NOT LONG AGO, it became clear to us that our web server wouldn't suffice. This box, a dual Pentium III 866MHz system with 768MB RAM and an IDE RAID 1 mirror, was taking a beating. The fact the thing could survive some of the abuse heaped on it amazed me, in fact. I would tell other webmasters our server's specs, and they would look at me like I'd told them I could levitate. Through the use of Apache, PHP, mySQL, and cunning tricks like prerendering to minimize database queries, we got our humble PIII system to serve gobs of dynamic and semi-dynamic web pages. When a big article like our Radeon 9500 Pro review or IDE RAID round-up hit, this little box would have to serve hundreds of thousands of page impressions in a 12-hour period.
Not only that, but when no one was looking, I would go stand by its rack and say denigrating things about its scalability, just to see if it would crack.
Anyhow, we recently built a new main web server for the site here, and I've written up a quick article on how it all came together. Read on to see what we cooked up.