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OS X Server Performance


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#1 Mr.XXIV

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 22:18

So I'm running a Mac Mini and I'm trying to give a great load of performance (not hardware wise).

What's best practice to make sure it can take as many loads as possible as I do send a lot of traffic.

I tried sudo nvram boot-args="8388608" as a method in the terminal, but I'm not sure if that's the right answer.


#2 +Karl L.

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 22:49

There is no "magic bullet" when it comes to machine performance. If there was, everyone would use it (or someone would patent it, but we'd rather not go there). That said, there are a couple of things you could try (assuming this is a dedicated server; some of these performance optimizations are not ideal for desktops).

In a quick search, I couldn't find anything specifically targeting OS X Server optimization. (Do people actually run that on high-load, dedicated servers?) However, since OS X is based on FreeBSD, the FreeBSD Networking Performance guide might be of some use.

If you're using Nginx as your web server, this guide has some good tips on optimizing it for high load. If you're using Apache (and maybe PHP and MySQL or one of its forks), this guide details some useful optimizations.

Finally, if you're willing to switch to Linux - which I highly recommend if this is a dedicated web server - this Linux TCP/IP Tuning guide is top-notch.

I'm just guessing at what you might be running, and why. If you could provide more specifics it would be really helpful.

#3 vetthe evn show

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:12

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#4 OP Mr.XXIV

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:16

Actually the Mac wasn't set in Performance Mode, apparently that was a setting Apple left for those who want to run the sever better.

#5 matt4pack

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:18

Apple doesn't even use OS X server for anything external facing. It's only real purpose is small settings because of it's performance issues.

#6 OP Mr.XXIV

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:59

apparently that was a setting Apple left for those who want to run the sever better.Posted ImagePosted Image


I wanted to use OS X as the server OS because it felt a lot easier to work with than Linux. Database, Email, DNS, and so much more, all in Terminal or GUI, better than using the Web, with managers such as Cpanel and phpMyAdmin

#7 n_K

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:02

"I wanted to use OS X as the server OS because it felt a lot easier to work with than Linux. Database, Email, DNS, and so much more, all in Terminal or GUI, better than using the Web, with managers such as Cpanel and phpMyAdmin"
What? All the server software is CLI driven, linux has the same programs as mac because mac took them from GNU/linux.
There is no cpanel for mac but is for linux, doesn't matter if there was as cpanel is a very expensive software package you wouldn't be using anyway.
There is no reason at all to run a server on mac over linux, there's only one hosting company in the world I know of that does this and that's because they only use mac minis because they're much smaller than 1/2/4/8U servers.

No-ones really going to be able to help you make a mac mini have better performance server-wise because no-one uses them as a server or for anything more than a small home network. They have a GUI which by defaults make them perform badly.

#8 Mr Nom Nom's

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:10

Even with a whole heap of these old wives tales of 'performance tweaks' you're still going to have to deal with the fact that OS X is hard wired for low latency and responsiveness over throughput. The issues regarding OS X server performance have been known for years - way back in the MySQL benchmarking days where many were wondering why there was such a massive gap when compared to Linux being run on the same hardware. As a small scale server with a dozen or so users infrequently throwing data over the network the performance hit isn't great but beyond the dozen users you might wish to install something like Linux or FreeBSD on it if you really want to squeeze out maximum performance.

#9 OP Mr.XXIV

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:26

The same server I'm using for my sites is also my desktop because it's all I honestly have at the moment. I so much traffic for my partner to send in that, we'll have to work with what we have until I'm able to get a custom iMac.

#10 n_K

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:35

An imac, are you... serious? You want to be a backend web developer... Firstly you choose frameworks over coding your own backends which was a bit meh, then there's questions like this and you STILL want to get a mac to act as a server...
I am gob smacked, I really am, congratulations.

#11 tim_s

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:52

This is how it goes, people try and do something their way instead of the correct way, usually knowledge is the limiting factor, you fail and learn from your mistakes.

Have fun learning - honestly I mean it. :)

#12 OP Mr.XXIV

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:12

An imac, are you... serious? You want to be a backend web developer... Firstly you choose frameworks over coding your own backends which was a bit meh, then there's questions like this and you STILL want to get a mac to act as a server...
I am gob smacked, I really am, congratulations.


This is how it goes, people try and do something their way instead of the correct way, usually knowledge is the limiting factor, you fail and learn from your mistakes.

