Should We Switch To LiteSpeed?


Tony
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It's probably a misspelling then...though a good one.

Which flavor (Standard or Enterprise) and version of LiteSpeed do you intend to use?

We'll obviously be using the enterprise version since we have more than 5 vhosts per machine. We'll be making use of the 2 core version as you only need the correct number if your web server is the one taxed. In our case PHP processes take up the majority of our CPU time.

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I believe LiteSpeed is excellent in serving static pages but I'm not sure that it's just as good at serving PHP pages. The benchmark tests in http://www.litespeedtech.com/performance-benchmarks.html show PHP FastCGI on LightSpeed as being 50% faster compared to Apache's mod_php. Since FastCGI by itself is faster than mod_php, their benchmark test does not accurately portray that the 50% speed improvement is due solely to LiteSpeed. I would like to see a comparison of PHP FastCGI on both platforms

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I believe LiteSpeed is excellent in serving static pages but I'm not sure that it's just as good at serving PHP pages. The benchmark tests in http://www.litespeedtech.com/performance-benchmarks.html show PHP FastCGI on LightSpeed as being 50% faster compared to Apache's mod_php. Since FastCGI by itself is faster than mod_php, their benchmark test does not accurately portray that the 50% speed improvement is due solely to LiteSpeed. I would like to see a comparison of PHP FastCGI on both platforms – are you able to provide such benchmark tests to verify their claims?

LiteSpeed does not use FastCGI. It uses LSAPI PHP (their own php system) which is suppose to be 30% faster than FastCGI.

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If you do switch to LiteSpeed, you do have to let go a few customer since LiteSpeed don't allow any adult oriented sites

We already spoke to LiteSpeed about this and how we do not restrict content and they had no issue with it. This was confirmed by others hosts with the same policies not having any issue running LiteSpeed.

I wonder if it might be better to keep at least an Apache server for some of us who are not ready to migrate to LiteSpeed. There's also the advantage of a safe fallback in case things don't work out right as it sometimes happens.

Well I am not sure if anyone will see any difference in fact most will not realize they're on the other web server software. We literally flip a switch and it switches over reading the httpd.conf file for it's configuration. PHP would still be the same, rewrite rules ect. ect. This is the great thing about LiteSpeed vs others is it is almost 100% compatible with current apache configurations.

But if we switch it's a 100% switch over on all our servers over the course of a few months at most. If we have various configurations still we have a support nightmare.

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Would a 4-CPU-Core version improve performance even more dramatically since all your servers are quad-core?

I mite be wrong but it mite be go by what it can use and i am sure the lightspeed software would not use 4 cores to its self. i am sure 2 cores for that software would be more then needed. (i maybe wrong)

Also will mod_svn and all that still work with lightspeed?

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Would a 4-CPU-Core version improve performance even more dramatically since all your servers are quad-core?

Unlikely

Their core licenses is to the web server portion only so not the PHP processes it spawns. From our speaking to them you most likely need 1 or 2 in most configurations where you're running mostly PHP. The reason being the majority of the CPU time is taken by PHP and MySQL which are their own separate threads as well. In PHP's case it's numerous threads as PHP daemons need to be spawned to handle requests. If we were serving a ton of static traffic it would make sense but in our configuration it does not.

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Also will mod_svn and all that still work with lightspeed?

Well we don't run mod_svn right now. But basically how it works is we can proxy back things to Apache if LiteSpeed does not support it in most cases. Of course our SVN implementation does not require Apache at all so none issue really.

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Cool well if svn and all that will work i think this would be a good move for hawkhost. so you will install the latest stable when the beta becomes stable will you update to it?

Of course. Just like how we do things now with software we always have the latest and greatest.

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Someone migrated his server to LiteSpeed in 5 minutes with zero issues. That's very encouraging. So starting with 4 servers (Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Skyline) here to upgrade, that should take HawkHost, say, 4 x 5 = 20 mins? Did I get my math right? OK, we'll be gracious and give them an extra 23.5 hrs to implement LiteSpeed on Christmas Eve. ;)

Well we'd be giving a weeks notice about doing it. But seeing as how this week we'll be upgrading Apache and PHP to their latest versions that puts off any notice until around the 18th. We won't be doing the switch over on the week of the 21st to 27th. So the earliest it would be done would be December 29th.

All up in the air at this point considering we haven't said we'd be switching.

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Your blog has a very positive note towards LiteSpeed. The use of certain words gave me the impression that 99.9% of the decision has been made.

"Not a whole lot of serious issues just a matter of everyone being on their toes when their server is migrated over."

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It sounds like you guys have already made up your minds to do it--and that's a good thing, it looks like a good idea. I can't see any downsides, really. They say everything's compatible, it's faster, saves server resources, and all the feedback says it's great. Has anyone heard anything BAD about using Litespeed? :)

I'm looking forward to seeing it in action once you guys get it running.

--Dave

p.s. it was also nice to see the Suggestions forum used as a way to pose the question to us users! Excellent....

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We plan on making our own benchmarks by simply monitoring / logging the current usage / requests and such with one of our server, then simply switching it to Lightspeed and watching it for the same period.

Hopefully there will either be a clear winner, and if there are any things that affect our users we'll be able to find out.

Though by our research it looks to be quite promising, and will benefit all of our clients :).

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Erm...will our hosting fees increase due to LiteSpeed licensing fees?

Nope

The license fee's aren't that steep at all and it'll save us money in admin time alone due to it solving some issues we have come up. Along with that with it's reduced memory and cpu usage we have the opportunity to have more customers per machine. If a server has it's load go from say 3.0 on average to 0.5 we'd obviously want more customers on that machine. It would not reduce quality but we'd just better utilize the server.

We've actually introduced new features in the past without price increases. Just look at how we added rvsitebuilder and then after that we also added R1Soft for our backup system. We make these investments in software anticipating we can make it up by either less admin time, lower server loads or just the extra feature being a selling point.

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