Your recommendations required

SilverBoy

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Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
Dear all

I had a big forum (more than 2M posts) between 2003 ~ 2017, but for some problems the forum closed.

Now, we trying to comeback again, and we are preparing for a big real event, which will be covered by national televisions and other media, and we expect a very high traffic because of that (we talking about ±10K users simultaneously.

We are migrating from vBulletin to XenForo, and we have extensive news site (WordPress) in the site too.

What I'm asking for is, what is the best approach for the hosting, is Amazon AWS good choice for us, or we must go with dedicated server, and in this case which company and technical specification do you recommend?

Another thing, we have a huge mailing list, and we think our member base will increase to the double during the event, so we need a good solution to deal with regular emails and newsletters, so what do you recommend?

Thanks in advance.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,700
AWS can be very pricey depending on your needs. If your users are in your country try to get hosting there.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,659
IMO, AWS is a bad pick for forums (GCP and Azure as well). You're trading privileged vendor-neutral hosting for vendor lock-in. Once you run on AWS and depend on its specificities, its not easy to move out.

You can use regular cloud hosting and gain the same benefits of price scaling without the inconvenients. That is, unless you're after specific features available only on AWS and can handle both migration to and from if need be eventually. Many webhosts now run their own infrastructures on top of AWS, GCP and Azure so you already get most of their scaling efficiencies without needing to switch.

About your expected traffic spike, you can leverage CDNs and a more efficient caching strategy.
Your current host could also temporarilly upgrade your hosting plan's allocated ressources and limits in order to accomodate the traffic surge, either at no extra cost or charging only for the difference for 1 month's worth (more predictable pricing). I assume your website earns enough to justify paying for plans with high priority tech support so perhaps consider that (on amazon, youre just another uninportant client, even if youve been spending 10k a month on AWS).
 

SilverBoy

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Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
AWS can be very pricey depending on your needs. If your users are in your country try to get hosting there.
Yes the most of our users resident here in the country, but the main problem there is no trusted hosting company here, and for more black comedy they are very expensive.
 

SilverBoy

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
IMO, AWS is a bad pick for forums (GCP and Azure as well). You're trading privileged vendor-neutral hosting for vendor lock-in. Once you run on AWS and depend on its specificities, its not easy to move out.

You can use regular cloud hosting and gain the same benefits of price scaling without the inconvenients. That is, unless you're after specific features available only on AWS and can handle both migration to and from if need be eventually. Many webhosts now run their own infrastructures on top of AWS, GCP and Azure so you already get most of their scaling efficiencies without needing to switch.

About your expected traffic spike, you can leverage CDNs and a more efficient caching strategy.
Your current host could also temporarilly upgrade your hosting plan's allocated ressources and limits in order to accomodate the traffic surge, either at no extra cost or charging only for the difference for 1 month's worth (more predictable pricing). I assume your website earns enough to justify paying for plans with high priority tech support so perhaps consider that (on amazon, youre just another uninportant client, even if youve been spending 10k a month on AWS).
Thank you for reply.

Just to make things clear, we are now not online, we preparing the software in our local computers, so we need to chose the right company with right specifications.

So let's start with the specifications needed for forum with trafic like this, what are you recommend?
 

SilverBoy

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Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
Thank you Alpha1, but do you think VPS better from using balanced dedicated servers?
 
Last edited:

eva2000

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Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
1,788
Run @eva2000 's Centminmod on it. (LEMP stack)
I'd also talk to @mysiteguy and MattW as they both have extensive experience with hosting XF big boards.

Wise words :D

Thank you Alpha1, but do you think VPS better from using balanced defecated servers?

Not all VPS servers are created as are not all dedicated servers created equal. You can have new VPS as fast as ancient dedicated server hardware. See 13 way VPS server web host benchmarks I did at https://community.centminmod.com/th...talocean-vs-linode-vs-vultr-vs-hetzner.17742/. Since those benchmarks though some some have more AMD EPYC servers now so depends if you get an AMD EPYC gen1 or gen2 server as to whether they're faster than Intel based VPS. If you can get on VPS with AMD EPYC gen2 or newer cpus and they have a good mix of disk and network speed, then they'd give you a good bang for your buck.

