Does anyone have any experience with PHP running as FastCGI as opposed to a module within Apache? I am going to need to compile PHP from source and was also wondering what libraries are essential to Moodle as I would like to keep dependencies to a minimum.
I am also looking into dumping Apache for either Lighttpd, Mongrel, or NGINX [http://nginx.net/].
I am running Mac OS X Server 10.4.8, with PostgreSQL 8.1.4
With a Duron 1200 (512MB RAM) I am running 30 simultaneous users doing a quiz using lighttpd, PHP as fastCGI with individual user permissions, MySQL5. I am really satisfied.
I am also considering to virtualize webserver, mailserver and mysql-server at the moment. lighty is great for that due to its integrated load-balancing mechanisms - PHP-threads may also run on another physical (or virtual) machine. If I run into trouble with one VM, I'll be able to migrate it to another machine quity easily - backups are much easier, too.