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ExpressionEngine Hosting Optimization

Each EEP runs on a combination of heavily optimized software and top of the line hardware, all hosted in our secure, modern Data Center. Listed below are some of the extensive optimizations we've made to ensure that the EEP plans remain the premiere ExpressionEngine hosting platform.

ExpressionEngine: Caching, and Best Practices For Performance

We've been hosting ExpressionEngine websites for years, and this whitepaper lays out the best practices that we have identified through rigorous testing of hardware and software configurations.

Download White Paper

Hardware

  • Dell R410 Server
  • Dual Intel quad-core server with Intel 5600 Series Westmere processors
  • 256KB L2 cache per core
  • 12MB L3 Cache per CPU
  • 1066Mhz front side bus
  • Up to 24GB DDR2-FBDIMM 667Mhz memory
  • 15K SAS Hard Drives in RAID 10 Configuration
  • 15,000RPM Spindle speed
  • Battery-backed hardware SAS Raid controller with 256MB write Cache

Network Optimization

  • Fully burstable 1000BaseT uplink
  • BGP Version 4 redundant network serviced through 4 separate carriers
  • Our network consists of enterprise level Cisco Catalyst 6500 series equipment for both our core and distribution

Web Server Optimization

  • CE Cache is supported on EEP-200 plans and above
  • Varnish is available for dedicated EEP plans.
  • PHP open_basedir is disabled for as it can hurt PHP performance.
  • PHP caching is utilized by e-Accelerator for shared and APC for dedicated.
  • PHP Realpath cache settings are increased
  • Apache KeepAlives are enabled and tuned for efficiency.
  • Gzip output compression is enabled

15K SAS Hard Drives in RAID 10 configuration provides zero read/write contention between drives and tagged command queuing for highest performance over traditional SCSI or SATA drives. RAID 10 for fastest read/write performance. RAID 10 is a stripe of mirrors offering full data redundancy without the need of costly parity calculation.

15,000RPM Spindle speed provides fastest read/write access and data transfer at 3.0Gbit/s per drive to the SAS controller.

Operating System-level Tuning

  • Latest CentOS 6 64bit Operating System
  • System Integrity Monitor (SIM) watches all critical system services.
  • All Kernel variables have been optimized for highest system performance.
  • The system disk scheduler has been adjusted for best performance with the hardware raid controller.
  • System networking variables are optimized for throughput and set to ignore source-routed, spoofed, and redirected packets.

Backup Strategy

  • Redundant secure backup systems
  • Continuous data protection. We backup your site files using R1Soft's Server Backup Manager. Backup copies are kept in two locations, one on your server and the second on a remote backup server
  • MySQL database data backed up nightly for all plans
  • Backed-up data is retained for up to thirty days

Security Enhancements

  • The EE server has all unnecessary services disabled both for performance and security.
  • Nightly YUM updates keep all libraries and packages up to date with latest available versions.
  • The system kernel is kept up to date utilizing Ksplice live kernel updates. No reboots required.
  • Custom built latest stable PHP 5 version is installed and upgraded as needed.
  • All ExpressionEngine servers come with APF (Advanced Policy Firewall) configured with optimal rulesets for ExpressionEngine.
  • SSH Access is limited by ip access restrictions.

Database Performance Tuning

  • Percona Server with XtraDB is used on all ExpressionEngine plans
  • Database data is stored on a 15K SAS disk RAID 10 filesystem with a battery-backed caching RAID controller
  • Perconas my.cnf variables have been specifically tuned for ExpressionEngine