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Hardware Spec

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Hardware Spec

Postby michaelortiz » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:40 pm

Hello everyone,

I have a little question about the hardware. Is just because our IT fellows at several universities, are asking for the hardware specs buying a Server. I mean, when we bring an PKP-OJS for workshops, the hardware side is around a Core i5 and 8 Gb RAM. But when someone at the workshop is convinced and want to deliver an PKP-OJS for production, the question is the same " ¿ What kind of hardware I need for my own PKP-OJS? "

We already know that it's a matter of how much users, and how much journals, but unfortunately we hadn't luck searching the hardware specs recomendations for low or high production at PKP-OJS documentation. There is a document I miss to read?

Regards and thanks in advance
Mike :)
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:07 am

Re: Hardware Spec

Postby asmecher » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:41 pm

Hi Mike,

It's too dependent on demand and specific server configuration to give a concrete answer; however, I can give some guidelines and will ask one of our server folks to write up a concrete example. Some general recommendations:
  • Use a good PHP optimizer, such as APC or XCache. Modern releases of these will perform much better than older releases, especially in deployments with several installations of the software. Make sure enough RAM is allocated to the opcode cache (each will have reporting facilities that you can use to examine comsumption).
  • Windows servers tend not to perform as well as *NIX ones, seemingly due to the specific characteristics of the NTFS filesystem and the way OJS uses cache files.
  • Memory consumption varies significantly in different releases of PHP. Generally speaking, if your server is running out of RAM, performance will take a very large hit.
  • Systems experiencing load problems can generally be divided into two scenarios: MySQL performance, and PHP performance. Typically the process list will show which is the culprit on a live machine. Different optimization paths are available for each.
  • Server API has a big effect on performance but also involves security trade-offs. Using mod_php is the fastest, but is inherently insecure on a shared server; CGI is easy to configure and can be made ideally secure but is quite slow. Using FastCGI can be a good compromise but it still doesn't perform as well as mod_php and can be tricky to configure and optimize.
In general OJS doesn't have very stringent performance requirements; if you do hit a bottleneck it's likely to be a particular page or query. In that case, let us know and we can look at what would be involved in identifying and helping optimize the bottleneck.

Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm

Re: Hardware Spec

Postby jmacgreg » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:48 pm

Hi Michael,

I'll contribute some anecdotal evidence from our own hosting service at PKP/SFU that corroborates what Alec says. We host hundreds of journals (~200 separate OJS installs, totalling ~400 hosted journals) on 6 separate servers (all VMs, mostly hosted at SFU Library). On one side we have one server with almost one hundred OJS installs running on a two single core processors and four gigabytes of RAM without a single problem, largely because the hosted journals don't generate a huge amount of traffic. On the other side we have another server running only thirty or forty installs, with four single core processors and eight gigabytes of RAM, which was routinely being swamped by traffic for a single subset of journals (all from the same publisher). So much traffic in fact that it now runs on its own server. I don't know of many other instances of institutions hosting hundreds of OJS instances in the same way, but I hope this information is useful just the same. If you have any further questions, just let us know!

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