Ticket #114 (closed enhancement: fixed)

Opened 6 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

Change web host, use better Drupal stack, save CO2 with modern VPS + server setup

Reported by: jim Owned by: Ed
Priority: major Milestone:
Component: Live server Keywords:
Cc: chris, ed, jim Estimated Number of Hours: 0.0
Add Hours to Ticket: 0 Billable?: yes
Total Hours: 0


Gaia host are not very good - they're too busy with their other big clients for us. Their server isn't much cop and neither is their support turnaround. I don't know how much they charge but MANY other hosts can provide us with a VPS (not a whole, mostly wasted but horribly underpowered dedicated server) with lots of flexibility and speed.

E.g. Linode (http://www.linode.com/) has unmanaged London-based hosting and can provide us a very Fast (according to several reviews I've read) VPS with 1Gb memory, 32Gb storage and 400GB of bandwidth for ~£25 per month. IF we needed more juice (and I see no reason why we would), memory and CPU can be extended easily. Linode are one of the best I've found so far, though there are literally hundreds to choose from.

I'm pretty certains a modern, low-power server split into many virtual machines is much better for the environment than as single machine - it's basic maths.

Finally, by getting a Pantheon Mercury Drupal (http://getpantheon.com/mercury/what-is-mercury) VPS image we can have a Drupal system that is tuned, supported, AND VERY VERY VERY FAST up and running in a few minutes. It's really worth your time to read about it.

Feel free to close/delete this ticket if it's inappropriate, but frankly Gaia's service and performance on our current setup has been embarrassing.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by chris

  • Cc Ed added

The current live server *is* a virtual server (as is the dev server) -- we don't have a "horribly underpowered dedicated server" -- we have a virtual server on a "horribly underpowered dedicated server"...

The new server will also be a virtual server.

I'd be happy to set up Pantheon Mercury Drupal server, as long as it's on a server running Linux -- it would be a lot more work doing it on FreeBSD.

I expect Webarchitects could match the Linode specs / prices if needs be, we are looking at getting a machine which would be even faster than the server the current dev site is running on.

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by jim

Thanks for the clarification, Chris - for some reason I thought we had a dedicated box, but a VPS does make a lot more sense.

Agree about a Linux server, and ideally Debian or Ubuntu for my 2p too, not that my preference matters at that level! Though Mercury is currently sitting on Ubuntu - see more and full instructions for setting up a Mercury stack/image are here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/70268. Perhaps we could get the AMI and run it somewhere as a test? - in fact I was considering doing all this inside VirtualBox? on my local machine as a test run for another site anyway, especially as I think I'll move my hosting from EcoWebHosting? to Linode over the next year or so.

But in any case, updating our current setup by replacing Drupal with Pressflow, Boost (which is better than Gaia claim IMHO) with Varnish, and basic caching with Memcache should make the site absolutely fly and even be able to shrug off a Slashdotting or being Dug to death, should that happen to us. Oh, and We don't need Apache Solr really at this stage as our searching is plain text and un-faceted. And it would save CO2 by doing much less processing.

Interesting times for Drupal and LAMP+ stacks...

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by chris

  • Cc chris, ed added; Chris, Ed removed

BTW usernames are *case sensitive* -- Chris is expanded to Chris@… which bounces -- this is why I didn't get a email about this ticket.

I have lower cased the names in the CC box.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by chris

I'm all for experimenting with this stuff and would happily set up new dev server for this, but I think we are currently tied into a one year contract with Gaia(?), so I think the first priority is to make sure things are running as well as they can on the new Gaia server.

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by jim

We are, but my understanding is there's a renewal and renegotiation coming up this autumn... Ed?

I will be playing with server images this august for my own client's benefit - will keep you posted if anything exciting happens!

Finally, one important question: Do we really need a managed service like we appear to have now? Wouldn't a virtual server with root access and complete server image control, plus you Chris be a more cost-effective and flexible solution? Why do we need the likes of Gaia involved? Honest question, not a dig at Gaia - I just wondered?

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by chris

Wouldn't a virtual server with root access and complete server image control, plus you Chris be a more cost-effective and flexible solution?

It's a solution that would be fine with me, Ed is probably the one to judge if it would be cost-effective though ;-)

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by ed

as part of our due diligence we will perform an annual assessment of service providers. we have a one year contract with gaia which ends at the end of 2010, so we need to keep a weather eye on the horizon and a healthy conversation going. having bought the gaia service without any direct technical input, i am keen to make sure that when we are reviewing things, that those who know the most about it are talking about it and we have mapped out the pros and cons so TN can make an *informed* decision this time!

yes - in the meantime, charles and benjamin at gaia have ramped us up to the tier2 hardware at no extra charge, so that's an immediate focus...

comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by chris

  • Cc jim added
  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed

Closing this as the site has been moved, see ticket:147 and also see ticket:161 for Project Mercury and the Varnish Accelerating Proxy.

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