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*nix Thread, Our Moodle server is feeling the strain. What server should we buy? in Technical; Our moodle has taken off at last after about three years of promotion. The problem is that it is only ...
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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Our Moodle server is feeling the strain. What server should we buy?

    Our moodle has taken off at last after about three years of promotion. The problem is that it is only running on a dual core workstation with 2Gb of RAM.
    I have never specifically gone out to buy a server to run linux on as I have always just reused a workstation.
    Can anyone help out?

    Thanks

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggiep View Post
    Our moodle has taken off at last after about three years of promotion. The problem is that it is only running on a dual core workstation with 2Gb of RAM.
    I have never specifically gone out to buy a server to run linux on as I have always just reused a workstation.
    Can anyone help out?

    Thanks
    Things like number of users, usual number of concurrent users etc... would help here I think.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    It's not so much raw processing power when it comes to mail servers. Available bandwidth, disk space and most importantly memory. Mail servers use up a lot of RAM.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @reggiep:

    You could virtualise it using the conversion tools for whichever system you wanted to use i.e. Xenserver, VMware etc

    We did and now have 2 running alongside each other 1.9 and 2.0.1 (for staff testing) soon to be 3 when we get our webanywhere project up and running.

    Just a thought.

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    Taken from moodles site:

    Hardware

    Disk space: 160MB free (min). You will require more free space to store your teaching materials.
    Memory: 256MB (min), 1GB (recommended). The general rule of thumb is that Moodle can support 50 concurrent users for every 1GB of RAM, but this will vary depending on your specific hardware and software combination.
    This includes hosting limits of PHP or MySQL on a hosting service.
    The capacity can limit the number of users your Moodle site can handle. See User site capacities


    i would say you need fast disk access as well so a good RAID setup would be beneficial

    link to full requirements Installing Moodle - MoodleDocs

    ours is running on an older style Xeon with 4GB RAM on a RAID5 U320 setup and this suffers if 120 kids all do a survey or log in, however day to day stuff it is fine it is a Windows 2003 box with easy php which we are going to be looking at migrating to a linux base possibly on lighty..

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    It's not so much raw processing power when it comes to mail servers. Available bandwidth, disk space and most importantly memory. Mail servers use up a lot of RAM.
    Moodle, not mail

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    It's not so much raw processing power when it comes to mail servers. Available bandwidth, disk space and most importantly memory. Mail servers use up a lot of RAM.
    Moodle not Mail

    All the same its a database intensive application so HDDs/RAM will be your best friend.

    Also what is the processor usage like at the moment for you throughout the day?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Moodle, not mail
    You're right, however I guess what I said was true about mail and moodle servers!

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Moodle, not mail
    Fudge you beat me to it!

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Do you want rack mount or tower? do the drives need to be raided? You need to specify the users/data storage that is required?

    depending on users etc how about something like this tower with extra hdd and a couple gig more ram or rack mount and then use a Linux software raid across some decent disks?

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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Linux software raid? Never set that up before. I guess I could be on for a new project here!

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    Posting some performance and usage info would get you better recommendations.

    A standard HP/Dell/Reputable vendor server would fulfill your requirements. We've run Moodle on R310s, PE1950s and PE860s for example.

    Provided you've got sufficient RAM and using Proper Server Hardware, much of "how well does it perform" is based on how much attention you pay to configuring Apache, PHP, SQL and Moodle (and understanding and testing the implications of what you change).

    Mediocre hardware can perform like lightning if it's properly configured.

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    reggiep's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what usage info I can provide?
    I'd say we have 850 users on the moodle server with a maximum of about 70 on at once.
    Although it is installed on ubuntu I would never profess to being a linux master. I can do the basics but no more!

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    Linux software raid is easily setup if you use the Ubuntu server edition iso then follow this guide rather easy to setup.

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    i would be looking at a hardware RAID system myself as a software RAID is going to put additional load on the CPU etc of the server. Using seperate disk or array for your OS and moodle?
    although 70 users on at one time isnt going to need a massively powerful server to achieve good results, id look at a PHP accelerator which will improve performance.



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