jul 26 '10 at 14:05
  • What process is at 100%? Is anything else running on this server besides IIS? "I don't think we have a huge amount of traffic" isn't really an answer. Allocating only 1 cpu (quad core xeon btw) is plenty for what you've described vaguely, in your question. – GregD Jul 26 '10 at 14:27
  • Perhaps your sys admin has the same questions and that's why you've called him "stubborn"? :) – GregD Jul 26 '10 at 14:28
  • 2
    1 CPU should be sufficent for many websites, the real question is the number of users, and what the websites are doing? You should be able to run a few hundred users on a single CPU and a few GB memory. – Nate Jul 26 '10 at 16:17

I think your "stubborn" sysadmin is probably in the right here: 1 cpu of the size you mention in comments should be able to power a few high traffic or hundreds of low traffic sites. If you are pegging it out your code is broken and he's almost certainly trying to protect his hardware from your code. Anything that would take serious CPU time should be taken care of before traffic hits it.

I suggest you do a review of your site architecture and code and figure out what's wrong with the big picture rather than throwing hardware at it.


I tend to agree with Caleb.

I run a ASP.NET server on Linux with mono and Nginx. It has 48 MB RAM and a 250 MHz ARM processor, and runs PostGre SQL as well. RAID-2, but no GUI whatsoever of course.

It serves 150 to 200 people at times, and performance is good, site load never take longer than 2 seconds, even under full load. I'd say that's fantasitc for such low specs, especially considering that the database runs on the same system and that PostGreSQL is not the fastest database system I've ever seen.

That's certainly not comparable with the requirements for windows, especially with IIS, which unlike Nginx, has a much high memory requirement, especially when it scales up, but I tend to fully agree with your sysadmin.

Get a profiler, and see where the problem is.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.