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 Load Averages - Selecting Web Host - HELP
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Junior WebHelper
Junior WebHelper

Joined: 21 May 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 4:53 pm (15 years, 7 months ago) Reply with QuoteBack to Top

I'm not a very technical person and I have a question on load averages.
One of our websites is on server right now but the host is complaining that our load average ranges from 1 to 7 (mostly stays at 3) but that it should always be below 1. There are some scripts that use a lot of resources and the host simply turned them off. For this reason we decided to switch hosts because the development/improvement of the scripts might take some months and we can't stay with a non functional site for a long time.

However, I'm having trouble picking a new host because I don't know what server feature is the one that would make this load average lower or acceptable.
I know the load average is relative to the server, but how can I know that this high loads won't be a problem in a new dedicated server.
Do I need a faster processor (maybe?) or more RAM memory? or ??? It's really confusing...
I just don't want to switch to the new server and have the same problem.

The script is written in perl, the site is a glossary and two of the scripts are causing the most problems. The definitions of each term are shown in a dynamically generated page.

First Script:
Each term has an id number in the URL. So the script opens a text database to look for the id number and then generates the page with the definition, see alsos and some advertising code.

Second Script:
This one is the search tool for the glossary. Someone types a term on a search box and the scripts finds exact or nearly exact matches.

This scripts are the ones that are causing the problems because our traffic has increased a lot and the number of terms on the database is growing as well.

Right now the site is halfway functional. We are trying to redirect as much traffic as we can to some static pages listing the definitions and the rest can access the dynamic pages definitions. Before we did this change the loads averages were really high and now that we have probably less than half of the traffic (to the dynamic pages) the load averages are below 1.

So it's a combination between how many requests we are getting and the scripts that are using too many resources. (The text database that the scripts read is quite big so I think this is one of the problems.)

Our current server is:
Unix Platform
T3 Hardware
1.2 GB DiskSpace (we only use around 120MB)
Unlimited Bandwidth (we are using like60GB/Mo)

The one we are trying to switch to:
Linux Platform
30GB Disk Space
125GB Bandwidth

I don't know if the fact that is dedicated is better or not. All the hosts tell me that the performance and the loads will be lower but I don't know if they are just trying to sell me something.

Thanks for your help in this issue.

OfflineView User's ProfileFind all posts by titusSend Personal MessageVisit Poster's Website
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Joined: 06 Jan 2002
Posts: 2564

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 5:05 pm (15 years, 7 months ago) Reply with QuoteBack to Top

You should definitely think about modifying your site's back end. Using a text database for such a site is terribly inefficient, and as you have noticed Wink, uses up a lot of server resources. As to the loads, they will not be significantly lower if you keep the same scripts, unless someone else on your current server has processor intensive scripts too, but the difference is that you'll be the only one on the server. You therefore won't be bothering anyone, and nobody will be complaining Very Happy.

OfflineView User's ProfileFind all posts by DanielSend Personal Message
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Joined: 07 Jan 2002
Posts: 262
Location: New Delhi, India

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 3:58 pm (15 years, 7 months ago) Reply with QuoteBack to Top

modify the scripts to use MySQL, get any MySQL host.
that will do it.
you can use MovableType ( http://www.movabletype.org/ ).
post all existing data to it. if can generate static pages for all enteries.
searching is also pretty efficient since it can use BerekleyDB as the text database if you don't wish to upgrade a/c to MySQL.
porting existing data to it should be pretty easy

Jayant Kumar
Member of the 4WebHelp Team
Nibble Guru - Computing Queries Demystified
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