Stretching your vBulletin Servers with OpenVZ

December 13, 2006 by · 3 Comments 

Most of the people reading this blog are familiar with the LAMP software bundle (Linux, Apache httpd, MySQL, and one of PHP/Perl/Python). The LAMP stack on a single server is common-place on the internet today because the components are all free and work well together to provide a stable, dynamic web platform (although, interestingly enough, they were not designed to do so). Who says that it's the best way to do things though? When working with complex applications such as vBulletin, there are definite benefits to keeping things separate.

For the past 6 months or so I've been consolidating my servers (both in the office and at remote data centers) using a virtualization package called OpenVZ (the open-source branch of SWSoft's Virtuozzo). Unlike virtualization packages such as VMWare (a system emulator) or Xen (a paravirtualization system), OpenVZ does not allow you to run multiple, different operating systems. OpenVZ will allow you to run Linux on Linux and nothing more. Moreover, it is heavily biased towards RPM-based distributions, so don't plan on getting wild. That said, if you can get past those limitations, OpenVZ might just help you get more out of your existing server because unlike the alternatives, OpenVZ's operating system-level virtualization technique has almost zero performance penalty.

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