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My set-up: 10 mil hits + thousands of active users

ashkir

Core license
License owner
So. I've been asked a lot about my setup since I'm handling multiple terabytes of traffic, tens of millions of hits, thousands of users, and hundreds of thousands of images now. These stats are monthly. I did do some recent upgrades. Please do not bash my setup. Last time I posted, I was called out and told I would never be able to operate under what I had. But, guess what? It worked. I have my servers completely dedicated to image hosting and optimized to make it fast. I can handle a lot of traffic. You guys are going way overkill on CPU Cores, and RAM. Chevereto is insanely optimized and doesn't need many resources to run off of.

SSD Hard Disk makes no difference if you use a CDN to serve traffic. Nobody would ever notice the difference in speed, so your speed will come down to your CDN. Not your servers. When I first was asking for advice, Rodolfo told me it doesn't matter where your servers are located for storage, because, the internet communicates fast. I have gigabit internet at home, so I experience this myself. The tricky thing is trying to get it for others. It is why I asked for the ability to let people upload to the storage server closer to them. So my European friends can upload to a European storage server, Australia to Australia, American east coast to east coast, and American west coast to Los Angeles. The CDN takes care of the rest. This would improve the user experience for uploads.

As I said... You guys are going way overkill on CPU and RAM. That shit doesn't matter when you're tiny. You're future proofing at a cost, you guys shouldn't spend. Everyone I've seen brag about their CPU/RAM last year when I first started, that bashed my "tiny" setup saying I cannot grow, ended up shutting down and their sites are dead. Guess what? My shitty little setup still is faster than most of yours, and, I have an insane backing.

Rodolfo's guides for growing big are excellent. Storage VPS + a CDN is where all of your power will come from. You don't need RAM or CPU processing because the pages require almost nil resources. Seriously, I can have a hundred people on the site at once uploading, and the server is just fine with these stats.

Breaking it up a bit:

SSD vs SATA: It doesn't matter. The only benefit of SSD is a higher Input/Output methodology. This basically allows you to write more and retrieve more at any given time. SSD's are more likely to lose data if the power goes out or in a freak accident. SSDs are super finicky and the only, the absolutely only reason you consider it is because of the stigma it's "faster". For image hosting: it is not. That is it. Move on. Stop debating it. For image hosting SATA will do fine. Especially if you have a CDN. It will do more than fine. Because with a CDN it will not matter in the end. It is just commodity. It's a fancy word that Samsung pumped hundreds of millions of dollars in to make the public fall in love with it. Yes, it is faster. But, it is not much faster.

Chevereto's recommended Disk Rate is 252MB/s (3 Gb/s) or greater (based upon demo). By default Chevereto only handles 5 threads at once, tied with your CPU core, it will drop to 1. You up this in your settings. The 3GgB/s is 8 bits in a byte, which maxes out at 252MB/s. Your personal computer you're using right now even with an SSD likely maxes out around 2MB/s.

CPU Cores: Now Chevereto's system requirements are actually very minimal. All you need is 1 core. Below I posted my CPU information in detail. But, basically, I only have 3 cores. This is 3x more than what Chevereto requires for a decent sized site. Right now is a peak load time for my site, so my load averages are 0.17, 0.23, and 0.18. A single strong CPU core can handle Chevereto just fine.

Chevereto's default recommendation is 1 vCPU of 1.73 GHz speed or greater with a minimum concurrency of 1.

RAM: Did you know that Chevereto was extremely optimized? And in the 3.7.5 release Rodolfo optimized it even further? Ever since that release, RAM usage cut by 50%. Chevereto's minimum here is 512 MB RAM. But, this was before, Rodolfo cut the usage by 50%. So basically, whatever RAM you had before the update a few months ago, your power actually doubled. All of your standard VPS with 512 MB to 1GB is fine.

CDN: You know what? Just use a CDN. Need a cheap one? Use BunnyCDN (PM me for referral if you need) or KeyCDN. Want the best of the best? Use StackPath. But, you don't need the best of the best. Just the basic Bunny will do fine for your needs. The rest matters if you want to be #1 in speed. But, most people won't notice. Just you will notice cause you're tech savvy. Just use a CDN. Use a CDN. Get a CDN. A CDN is vital to your growth and controlling your resources. CDNs have a robust cloud network, across the world, that "stores" your images to deliver them even faster! Most use SSD to handle more content at once, because they don't need to "hold" onto data for very long.

PHP/MySQL: Chevereto is simple here. Chevereto just needs PHP 5.5.0 and MySQL 5.0.

