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What sort of hardware would be required for a website servering 220 gigs/month mostly static content

Nov 15th, 2001 13:39
Anthony Boyd, culley harrelson,


If it's mostly static, you can do few things.  First, a common 
platitude you'll hear on Usenet (try a Google search) is "a properly 
configured 486 can saturate a T1 line" -- which would serve about 250-
500 gigs a month at that rate.  But this means the poor box is on 
overload and "properly configured" in my experience means "time 
consuming."  You may not want to go so low-end that you spend the rest 
of your life optimizing the server.
So what can someone do to get up and running easily and have room to 
spare?  Well, any box you buy on the market will have more than enough 
CPU and mhz for the job.  Get a Pentium 4 (or 5 or 6 or...) or an AMD 
Athlon.  Shoot for 900 mhz to 2 ghz, but keep it reasonably priced 
rather than paying through the teeth for the highest of the high-end 
(you don't need it).  The second thing you can do is to get a 
motherboard that can handle dual CPUs or quad CPUs (you don't need this 
either).  And/or try the third thing, use LVS (free).  See here:
http://www.linuxvirtualserver.org/
Now this is the important part: what will really affect your ability to 
serve pages is not the CPU or hertz, but the disk I/O and network.  So 
while any old CPU will do, put your money into a damn fast disk and a 
huge amount of very fast RAM.  SCSI disks run independently of the CPU, 
while IDE disks require CPU cycles.  So a SCSI disk should be 
marginally faster.  But a good IDE running at 10,000 rpm with a big 
cache will hold up against a SCSI disk just fine.  And if you can get a 
gig or two of RAM, that's just going to make things even better (note: 
if your site consists of just 1 twenty-meg file, you don't need a gig 
of RAM -- the goal is to try to get enough RAM to hold the entire site 
in memory and still have plenty of extra RAM left over for processes).
In summary, I've seen a 100 mhz 486 serve 2 gigs a day without 
sweating, so an 1000 mhz Athlon should do what you need with room to 
spare.  Just get good disks, lots of RAM, and good connections.