I am running email exchange in a low end server and I feel its the time for me to go for a high end server. This time I want to upgrade my server such that it must withstand for 1,000,000 users. I want to buy a single high end server and divide it into several VPS in which I want to run Web, domain, dns, smtp, pop, imap, database, etc respectively in each VPS divisions. Is this a good idea? I am planning for the below hardware configuration; Is it enough to fulfill all my requirements?

  • Mother board: DELL
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel® Xeon®
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Hard disk: 10TB

Is this configuration enough to run my service?

closed as not a real question by womble, user48838, Ward, user27296, Shane Madden Aug 21 '11 at 6:43

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  • 1,000,000 at the same time ? will you run any anti virus software ? – Pedro Lobito Aug 21 '11 at 5:07
  • any thought go into what happens if the host has hardware issues? – Mike Aug 21 '11 at 5:17
  • "Help me size my server" questions are generally considered off-topic. – Ward Aug 21 '11 at 5:50
  • 1
    In what world is a a (presumably) single socket machine with a single quad-core processor and 16Gb of RAM "high end"? – Mark Henderson Aug 21 '11 at 7:00

for 1.. if you say all in "one division" i'm assuming you mean each service gets its own VPS. Really bad idea.. You have 7 there.. that means on average each gets about 2gig of ram each. I'm not a windows guy but for 1mil users.. I think exchange will need more then that.

I would have

  • 1 VPS for web
  • 1 VPS for db
  • 1 VPS for email (pop/imap/smtp)

Then place your domain maybe on the db? and run dns on like the web and email VPS.

  • @Mike- This is a great answer. But if I extend my RAM to 256GB and if I use multiple VPS. Will it be a good idea? In fact my actually question is running different things in different VPS divisions is a good idea or not? – Karthik Malla Aug 21 '11 at 8:51

Supporting a million active users is a massive "scaling" project that will require lots of planning and research. Depending on the service and usage pattern, it will likely require many servers, load balancers, massive connectivity, etc.

Do some back of the envelopment calculations. For example, how much email on average will each user be storing on the server? Even if it's only ~ 100MB you've got a 100TB online storage requirement. 100TB is the to point where backups alone require careful thought as it takes a long time to backup that much space, even over 10G ethernet.

Are your requirements realistic and do you have the funding to achieve them?

  • re: "Are your requirements realistic ..." I think your disk space calculation neatly illustrates that the answer is NO. – Ward Aug 21 '11 at 5:49
  • Nope! these requirements are not realistic. My actual requirement is a server that can withstand 1million users where I will allow in 0.5million connections to it, to maintain its performance. I have sponsors who are asking me for server hardware configuration to sponsor a server to my company. So, I prefer a best high end server at once. – Karthik Malla Aug 21 '11 at 8:48
  • Well, 100TB of reliable SAN storage alone is probably going to set you back over $1,000,000 over the life of the project. How do your sponsors feel about that? – womble Aug 21 '11 at 12:53

You might consider refining your specification a lot more, something along the lines of:

  • Simultaneous vs. total users
  • Actual number of VSPs and its sizing(s)
  • OS
  • Software

Even then, it is going to be subjective depending on the individual configurations of the VSPs.

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