Now my setup is overkill still. But, it is good for my growth:

Main Server -- Located in Northern Ireland
3 CPU Cores
- Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1230 V2 @ 3.30GHz
- 3300.022 MHz speed
- 8MB Cache
- 0.17, 0.23, and 0.18 average
3 GB RAM (3200 speed)
200 GB SATA Disk
- 6 Gb/s
CentOS7 / OPCache / PHP 7 / MariaDB
Automatic Backups

First Storage VPS -- Located in New Jersey
1 CPU Core
1 GB RAM
250 GB SATA Disk
SFTP Upload / Static serving
No PHP/PERL processing. Just raw image file serving/static content.

Second Storage VPS -- Located in Los Angeles
1 CPU Core
1 GB RAM
200 GB SATA Disk
SFTP Upload/Static Serving

I plan on introducing a new server to Australia and Europe, if we get control of where users upload their content.

Edit: My primary host is BigWetFish (feel free to PM me for a referral link!). They build anything I ask them to and offer kickass advice.
 
Last edited:

Barry

Network license
License owner
Thank you for the detailed post. The only thing I would mention is that the frontend webserver needs to have a fairly high memory allocation in PHP if you plan to accept large images (50MB +).
 

ashkir

Core license
License owner
I wholeheartedly agree. Once I made the swap to PHP 7, I've found things processed more efficiently.

I do agree about the memory issue too. I use 128 MB for my 12 MB upload.
 

bangsters

Network license
License owner
I wholeheartedly agree. Once I made the swap to PHP 7, I've found things processed more efficiently.

I do agree about the memory issue too. I use 128 MB for my 12 MB upload.
Thanks for the insight. If I may ask, how were you able to build up your traffic to that many users and traffic?
 

ashkir

Core license
License owner
Thanks for the insight. If I may ask, how were you able to build up your traffic to that many users and traffic?
It was rather easy. I found my niche, my community. It worked out rather well for me. A lot of people on Chevereto are just trying to get rich super fast, but, that is not the point of Chevereto to me personally. It is meant to be a community image sharing website and brings it together. You can see it in Chevereto's core.

I just built the best image host, and got the best network providers that I personally trust and ran with it.
 

Skotina

Founder license
License owner
Thanks for sharing this, ashkir. Can you please elaborate further more and share the stack you use and especially configs to serve all this. Cheers!
 

ashkir

Core license
License owner
Thanks Rodolfo! @Skotina, Rodolfo's link is correct. I use BigWetFish. I've been using them for about a decade. They're not the most expensive or the cheapest. But, I fully trust them. They're an amazing team of talented individuals that know what they're doing. BigWetFish is a Northern Ireland company that does a tremendous amount of teaching and helping for developer students and developers themselves. They're perhaps the most flexible host I've ever worked with. Do you need something they don't sell? Just ask. They make it happen.

They made every single one of my crazy ideas happened. They made my website happen, and kept it stable. Feel free to message me if you want to learn more about them.
 

Skotina

Founder license
License owner
Thanks Rodolfo! @Skotina, Rodolfo's link is correct. I use BigWetFish. I've been using them for about a decade. They're not the most expensive or the cheapest. But, I fully trust them. They're an amazing team of talented individuals that know what they're doing. BigWetFish is a Northern Ireland company that does a tremendous amount of teaching and helping for developer students and developers themselves. They're perhaps the most flexible host I've ever worked with. Do you need something they don't sell? Just ask. They make it happen.

They made every single one of my crazy ideas happened. They made my website happen, and kept it stable. Feel free to message me if you want to learn more about them.
Thanks, BigWetFish looks awesome. Actually I wanted to knwo what software you use to run the server (nginx/php-fpm?) and configs you use for this software (perhaps you have some tricks cause serving this many images is quite a job :)). Thanks!
 

ashkir

Core license
License owner
When I first used them I used CWP and it was a small server with a joke of a control panel. But, we grew so much and I needed more control. I am most comfortable with cPanel, and thus is what I have now. CGI/FastCGI wiith PHP 7.1 with inflate/deflate for zlip, gzip and a few other things I don't remember at the top of my head.

The server is managed. I get busy a lot and if something happens I'm at work so I can't do anything. Also I'm not smart enough too, so managed helps a lot. Anytime I have an issue they fix it for me rather quickly. I don't really have any issues with them beyond the normal host hiccups.

They also offered me a pretty good storage deal out of Germany too, I'm thinking of taking that up for my European uses but it's kind of pointless right now until my current storage fills up since I cannot route users based upon their location.

If you're thinking about BigWetFish ask for a trial. They're very good at that, and don't ask for credit info. Feel free to PM me for my referral :D It will help me keep my costs down in the end.
 

sprindesk

Core license
Beta tester
hey, guys, I want b to y external sftp storage so, please share some info please from where you guys bought external storage share the links.
 

HenrysCat

Core license
License owner
I use a "Cloud Compute (VC2)" for the main site then a "Storage Instance" for SFTP storage of image files, I don't think you can the storage instance option until you create and account and are logged in, I only pay $5 per month for each and the "Storage Instance" gives you 125GB space and they both have 1TB bandwidth allowance per month.
 
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