First off, I am sorry if this gets a little scattered, it encompasses a large problem for me I have been dealing with for some time.
Here is a little background: I operate an educational website with video on demand for online classes. For 4 years we hosted all our own media using 6 dedicated Wowza servers around the world to deliver our media. Our cost on that was around $1,500/month.
In an effort to improve service, we enlisted a CDN, which has been doing well, but now our hosting costs are up near $6,000/month and we would like to go back to hosting 98% ourselves, and only outsourcing to a CDN as a last resort with a rollover script.
When we had all our own dedicated servers, we would typically use a 2X quad core 2.66GHz w/ 16GB ram and 2 SSD in a RAID0. Even though we were ordering the same thing from the same hosting company, just in different parts of the world, we would notice large performance differences, that seemed to be on a hardware level, never network level.
We struck a deal to do some collocating with them at a great price, but now I am stuck with trying to determine how to get the best performance for what I need.
Now for my question
Say I want the best data transfer / seek times to deliver the highest number of simultaneous videos? If I have 1000 users online at a time, they may have up to 250-400 individual video files open at the same time. I realize I can get 8 SSD SAS drives and put them in a RAID, but what about the processor, or RAM?
Looking on ebay, I see stuff like:
PowerEdge R810 1U Server (4X) 1.87GHz Eight-Core Xeon L7555 192GB RAM
POWEREDGE R810 SERVER FOUR X7550 2.0GHZ 96GB
From a processor perspective, I can find ones with 8MB - 30MB L3 Cache, but does it really matter for this? Am I better off with 2 quad core processors, or do I need 4 eight core to really get the most out of this?
I understand from the software vendor that more ram is better when you have multiple files open, but overall, they refuse to give more details about what type of hardware will actually give you a specific result. All they say is:
High-load recommended production hardware
CPU: Dual Quad-Core or a single Hex-Core, 3.00 GHz or better
Disk: 2 or more in RAID 0 (striping)
Network: 10Gbps Ethernet
Which is great, but it doesn't say what the result would be with this config. I typically on any given day need to be able to stream 15,000 videos over the course of the full day, with 1,500 peak simultaneous. From a bandwidth perspective, I could achieve that with a single internet connection, if the hardware could keep up. I know there are benefits to having multiple locations, but I could still save over $50,000/year if I can just figure out the hardware issues.
In the end I guess I am wondering if I did have a super high performance RAID, what is the order of things I need to worry about next? Should I focus only on clock speed, L3 cache, RAM?
I purchased a new server and am learning more about RAID configurations and performances, if you want to follow along, you can see the next part of the saga here: