How much server (disk space and memory) do I need to run my CiviCRM implementation....

2010-01-06 18:28
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How much server (disk space and memory) do I need to run my CiviCRM implementation....

The answer is, of course, it depends. But what are the critical factors?

-- Data base size (Number of contacts and number of custom data fields, relationships, groups, etc.)
-- Number of users (light usage vs. heavy usage)
-- What other applications will be running? (A CMS with a small data base or Jasper Reports with a lot of simultaneous users.)

I think it would be good to put forth some guidelines or rules of thumb.

For example for a database with 30,000 contacts, 200 custom data fields, a few dozen groups and relationships, integrated with a Drupal website with 200 pages with 5-10 heavy Civi users and a few hundred authenticated users….what you recommend and why? What if those 5-10 Civi users were also running Jasper reports?

If you have experience hardware sizing or, even better, if you are a hosting provider I’d love to hear what you think.

What if there were only 10K contacts or 300K?
What if Jasper were not included?
What if there were 25 heavy users or only 2?
What do you consider the most leveraging factors?

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We were having serious performance issues on a shared host and moved to a VPS -

Performance issues continued until we increased our memory allowance - the database, disk and bandwidth resources are all far in excess of our need.

We now have 512 MB RAM - less than that and we have lots of problems with pages not loading and with the server 'tripping out' - leaving our users with server 500 errors. At this level we seem to be fine (though I have my fingers and toes crossed!)

We run latest versions of civiCRM and Drupal and make free use of custom data and profiles, and use memberships linked with taxonomy access control.

I think the bigger factor is your experience. You could probably run the above scenario smoothly on a VPS with 512MB RAM. But if you don't know anything about tuning LAMP then you may need more.

I haven't thought about disk space in years. It's rarely an issue.

I just promoted my site from development to production and encountered that the challenge was not whether the hosting had enough power, but how much of that are they REALLY letting me use. I have a really small user group. 2-3 Admins, about 100-200 contacts and authenticated users. And I discovered that they said I had 512MB configured for Perl per session. They didn't let me use that max at all. After getting the allocation error infrequently, I spotted a quick application that would increase a string and use of memory until it reached the max. That's when I had proof to the hosting provider that I had discovered that the max they were allowing me was about 30mb and that I need more.

Apparently each Drupal/CiviCRM sessions needs at least 40mb to run. After the hosting provider removed their limit I was able to run without a memory allocation problem.