I've been having some problems with Moodle getting Slooooowwwww with just 60 concurrent users!! The school has around 150 stations currently, with plans for double this in the next few years. Obviously something needs to be done about this now! It may of course not be moodle's fault it may be something else?
Watching the performance analysis tools during use indicates Apache is taking large percentages of the processor. RAM, network and HDD activity is all low. We have plans to purchase a dedicated server but budget it tight, would a P4 with a similar clock speed be much better with it's larger cache (given we are looking for around 3 times the number of users it would have to perform A LOT better).
Should I be looking at php accelerators? If so, which? Or is it just a case of tweaking my Apache settings? The other thought is to switch to a *nix OS instead of Windows, but this would have to be a last resort as all of our other servers are Windows of some flavour and it would introduce adminstration issues.
Thanks for all your help,
The only accelerator for Windows appears to be http://www.turcksoft.com/en/e_mmc.htm (Overall I'd recommend Linux for best performance and support on i386 hardware)
You might also try moving your database to another machine to share the load a bit.
This way, you will get performance improvements and bug fixes. So, for example, upgrading MySQL to 4.0.14 would make your database access much faster, since it performs a good query cache. The other upgrades will also help (last version of Apache 1.3 and last of PHP 4.3). Do not forget to upgrade your Windows XP with the latest patches from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
And... of course, a Linux box would give you a much better performance.
Hope this helps.
But I figured there is no reason to upload worddokuments really when there is a HTML- editor built into moodle that works just fine. On many workstations I also got a error when word dokuments was used.. Don't remeber what the error said but it basically said something like META error dokument not found or something like that. So on some workstations it worked and some it didn't. But I never figured out why. I just figured that word takes more load in the network and is EVIL so I told the teachers to use what suppose to be on the web.. like HTML and .pdf .gif .jpg files instead. But if someone has the same problem and figure it out then I would appriciate a little note dropped to me explaining it.
We now have mmcache installed, let's see what happens now.
We've also found some money to buy a beefy server, so if things don't get faster, a dual processor should sort things out.
Could someone explain what the key differences (when used to run a web and db server) between P4's and Xeons?
I dont pretend to be an expert, but I recommend to switch to a Linux box. If you were not experienced with linux, I recommend to configure your server with xampp (http://www.apachefriends.org/index-en.html) that is an integrated server packet that has all things you´ll need to run moodle and more (apache, php, mysql, cgi-bin, proftdetc). Of course, if you dont install X you´ll save a lot of resources, and you might be carefull with which services and process you´re running.
I use Slackware linux, with last kernel compilated, 3com nics and a PIII 550 with 256 Mb RAM for a little server of small traffic, and its ok.
Last issue: if you want to upgrade your cpu, it may be a good idea to evaluate AMD XP or Opteron processors. They´re really fast and good ones, but you need to take care about cooling them.
Greetings from Chile and sorry if my English is too horrible!
Well, we had the first real test this morning with 2 classes of around 25 in each. Things performed superbly. We have 3 classes running simultaneously this afternoon, it will be interesting to see how that goes.
Some interesting stats from mmCache as it records the number of hits to any particular php script.
and there quite a number of scripts with 3-5000 hits too. No wonder the poor machine was crawling having to interpret all of that.....
Pablo, thanks for your thoughts, but moving to Linux isn't really an option. This started out as a hobby of mine and will eventually become administered by the main school's technicians who don't know (and don't want to know) about Linux. All the other servers run Windows so it makes sense to stay with Windows. If it were my choice, then I'd switch, but I have to consider other factors.