Have fun learning - honestly I mean it. :)


I'm not only a developer. Honestly, do you always expect someone to want something for only one reason? I was a designer before I'm a developer and I have of photography/cinema to work on. Illing Spree is my biggest magazine project to work on and I need a lot of performance.

The framework is of use until I'm able to develop my own from scratch to where it's potential is matched. And hey, me and my partner had the fastest server host gator could possibly offer. The iMac STILL goes beyond that server. What do you recommend? Media Temple's NITRO or HELIX?

#13 +Karl L.

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:22

The same server I'm using for my sites is also my desktop because it's all I honestly have at the moment. I so much traffic for my partner to send in that, we'll have to work with what we have until I'm able to get a custom iMac.


In all honesty, if you're trying to run a website that you are expecting to get high traffic from your main work machine on your home internet connection, its not going to work very well. Actually, I'm a little surprised that your ISP left port 80 open. Its often blocked on home internet connections precisely to prevent you from running a website (unless you pay for a business connection, that is).

Also, you should consider learning how to setup and administer a LAMP server if you plan on becoming a proficient back-end web developer. Although doing everything through a GUI seems convenient now, it has its price. There's a reason that most server software is designed to be CLI. Once you understand how the command-line works, you should understand why most sysadmins laugh at the prospect of installing a GUI on a server. If you want to turn your Mac Mini into a dedicated server once you get your new desktop, the Debian Mac Mini Install Guide and Debian LAMP Guide will probably help.

#14 OP Mr.XXIV

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:43

In all honesty, if you're trying to run a website that you are expecting to get high traffic from your main work machine on your home internet connection, its not going to work very well. Actually, I'm a little surprised that your ISP left port 80 open. Its often blocked on home internet connections precisely to prevent you from running a website (unless you pay for a business connection, that is).

Also, you should consider learning how to setup and administer a LAMP server if you plan on becoming a proficient back-end web developer. Although doing everything through a GUI seems convenient now, it has its price. There's a reason that most server software is designed to be CLI. Once you understand how the command-line works, you should understand why most sysadmins laugh at the prospect of installing a GUI on a server. If you want to turn your Mac Mini into a dedicated server once you get your new desktop, the Debian Mac Mini Install Guide and Debian LAMP Guide will probably help.

In all honesty, if you're trying to run a website that you are expecting to get high traffic from your main work machine on your home internet connection, its not going to work very well. Actually, I'm a little surprised that your ISP left port 80 open. Its often blocked on home internet connections precisely to prevent you from running a website (unless you pay for a business connection, that is).

Also, you should consider learning how to setup and administer a LAMP server if you plan on becoming a proficient back-end web developer. Although doing everything through a GUI seems convenient now, it has its price. There's a reason that most server software is designed to be CLI. Once you understand how the command-line works, you should understand why most sysadmins laugh at the prospect of installing a GUI on a server. If you want to turn your Mac Mini into a dedicated server once you get your new desktop, the Debian Mac Mini Install Guide and Debian LAMP Guide will probably help.


Actually, I upgraded my service to run 101Mbps & open port 80 and 25.

I don't use MAMP or any of the packages because I like making use of all the latest stables individually, to keep track. I'll look about turning this into a dedicated, once I have a second one coming in. (I have a lot going on.)

#15 +Karl L.

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:46

Actually, I upgraded my service to run 101Mbps & open port 80 and 25.


Nice!

I don't use MAMP or any of the packages because I like making use of all the latest stables individually, to keep track. I'll look about turning this into a dedicated, once I have a second one coming in. (I have a lot going on.)


Once of the nice things about running a LAMP stack is that you don't have to worry about tracking the versions of any packages. So long as you keep up with repository updates, you automatically get the latest operating system and software updates for every piece of software on your system. The maintainers of each package worry about security and version updates. Also, dedicated is the way to go for your web server. You will absolutely get the best performance that way.

If you're new to the command-line, Unix for the Beginning Mage should help you get a good grasp on the basics. One of the best features of modern Linux distros is their package management systems, which you should also be very familiar with. In my (obviously biased) opinion, Debian's Advanced Package Tool is by far the best. You can find a good APT tutorial on the Debian Wiki.

Edit: The Unix for the Beginning Mage link seems to be broken at the moment, so I attached a copy of the PDF to this post.

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