I considering a Mac Mini server for a Moodle install to support 800 students, with approx 200 - 300 concurrent users. Is this feasible? Has anyone tried it? The new specs are decent:
2.0Ghz quad core Intel Core i7 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
2 X 256GB Solid State drives
8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory
> 2.0Ghz quad core Intel Core i7 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
> 2 X 256GB Solid State drives
and the 1333 MHz DDR3 are quite decent.
Only those 8 GB RAM is not really up to the rest.
> Gigabit Ethernet
doesn't mean anything if the interface is connected to a 100 Mbit/s port. On the other hand if your clients are in a 100 Mbit/s LAN and your server taps a Gbit port of the main switch, that makes a
What you haven't mentioned is your software stack, LAMP, MAMP, WAMP?
Also explain the kind of concurrency you are talking about: http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Performance_FAQ#How_do_you_define_.22concurrent_users.22.3F
Even with all that there is no formula for
May be you should install Moodle on this hardware post the benchmark results of http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Performance_FAQ#How_do_I_benchmark_a_Moodle-site.3F in this forum.
Did you go through the FAQ and the Performance documentation mentioned in the introduction to this forum?
Mac Mini Servers are quite powerful and can handle 300 connections with ease.
I have a number of Mac Mini Servers hosted in the Datacenter for diffrent purposes.
The only recommendation I have is to upgrade the RAM to at least 8GB, you can also upgrade the RAM to 16 GB however that can be expensive. There are some providers that you can purchase 16GB RAm from at a reasonable cost i.e about $150-$200 per 8GB chip.
Also you can use multiple mac mini's in an XGrid (Mac Cluster) confuguration to do some complex work, however I think that would be neccessery for a Moodle website. In addition to that you can have additional USB eathernet ports for your mac.
be mindful and make sure that your uplink is a reasonalble speed i.e at least 20mbps+ uplink so you can serve the users if the server is hosted online, else if its in house you should not have any issues.
I have this helps.
Thanks guys. Would be using this on a gigabit switch, with 100Mbps uplink to the outside world and gigabit to the lan.
Might be a better option to use XGrid and two 8GB minis instead of 1 mini with 16GB.
Would a separate server for mysql be worth it for the numbers mentioned (c. 850 registered, 300 concurrent)
> Might be a better option to use XGrid and two 8GB minis instead of 1 mini with 16GB.
> Would a separate server for mysql be worth it for the numbers mentioned (c. 850 registered, 300 concurrent)
Did you make a decision? How are the results?
The general consent is that twin servers, one web server and one database server, are slower than a single server under low concurrency, due to the network latency. But they overtake the single server under high concurrency.
The question is, what is your concurrency? You speak of "300 concurrent" but never specified concurrency according to the definition in this forum. See my previous post for the link and the question. There were other questions too which you haven't answered.
300 concurrent users in a school of 850 users sounds too high for me. May be you have an explanation. In your situation I would start with a single machine and add a second one once the need arises.
BTW, why it must be a Mac Mini? I find them expensive for what they offer as servers. OK graphics is another story, but unnecessary for a server. Recently I needed a fast FTP server for huge files, in a similar topology to yours: connected to a Gbit port of the switch, all clients to 100 Mbit/s ports. I bought a ZOTAC ZBOX ID41 PLUS and very satisfied. Costs $350. It comes without an OS, now running Debian Squeeze.
Not sure if this will help or not but theres an online video tutorial from http://www.macstadium.com that details hosting all of this remotely too. It ended up saving me a lot of money over getting a static IP address and business class internet: