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I am considering upgrading my current account with my Magento host, but I need some advice about the importance of RAM, or SSD for magento.

  • My current setup is 2GB RAM / 2 CPUs / 50 Processes, with SSD
  • But for the same price I can get 4GB RAM / 2 CPUs / 50 Processes with regular RAID 1 HDD

Before I decided to go with SSD as I read that since magento DB accesses lots of things that its best to go SSD route, but I just wanted to know if anyone has some comments about this?

Thanks

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I would go with the SSD route as I run Magento on CentOS via VirtualBox and have tried allocating 2GB and also 4GB (although it's currently at 8GB). From my experience there was not a noticible difference going from 2GB to 4GB - however there was a noticeable difference going from 1GB to 2GB.

While it really does depend on your metrics and goals as pointed out by Anton S, and I acknowledge that my dev environment does not replicate a live server environment, I would say the SSD route would prove to be more beneficial for your needs based on the fact that - your database runs on the same server and most of the time, the bottleneck is the database.

  • Great stuff, right now the website is pretty small (around 500 visits a day) and am getting page speeds of about 1s so I am happy with performance for now. Next step would be to go for a VPS/dedicated server but just wanted to know if I can squeeze a bit more out of my current setup. For now I will just stay on SSD then :-) – Alex Oct 10 '13 at 11:01
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Excellent, this is always a good subject with many many opinions. Actually there is a rule that works for 95%+ of cases, hosting should be 1% of revenue to be in the top 5% (which is where half the revenue is generated), the top-down view (the percentage decreases the less you want to be at the top). If you choose based on hosting price first your revenue will be reflected on a bottom-up approach, but most of the time will still match the 1%. There are various reasons for this but Google and Visitors are very sensitive to your hosting which controls ranking and checkout performance.

SSD is a nice to have one you have non-cached speeds ideally 2-3s or less, this is the same principle for FPC, as the file system should be rarely hit if you set it up correctly, otherwise the benefits are maginal (not that you will be told this as hosting providers love upselling SSD). Magento is CPU intensive so the answer all depends on caching you have (memcache, apc, varnish), web server software (apache, litespeed, nginx), number of products, numbers of websites/stores, extensions, custom code, theme using ajax.

The 100sales per day is pretty funny, under normal business circumstances you are then generating $1.5million revenue per year, on the cusp of EE (from $2million to $10million), and should be running on clusters with 100,000 visitors per month to generate the 2-3% conversion rate to get to 3,000orders.

If you are running on a shared hosting you have no choice of the technology, but if a vps or dedicated then you need to choose your whole architecture. SSD is a technical choice to squeeze some simple performance out (20% improvement) without doing anything, the RAID will perform better if your caching architecture is correct. Only you can decide which is best.

  • I appreciate your help, and thanks for your estimates on hosting costs.. the main reasons for sticking with a shared host is its abit easier for me while I am starting out, but as my shop gets bigger I will move to a dedicated platform. Do you have and comments about running magento on Amazon? Perhaps something like this - mgt-commerce.com/magento-aws-managed-plans-and-pricing.html – Alex Oct 10 '13 at 11:03
  • We're back - they had our account deleted. You can create you own diy AWS cluster - all quite simple. Try reading this - magento.stackexchange.com/questions/42172/…. Service providers already downvoting - they don't like the mention of non-se providers. – user15339 Nov 4 '14 at 2:42
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A normal Magento store isn't bound by IO, so adding SSDs isn't really going to make a difference (especially if you plan on using a provider with cheap, desktop grade drives). So more RAM would be advised, especially since Magento shouldn't be run on anything less than 4GB RAM.

But your store may be different and the only person who could advise is someone who has access to your current server statistics.

Merely observing the CPU and RAM graphs in something like Munin would immediately tell you where your bottleneck is and what to upgrade next.

If your hosting provider can't tell you this, you are with the wrong host.

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