Amazon AWS isn't a cost effective option as bandwidth alone can be between US$90-120+ per Terabyte. So if you have 10TB used in a month you bandwidth bill excluding AWS EC2 server costs would be at least US$900-1,200 for the month!
 

Oh!

Adherent
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
289
Wise words :D



Not all VPS servers are created as are not all dedicated servers created equal. You can have new VPS as fast as ancient dedicated server hardware. See 13 way VPS server web host benchmarks I did at https://community.centminmod.com/th...talocean-vs-linode-vs-vultr-vs-hetzner.17742/. Since those benchmarks though some some have more AMD EPYC servers now so depends if you get an AMD EPYC gen1 or gen2 server as to whether they're faster than Intel based VPS. If you can get on VPS with AMD EPYC gen2 or newer cpus and they have a good mix of disk and network speed, then they'd give you a good bang for your buck.

Amazon AWS isn't a cost effective option as bandwidth alone can be between US$90-120+ per Terabyte. So if you have 10TB used in a month you bandwidth bill excluding AWS EC2 server costs would be at least US$900-1,200 for the month!
I am not sure why SilverBoy requires that kind of bandwidth. Unless he is hosting lots of video, surely, even with a short-lived spike (+/-10K concurrent visitors) because of media interest, it's unlikely he's going to get into the terabyte range. If I have understood the situation correctly, it is that spike of interest which is of most concern to him. Obviously, SilverBoy needs to make sure that the required resources automatically scale because of the anticipated initial interest and there being only one opportunity to make a first impression and all that.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,212
I have moved many a big board off of AWS due to the cost. Even with "yeah, but you can scale for traffic with Amazon", its still generally not cost effective unless you have very frequent massive shifts in traffic patterns. And even then, it's often the case that a good dedicated or VPS spec'd with the highest loads in mind will still be more cost effective.

I recently had someone ask me "then why do so many people use and recommend AWS?" From what I can see, it's like the old adage about IBM hardware in the past: "No one gets fired for buying IBM". He automatically thought of these other hosting companies as "2nd" tier" - many people do not realize how massive some of these hosting companies are.
 

SilverBoy

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
Wise words :D



Not all VPS servers are created as are not all dedicated servers created equal. You can have new VPS as fast as ancient dedicated server hardware. See 13 way VPS server web host benchmarks I did at https://community.centminmod.com/th...talocean-vs-linode-vs-vultr-vs-hetzner.17742/. Since those benchmarks though some some have more AMD EPYC servers now so depends if you get an AMD EPYC gen1 or gen2 server as to whether they're faster than Intel based VPS. If you can get on VPS with AMD EPYC gen2 or newer cpus and they have a good mix of disk and network speed, then they'd give you a good bang for your buck.

Amazon AWS isn't a cost effective option as bandwidth alone can be between US$90-120+ per Terabyte. So if you have 10TB used in a month you bandwidth bill excluding AWS EC2 server costs would be at least US$900-1,200 for the month!
Thank you eva2000 for your reply, I will read your compassion surly.
So you are with VPS choice, I will take your advice in my consideration.
 

SilverBoy

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
I am not sure why SilverBoy requires that kind of bandwidth. Unless he is hosting lots of video, surely, even with a short-lived spike (+/-10K concurrent visitors) because of media interest, it's unlikely he's going to get into the terabyte range. If I have understood the situation correctly, it is that spike of interest which is of most concern to him. Obviously, SilverBoy needs to make sure that the required resources automatically scale because of the anticipated initial interest and there being only one opportunity to make a first impression and all that.
Thank you first.

