As a newbie, I have been running Moodle now for a semester for 380 students. I mainly use it for homework, posting a quiz of 10 to 20 randomly generated questions once a week and on busy evenings. 20 to 30 students are logged in at once. Occasionally I encourage my students to log in from the class room (using mobile phones) and students logged in can hit 50 or more. I haven't used forums much but I do use pages for class notes with links to external images.
I am doing all this on shared hosting at a cost of $US2.50 a month. At times it can be a little slow - but this does not seem to be load related. I have only once been told by my provider I am thrashing the CPU as end of semester approaches and students catch up on course work. I am looking at a VPS but the jump in price is significant - this is my own personal project and I really didn't know if it would work at all when I started.
Point is - Moodle seems to run on pretty limited hardware. If I read I would need 4 CPU and 4 G of Ram, I don't think I would have attempted to do what I have done with a quarter of these resources.
Hardware and performance
Server Hardware Requirement for 300 User
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