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I'm looking at moving a Magento installation between 2 servers, this is in a shared hosting environment hosted by Nexcess.net

In this instance, the site will be moved from a SIP100 server to a SIP200 server (you can see the specs here: Nexcess - Magento Shared SIP Hosting Plans), pricing difference of $55. (Which is about a 120% increase in pricing).

In terms of performance, I only see the 8GB more RAM as a benefit. My main interest is the support for Redis cache & memcached. I'm going to set up the store to use redis as the primary & slow backend cache, and use memcached for sessions.

I've read some articles which suggest that Siege may not be the most accurate tool to test Magento performance.

I've tried a few options, i.e the profiler, timing scripts & using siege tests.

Are there any other efficient means of benchmarking your Magento store's performance?

P.S I'd really also like to test the backend performance.

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MageStack has a good tool to test Magento sites.

Also, any online tool you might use will be enough since both tests will be done using the same criteria and because of that, both tests will be comparable against each other.

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"Lies, damned Lies and Statistics" --Mark Twain

The problem is there will be no definitive tool that will accurately depict your existing and expected traffic without some disinformation. Siege is merely a tool like others, such as JMeter, Apache benchmark, etc. Use it, but take its results with a grain of salt. The same can be said for anyone discrediting said tools and up selling you on stuff.

The best tool is real world data logging and customers input on the matter. Identify bottlenecks and adjust accordingly. (this is usually an on-going process)

New Relic, Munin are some performance tools to utilize logging of such data, although you may not be able to use such on a shared hosting plan.

Feel free to read over a previous answer I posted in regards to Varnish, as it will pertain to you in some instances. There are other stack oriented elements you can optimize yourself as well to squeeze as much performance as you can out of Magento and the host you are with. However, AOE_Profiler is a good tool for benchmarking the Magento codebase.

Nexcess already does a good job with following some of the better recommendations around Magento: PHP-FPM, Percona MySQL fork, APC, etc.

I have used both SIP 100 and SIP 200 with Nexcess and the added functionality of Redis/Memcache will take a large load off of the web server itself. From my understanding SIP 200 and SIP 300 use a shared Redis/Memcache server pool others connect to as well.

You may also consider looking over Nexcess's whitepaper:

In the end if you are really concerned with performance, a dedicated server is the ideal way to go as you are NOT sharing bare metal hardware with anyone else, not to mention it is more secure as well. You get what you pay for.

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