You are right, my main concern is about going down in the peak of the event, we aimed to host ±10K visitors in the same time (at least), this peak will stay for approximately 2 months, then things must be settle and the curve goes down to about ± 3K in average, but we will try to add this number as much as we can, so we must be sure the server(s) must stay in healthy case and bare the load, I'm not concern about the bandwidth that users may consume, but about the server(s) resources, and as you know, we will pay a lot of money to bring these people to the site, and we don't want to lose what we pay.

BTW if thing goes will, this kind of peak maybe repeated again an again, for every 3 month roughly!!
 

SilverBoy

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
I'd avoid these, guaranteed to flush your money down the toilet.
why? I had a forum since 2001, and I went with dedicated servers from the beginning of 2005, and it was preferred over shared hosting and VPS!!
 

SilverBoy

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
I have moved many a big board off of AWS due to the cost. Even with "yeah, but you can scale for traffic with Amazon", its still generally not cost effective unless you have very frequent massive shifts in traffic patterns. And even then, it's often the case that a good dedicated or VPS spec'd with the highest loads in mind will still be more cost effective.

I recently had someone ask me "then why do so many people use and recommend AWS?" From what I can see, it's like the old adage about IBM hardware in the past: "No one gets fired for buying IBM". He automatically thought of these other hosting companies as "2nd" tier" - many people do not realize how massive some of these hosting companies are.
Thank you mysiteguy, your point of view worthy of attention, so do you have in mind some set of specification for VPS or dedicated server(s) that may suit our needs?
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,212
Your biggest bottleneck with 10K users is usually going to be the web server software along with PHP connections eating up RAM.
Even Nginx is going to be a problem with so many PHP processes. Nginx scales better than Apache. I'd go with a server using Litespeed since it has the lowest RAM overhead and once you get to a high number of connections it scales better than both Apache and Nginx.

I'd want a 16GB machine for the PHP connections,plus whatever amount you need based on your database site. 32GB machine could handle this with ease (and is probably overkill for RAM) with a modern CPU and decent NVMe drives. Actually, an 8GB machine could do it with proper tuning, but for someone who isn't a tech person you're probably better off throwing hardware at it rather than more tuning.
 

SilverBoy

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Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
19
Your biggest bottleneck with 10K users is usually going to be the web server software along with PHP connections eating up RAM.
Even Nginx is going to be a problem with so many PHP processes. Nginx scales better than Apache. I'd go with a server using Litespeed since it has the lowest RAM overhead and once you get to a high number of connections it scales better than both Apache and Nginx.

I'd want a 16GB machine for the PHP connections,plus whatever amount you need based on your database site. 32GB machine could handle this with ease (and is probably overkill for RAM) with a modern CPU and decent NVMe drives. Actually, an 8GB machine could do it with proper tuning, but for someone who isn't a tech person you're probably better off throwing hardware at it rather than more tuning.
Thank you mysiteguy for your kind reply, I will take all your notes into consideration.

BTW, in another forum but it was from a time ago, I got these specs, what do you think?
Database Server:
Processor: Intel Dual Xeon E5-2620 v4 Octo-Core
OS: Linux OS (+CentOs 7 - 64Bit) (+Apache)
RAM: 128GB DDR4 SDRAM
HD1: 4 x SSD (+1 TB SSD) (+Hardware RAID 10)
HD2: Single SATA HDD (7,200 RPM) (+2 TB SATA HDD (7,200 RPM))
HD3: No Additional Storage Array
NVMe: No NVMe Storage

Web Server:
Processor: Intel Dual Xeon E5-2620 v4 Octo-Core
OS: Linux OS (+CentOs 7 - 64Bit) (+Apache)
RAM: 64GB DDR4 SDRAM
HD1: 4 x SSD (+1 TB SSD) (+Hardware RAID 10)
HD2: Single SATA HDD (7,200 RPM) (+1 TB SATA HDD (7,200 RPM))
HD3: No Additional Storage Array
NVMe: No NVMe Storage
 
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