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How much can Vanilla and Apahce handle?

edited April 2008 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I am getting ready to put up my forum. For the last year, I have been reading a large stack of heavy books on Apache servers etc. trying to run my own server for the forum, and then just the other day I talked to a guy who said that no one runs their own server unless it is a small personal site that doesn't get much traffic. He said most people upload their files to professional servers like their Internet Providers and such because he said that if you get like over 10 people viewing your forum at once, it will be too much for your normal average personal computer/server to handle. Well, I am shooting for the stars here, and there is a small possibility that my site could get way more people than that viewing it at once. Which drives me to the questions about the load Apache and Vanilla can handle:

What kind of hardware would I need to have Vanilla running smoothly if I run my own sever?

How many people can Apache and your normal PC handle?

Using Vanilla Forum software, is it suggested to uplaod to a professional server rather than using Apache on your own PC- even if your machine is not using a graphical interface and is used only for the forum?


  • i'd say that you internet connection's upload bandwidth would be the biggest problem. Plus some isp's don't allow personal servers being host behind their connection.
  • Indeed. For an average vanilla forum it wont use much processing power, RAM, or storage (not beyond what i'd expect most modern PC's to have) - however it will use a fair bit of bandwidth. Even then depending on how active your forum is the amount of bandwidth may not be an issue - in theory on a standard ADSL connection you can upload approx 80gig a month which is more than you're likely to get from a lot of hosts. The real problem then becomes latency - i.e. how long it takes from when your forum users click a link, to that request getting to the server, to the server getting information back to them. There's 2 ways to look at this 1. Web hosting these days costs very little - it wouldnt hurt you to do it 'properly' from the start and know it was scaleable and reliable. 2. It's not *that* difficult to migrate a forum between servers - it wouldnt hurt you to see how it went running it locally and then move it if you had issues.
  • Thanks for your input guys!
    What are we talking about in terms of members? If I had say 100 people signed in at once, is that too much for your average self done apache server off your box at home?
  • 100 people at once is a hell of a lot. Stick it on a proper server.
  • 10 to 15 people may be too much for a home server.
  • Cool, thanks guys.
  • a 2.66ghz dual core with 1gb of ram will handle 30 new and unique visitors a minute, all day long. With a 1mb upload. using Gallery2, which is pretty resource intensive. I know from experience, I've been doing this for years. What kind of 'home computer' do you have there?
  • I was wondering what to buy, if I had to run my own server. 30 visitors a minute sounds really good. What are the good points to running your own server vs. uploading to a server provided by your isp or equivalent?
  • For the cost of web hosting these days it makes little sense to run your own server - using a proper host means you get server grade equipment and connectivity meaning it should be much more resilient to failures of any kind.
  • Any down sides?
  • less control.
  • hosting somewhere else means you can't go into the space where you have your machines set up and pet them sometimes. I like to feed mine air sometimes. from those little air cans, and blow their dust off, and make sure they are doing fine. ////that doesn't sound crazy, I promise. I have five machines here I use as servers hosting about fifty websites on a business internet connection. I could technically have all the websites on one of the machines, I just like it this way.
  • lol. On one machine, how many members do you have total? and what is the stats of the machine?
  • 2.66ghz dual core 1gb ram Debian Linux $189 from tigerdirect Here's the phpsysinfo for that machine for the really curious, Has about a dozen websites on it, Total of all the websites is not less then 5000 unique visitors a day, with one website taking up 90% or so of those visitors and that is a Gallery2 website. As for vanilla forums, I just started using it about a week ago, so I only have 11 users to that so far, I'm using it on the gallery2 website, So hopefully sooner than later I'll be able to tell you what having hundreds of visitors in an hour is like. those are not run on sentences... I swear.
  • objected and fysicsluvr, does this mean you have differing opinions about what a home server could take? I am planning to buy real soon. My budget could handle one of the Intel quads 2.66Ghz and 2 gigs of ram, and it would be on an Ubuntu LAMP server that would be devoted to my Vanilla forum. The problem is, if my target audience gets as large as I am hoping, it might even reach a thousand or so members, of which I can imagine 50 or even 100 people accessing it at the same time. What do you guys think about this. I have virtually no experience with web servers, but I am learning as I go- like most Linux enthusiasts!
  • using a "standard home pc", you won't be able to handle much (that's all I know), but on the computer you're describing, you might be fine (beyond me).
  • It really depends on what you consider a "standard home pc" these days. especially when you can buy dual cores with 2gb of ram for less online than the single core machines that walmart sells in their stores....

    What you really have to look at, I would say, is your upload speed at your home. You start getting 50 users a second and you only have 512k upload your visitors will have lag and timeouts a lot. Your own programs, such as chat and browsing the web, will also be affected at this point.

    If your website starts getting this many visitors, You should definitely find a way to bring an income from them. That way you can afford a fatter internet pipe, or get a dedicated server, or co-locate your equipment.

    If you are hosting from home, You should also look into a battery backup system.
  • **and for that matter a diesel backup for extended outages.
This discussion has been closed.