I'm a member of a large gaming community that is currently split among three different sites. We are now gaining sponsors and need to consolidate our presence to one site. I'm the head of the team that will design the change and implement it.

After looking at all the major CMSs and forum software packages, we have chosen vBulletin as the system to build the new community site around. Interestingly enough, DaniWeb is what convinced my "bosses" in the clan that vBulletin is more than capable to handle the type of load we currently have while being more than capable to expand in the future.

So, now for my question. I'm having a hard time finding reliable information about what kind of hardware is required to support vBulletin installations that run at specific activity loads. For example, we have more than 4000 unique registered members across the three sites currently and average anywhere from 100-200 concurrently active users at any one time. Are there any basic hardware specs for the server that anyone here can recommend that will ensure that the site remains quick and responsive?

If I may be so bold, I'd like to hear a recommendation from Dani since she has definitely succeeded in creating a very responsive site running a very large number of concurrent users.


A single P4 2.4 ghz with a gig of RAM will be able to sustain 100 to 200 concurrently active users. (I believe that was our setup back when we had similar traffic levels).

Keep in mind the activity level of your audience. It's not as much the number of visitors as it is the number of visitors who are actively changing the database. It costs a lot more on the server to make a post than it does just to visit a page. It also costs a lot more to have a registered member surf the forums than an unregistered visitor.

How many forum posts do you plan on averaging per day? A site with 100 visitors online at a time who post an average of 2,000 posts per day is going to require a lot more server power than a site with 1,000 visitors online at a time who post an average of 200 posts per day.

Right now, DaniWeb is split among four servers - two web servers, one database server, and one mail/search server.

Thank you for the very informative response Dani. As of this moment, I don't have access to post frequency data. I'll see if I can get ahold of the information and update the thread with it.