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General "heavy" WHM/Cpanel Inquiry

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by OffbeatAdam, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. OffbeatAdam

    OffbeatAdam Active Member

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    Greetings,

    Hope I can get some help on this one.

    The issue is simple. I am an engineer from multiple backgrounds, that started on cpanel but moved into enterprise. The unfortunate side of this, is that for HA & HT (high availability and high traffic) I do not have any conclusive evidence that warrants the logical use OF cPanel. In adverse though, I do not have evidence against its use either. Therein lies my predicament.

    I am fighting an obvious resource issue, on our primary frontal websites, as well as the internal administration backends that manage our user distribution for shared servers, and so on. The majority of the staff on our small team and in our small office, are experienced cpanel admins but not necessarily experienced server admins. Many are not aware of the general Apache optimization, mySQL optimization or otherwise.

    Due to an upcoming launch of a new service and new product, and the already high-demand of this event, we have a distinct problem coming up to face us and it will potentially limit our success - not because we do not have the available customers, we do not have the available resources on the box.

    My easy fix, I install my lean debian environment with overly optimized apache and isolate the high traffic sites on a high performance server.

    In order to do that though, I need to know whether not a similar environment is possible in cpanel, or if I actually do need to do this the appropriate way in a high traffic situation.

    I do not have exact numbers, but the following is the information:

    3 sites, at least one of which has thousands of hits per second. The others in the hundreds.

    The "launch" site, which we are testing with select groups and also marketing to test overall exposure, is garnering thousands of hits per second too on its stand alone server.

    In addition, the admin panel has autoresponders and such that are sending out emails and overall killing mysql and the server load with exim.

    Obviously, my response is this:

    2/3 web servers, database server, and a separate isolated MX

    That is my logical response and I would like to do that. The unavailability of cpanel though, would likely irritate some support peoples, but that is not much for me to teach... in most cases I can probably provide solutions for most issues. I don't necessarily mind being the first point of contact for these at the moment anyways... they're rather important to our business.

    Can anyone give me the reasons why cpanel MAY be able to support this, or if it cant, PLEASE give me detailed reasons as to why not so that I can take the opinion of a cpanel supporter into my fight? (Not that I don't like cpanel, it just doesn't suit my needs, I'm a debian geek, and that automatically puts me in the negative argument light with the check writer :P)
     
  2. brianoz

    brianoz Well-Known Member

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    I was just unsure about your remark about "thousands of requests per second" as most cpanel servers would struggle with that?

    cPanel can be greatly accelerated by running PHP as a DSO (with only trusted users on the server) and using litespeed or nginx as a (mostly) drop-in Apache replacement.

    cPanel isn't really aimed at high-load stuff; it's more as a convenience for shared servers and to just assist in server management for non-Unix types. You'll always get something more secure and stable if you use a small lean solution.

    I guess the question has to be asked as to whether cPanel is providing enough of a win to persist with it. In particular if you have to make it's config more complex to cope with the load, you may actually be taking away from the general cpanel feel of things anyway, as stuff will then work differently (ie split MX and DB servers).

    I'm a big beleiver in keeping things as simple as possible and often apps can be sped up by removing the database access when they run. For instance, by pre-caching a PHP page that does mySQL code into a .html file which is then served directly from disk.

    If you truly do have thousands of hits per second, you probably already have specialized hardware in front of your boxes, if not, that's something you could look at to accelerate things and retain cpanel.
     
  3. OffbeatAdam

    OffbeatAdam Active Member

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    A hit is different from a unique hit, I consider a hit any time that a script or its equivalent is run from the same source. This could be a cron job or otherwise. In other words, I consider a hit any moment when something, be it automated or human, causes traffic and or load. Therefore, you can easily receive thousands per second. In relative terms, the overall human impact is probably far under that.

    This is my problem. Right now its a very small shop where the hardware that I'm used to (an ASA or otherwise load balancing solution with a dedicated cluster of high memory, small but high speed disk web servers and large, powerful database servers in an HA cluster) isn't exactly available. I'm capable of doing these sorts of things with a low cost solution as well.

    The problem is, I can sell that easily to a technical person. I can describe the reasons why the assistance cpanel provides in regards to ease of administration does not necessarily grant the most power to a box and in the end, if you're looking for the most performance over cost[rackU], you're not going to get it. But to the non technical, his viewpoint is how easy it is to support from an admin perspective, to our level 1 techs that are first response. I'm having a VERY hard time fighting that argument. Being that he's a marketer/salesman and not even close to technical, I'm not suprised that I have difficulty winning it.

    At this point I'm to the point of do it now and ask forgiveness later.
     
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