Showing posts from September, 2009

Setting up and using memcached & memcache on Linux CentOS 5/Plesk 9

The second part of my tutorial on optimizing your server for hosting high traffic websites: installing and configuring memcached and the memcache php extension for your server. This is a little easier than the first step (setting up nginx as reverse proxy, see article below) and can be applied to any kind of dynamic website. What's the point ? On highly dynamic websites such as forums, news sites or any user content based website, the database server load is often very high. The more traffic you get, the more cluttered your database server becomes, sometimes rendering your website completely unavailable to visitors. Using a data caching daemon will allow you to save some data in memory instead of fetching the data from the database every time. You should know that memcached is used by major websites such as Wikipedia, SourceForge, SlashDot... need I say more? What is memcached ? Memcached is the daemon running on your server. Its usage is extremely simple, there are no confi

Setting up nginx as reverse proxy on Linux Centos 5.2 (and Plesk 9)

Following my blog article on optimizing your web server by using nginx and memcached, I'll now detail the first step: setting up nginx as reverse proxy on your server. This is going to be a bit tricky, and you'll be getting your hands dirty, so be warned. What does this consist in? Well basically, your website will be served by two daemons: nginx for the static content (images, js, css, html...) and Apache for the dynamic content. Nginx will be listening on port 80, will serve static content to visitors, and redirect any dynamic data query to Apache, running on another port -- in our case we'll be using port 8080. What is nginx? Nginx is a lightweight open-source http daemon (http server). It is said to be extremely fast, a lot more than Apache, and I have to admit by personal experience this seems to be very true. Using nginx for serving static content dramatically improved the speed of my high traffic website. Actually, some major websites such as, *co

The final solution: nginx+apache2 and memcached

Been a while! But I'll make up for the huge time gap: this post will probably be one of the most useful I'll ever post. I happen to be running a high traffic website, have been running it for about 5 years now. Over the past few years though, my website has known a major traffic increase which resulted in my servers being regularly cluttered and my website inaccessible. My website profile: an Invision Powerd Board based website (heavily modded though), running under PHP 5 and MySQL 5. Servers are hosted in France at At first, my reasoning was quite simple: spend more money on a more powerful server. I ran about 5 or 6 server upgrades over the years. I must say it worked at first, since I was running low-end servers. But for the last couple of months the traffic became way too high, which resulted in my website being completely inaccessible for a part of the world (for visitors in remote countries such as Canada, connections frequently timed out) and just plain slow fo