Sorry for the "noob" question, but...

About how many medium-sized websites with average traffic could this server hold? Just like the average website, kind of like a small business site. How many sites could this server hold, but still maintain nice, decent speed?

PowerEdge R510 PE R510 Chassis for Up to Four 3.5" Cabled Hard Drives, LED edit

Processor Intel® Xeon® E5630 2.53Ghz, 12M Cache,Turbo, HT, 1066MHz Max Mem edit

Memory 8GB Memory (4x2GB), 1333MHz Single Ranked UDIMMs for 1 Procs, Optimized edit

Operating System SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, SP3, Up To 32 CPU Lic, 1 YR Sub, DIB, Media edit Red Hat Enterprise Linux Licensing

Hard Drives 250GB 7.2K RPM SATA 3.5" Cabled Hard Drive edit

Hard Drives 1TB 7.2K RPM SATA 3.5" Cabled Hard Drive edit

Hard Drives 2 X 2TB 7.2K RPM SATA 3.5in Cabled Hard Drive

Hard Drive Configuration No RAID, Embedded SATA Controller for x4 Chassis edit

Power Supply

480 Watt Non-Redundant Power Supply edit

Thank you!

  • What is a "medium size" web site? Traffic average to what? What do you consider decent speed?
    – joeqwerty
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:04
  • sorry for not specifying. I mean a site similar to your average small/local business... for example a website for your towns local pizzeria, lol Idk. I'm just doing research for a school project.
    – dkind
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:11
  • And decent speed would entail fast enough speed to make the user accessing the website happy, yet not giving too much bandwidth to each individual sites so we can fit as many sites as possible onto one server without slowing it down.
    – dkind
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:12
  • 2
    Daniel - As you might be starting to see, the answer to a lot of IT questions is "it isn't as simple as that". If we agree that a "local pizza place" website is going to be a few pages for a menu, opening times and a phone number then gbjbaanb's "over 500" is as good a number as any. It's not the amount of sites that matter, it's what you do with them, in the same way that when you're looking at fitting MP3 files onto your music player, it isn't just how many MP3 files you have but also how big the file/song is that determine how quickly it will fill up.
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:19

4 Answers 4


This is very hard question to answer without knowing more about how the sites are implemented and what they require. But I can offer some rough estimates...

  • If they are static HTML sites, you could easily host 1000 or more. You will be storage constrained.
  • If they have dynamic pages written in PHP with a mysql database, you're probably looking at 50-100 sites. You'll be CPU or memory constrained.
  • If they are written in something that requires dedicated app server processes, like Java, Ruby (eg Rails) or Python (eg Django), you're looking at 8-32 sites. You would be memory constrained.

Again, those are very general estimates. I'd say they're accurate to within an order of magnitude.

As an aside, if you were going to make any change to those specs, I would get more RAM. Or at least leave some DIMM slots free to upgrade your RAM later.

Good luck with the server!

  • You could also have a highly inefficient php-mysql site that eats your database threads, overloads the memory and kills the cpu. In which case, even that one is too much. So keep monitoring your server resources when adding new sites. Monitor them during peak usage times, and always some extra room for the server to breathe.
    – gAMBOOKa
    Jan 15, 2011 at 10:55

Phew, what to predict? Shot in the dark:


Cut: 'No RAID, Embedded SATA Controller for x4 Chassis edit'

Add: 'at least RAID 5, dedicated RAID Controller w/ some cache and a BBU module' + 'replace the default SATA drives by some hotplug-able SAS drives w/ 10k rpm'


Replace: '480 Watt Non-Redundant Power Supply'

Add: '2x 400 Watt Redundant, Balancing Power Supply'

= you can run at least 4 wealthy forums with approximately 30,000 members each, of which no more than 200 users are online at the same time, and who post avg. 200 posts a day in plain text (you wouldn't allow to submit binary data, e.g. pictures). If you're running Linux/MySQL5 it should work too with a MySQL based full text forum search (3-12 characters).

I agree with Chris Sears - I would invest in more RAM than in CPU in your case. I assume your server resides in a USV protected DC?

It is quite a space race to predict a server load with the info given. You almost never know in front how popular a single site might become, especially if your plan is to host as much sites as possible.

  • This is for a entrapenur project in school. I just dont know how many "regular" sites (such as small business sites) i should plan to host, versus that of how many large sites, that you described I should plan to host. I think i'll just have two different plans, one specifically designed for large sites, one designed for small businesses, and have two different boxes for them.
    – dkind
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:53
  • @Daniel Kindler: Hi Daniel, I didn't realized this was a school project! For your school-project, I'd say, with the power of your server (but please replace the hdd-system by a severe RAID system, do me the favor ;)), you would be able to host the my/space/school-pages of your grand high-school at all. Jan 11, 2011 at 1:13

over 500.

After all, a web server a few years ago would come with 2Gb RAM and 2 single-core processors and not saturate the NIC. What do you expect a server with 4x the ram ad CPU capacity can do?

  • 2
    One MILLLLLLLLLLION sites Jan 10, 2011 at 22:20
  • thank you. This is for a school project, I'm supposed to start a web-site hosting company. So if I was to update the server to have 5TB and 250GB, it would be safe to say that I could host 500 websites with up to 10GB of storage per client?
    – dkind
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:23
  • 1
    @Daniel - it's not as easy at that... you can use that number how how realistic does this have to be? Even if you ignore the fact that some disk space will be taken up for "overhead" then you have to think that a site that needed 10Gb of space would probably be doing stuff with it that needed more than a share of the processor and memory you have here. In practice a hosting company decides what level of reliable service/performance to offer people based on all those resources, and that tells them how many clients per box, rather than just trying to fill up the disk. Chris' answer is realistic.
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 10, 2011 at 22:33

I have 4 servers that I use for hosting, I can atest to some of the answers other things such as if the php code is badly written and it's using up mysql db threads they get chattr'd until they correct their code. so as for what I use. I have 3 PowerEdge Servers and 1 hp server, I host over 200 on one server but they are closely monitored, they are also of varying sizes and are a mixture of Dynamic (PHP and such) and static sites which are usually straight html with css and some java scripts. So you see your question is not quite so simple. The other factor is whether you are monitoring it closely to keep with in reasonable resource consumption as not to bother other clients/customers/websites. You also have to understand it is common pratice to oversale a server and just move sites around occaisionally to even out the resource consumption.

My make up is PowerEdge 1950 2 73 gb scsi hds 2 Dual core xeon 2.0, 8 gb of ram, 2 - 1 gb nics and 1 HP DL380 w/2 Dual Core AMD Opteron 275s 2.2ghz, Dual 1 gb NICs, 6 73 gb hds (10k scsi) w/16 gb of ram, and of course I have 2 iSCSI sans with 3.5 tb each to park the sites on for redundancy puposes. So you see it takes a huge amount of resources to actually host websites and give them the resources they need. AS the one gentleman said on the average a little over 100 sites would be a good number for the specs you threw out there.

Just my two cents,

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