For some reason we can't grasp there's a sense that concrete5 was designed for small sites. Is this just because it's easy to use and our interface is sexy? So much enterprise software is horrible to use that it's easy to believe "no one would possibly want to use this, so enterprise ready = ugly."
That's probably not the only reason. After all, our showcase is full of small sites, and we don't have name brand logos on our home page. But the reality is there are quite a few major brands that do use concrete5 – I've just been unable to get their PR departments to see any value in admitting it. One day we'll get that fixed, but in the interim here are some stats on our own site that should put your minds at ease.
- Dual Xeon Quad Core 2GHz Clovertown (… so that adds up to 8 processors)
- 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- 500 GB SATA 7,200 RPM drive
That machine runs our database, all of the php for concrete5.org, and all of the marketplace – including the connect to community stuff you can use from your own site.
We use Google Analytics on the public facing pages of concrete5.org, but it's not included in any of the scripts we use for connecting to the community or serving up marketplace add-ons/themes to your sites via remote. That actually represents a huge load on the server, as we're serving these archives up on demand to the tens of thousands of budget web host customers who have only ever engaged with us from their 1-click install and Dashboard.
The images below are a snapshot from Google Analytics and Webalizer on our raw logs from an average week in October. Because of the way we clean out log data, the Webalizer stats are only accurate during the week (so ignore the rows with the blue background.)
At a glance on October 17th you can see:
We serve about 8,000 "visits" to concrete5.org according to Google.
When you add in all the hits to our connect to community stuff you get a mind blowing 29k visits according to Webalizer. The difference of 20k is all hits to our marketplace via remote. Now just to be clear, those calls are still happening in concrete5 - it's all single pages that include the entire overhead of our dispatcher and whatnot. Moreover, to be frank, our queries are hardly optimized on that stuff. I'm told they are "embarrassingly inefficient," which makes a lot of sense when you consider how little time I gave Andrew to make that work.
Let's round it down. I'm not sure how Webalizer adds things up to call it a "visit" and the weekends are always slow. Lets just say its about 20k visits a day. That comes up to about 600k "visits" on a 30 day month.
If you prefer page views, as there's less ambiguity as to what that is, on October 17th Google says we have just over 40k page views and Webalizer says 61k. That's about the same 3x ratio we saw between Google Analytics and Webalizer on "visits" so that validates things a bit as well. Take that number, round it down to say 50k and we're pulling 1.5m page views a month.
Looking at just Google again for the month of October, they say we got just over 1m page views. Since the non-public traffic seems to be twice the public traffic - it's reasonable to say we're serving somewhere between 1.5m and 3m page views a month with one server on a rack somewhere. It's not underpowered, but it's certainly far from the beefiest server money can buy. We do use memcache for caching on concrete5.org today, and as I mentioned we have a secondary server for assets which tends to reduce the load on our hard drive and make pages load faster… but still.. Hardly the most aggressive optimization strategy on earth.
If you want to run a load balancer, pull the database server off to a different machine, and spend some time cleaning up messy queries, and think a little harder about your caching layer (I hear the new version of APC actually works now) I'd say with complete confidence that sky is the limit.
PS: This also might help explain to some of you who are watching 5.5 why so much love is going into things like News Flow and the off site marketplace browsing. To make sweeping generalities, only 1 out of 3 people who use concrete5 come to concrete5.org.
UPDATE: Andrew pointed out that I misread webalizer on the 17th. Its not 61k page views, it's SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND some page views on that day. Who knows what's going on there, I have to think webalizer is counting dupes in some way but still - you get the point. Big traffic, can do.