If you're planning to run postgres/mysql on the same box as your webserver,
you might want to consider increasing Buddy's RAM recommendation to 4GB and
constraining the DB to a fixed percentage of that total. Allocating a
larger-than-typical chunk of your storage for swap (4-8GB perhaps in your
case) can also buy you some additional flexibility with a sandbox VM if
requests for additional memory cannot be accommodated. Typically, I would
not encourage such a concession for a production box but this sounds like
it is for internal-use-only. There's quite a bit you can do with 2 vCPUs /
4GB RAM (which happens to be our minimum VM deployment size these days).
Low traffic web apps or nightly batch processing jobs will more than likely
run just fine under these conditions.

If you run into memory issues (the dreaded OOM killer!), you can tune down
your webserver / database of choice and PHP to handle fewer connections at
a time or stretch the interval between parallel tasks. The default tuning
parameters should be mostly acceptable for this size unless you start
hammering away at Apache or if your DB grows significantly.

Tony Pulickal
Lead Systems Engineer // Unix Systems Group
Columbia University Libraries IT
[log in to unmask] // (212) 851-2937

On Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 3:35 PM, Pennington, Buddy D. <[log in to unmask]>

> I'm not a pro at this either. :-)
> Our campus base virtual machine includes the following:
> 2 Central Processing Units (CPU)
> 2 GB of Memory
> 1 Gigabit Ethernet Card
> 1 Operating System (OS), either Windows or Linux
> 200 GB of Disk space
> Adding to memory, disk space, etc. costs extra and we have had to beef up
> servers for Drupal, Jira, and Confluence, though not by much. We don't run
> Sierra ourselves. That's managed at another campus so I don't have specs
> for that.
> Buddy Pennington
> Head of Library Systems & Technology (Librarian III)
> Miller Nichols Library
> University of Missouri--Kansas City
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Julie Cole
> Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2018 2:27 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Web Server Specs?
> I'm well aware that I'm asking an impossible question.  If someone were to
> ask me this question I would definitely answer with "it depends" on a nice
> day and potentially something snarkier on a bad one.
> Still, here goes...
> I've been working in my position as Library Systems Administrator for
> nearly a year at a small one campus college (our Sierra ILS shows roughly
> 100,000 patrons in a 14GB database).  My colleague who is a Systems
> Librarian and I have been trying to get IT to give us a Web Server to do
> sandbox testing and internal processing tasks.  Well be careful what you
> wish for...  Now we have been told that we have been granted this wish and
> we need to spec it.  Well usually in order to spec a server you need to
> know what applications you want to run on it.  Guidance from our Director
> is to neither be too greedy nor too skimpy.  We anticipate this environment
> lasting us 5 years.
> We plan to install a LAPP or LAMP stack on it.  (maybe both databases?)  I
> don't see this as being a very heavy transaction oriented environment.
> Some thoughts of things we would like to do with it:
> run some customized ebook linkchecking scripts schedule queries to get
> data from our ILS to a local database to keep more history and merge with
> other datasets from various sources.
> Install websites for callbacks for SUSHI and REST APIs ??? the future ???
> A bit of note on our background.  My colleague has a Computer Science
> Degree and I have a Computer Systems Diploma, but the reality is that we
> are not full fledged developers.  When I got my diploma, we programmed in
> C, (not C++ - that wasn't a thing yet).  I've got some recent experience
> with JavaScript and have been teaching myself Python just using my Windows
> PC and I'm having a lot of fun with it, but I still have lots to learn.
> This will likely be a virtual server, so it won't be written in stone, but
> I'm still unclear on how much to ask for in terms of CPU, Memory and RAM.
> Any tips, pointers, gotchas?  Things you wish you'd ask for when setting
> up your own test development server?
> Thanks so much for any feedback!
> Julie.