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Performance Expectations
 
sjmadsen
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Joined:  2008-08-18
 

How can I determine if the performance on a Magento site is acceptable or if there is a problem to address?

I have seen several threads here that talk about slow load times, with pages taking as long as 10 seconds.  Some replies make it sound like this is OK, even though to me 10 seconds seems like an eternity.

Does Magento slow down significantly as the product catalog (and category hierarchy) grows?  I have a store with 8000 categories and 85,000+ products (from a vendor feed).  It’s on a VPS with 512 MB of memory and a share of a single CPU.  I want to be sure I’ve done the easy (free) things before I move to bigger/more hardware.

Once the obvious stuff is done (caching on, APC or other PHP accelerator, enough Apache clients, etc.) is it generally advisable to add memory or CPU?

The Varien folks obviously know the most about Magento.  It would be terrific if they could provide a basic performance tuning guide on the Wiki and the rest of us could enhance it through our experiences.

 
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marc_j
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I would be very careful in taking what you are reading in the forums as fact. Many posts are by users who know very little and make outrageous claims to spread FUD (typically those that spend $5/month on hosting and complain). Knowledge of benchmarking and performance testing is a science and I can vouch that 99% of the people who post here are not qualified and don’t understand the basics.

That said, this should be a good start - http://www.magentocommerce.com/blog/comments/performance-is-key-notes-on-magentos-performance/

Also - your server sounds pretty weak. If you are running a catalog of this size, you really need to get a heftier box.

 
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sjmadsen
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I agree that this server is very weak; it’s one of the entry-level configurations at my hosting company.  I know I’m going to move to a bigger server soon, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing any obvious improvements before doing so.  My feeling now is that I likely need more memory than anything else.

It looks like I’ve covered most of what I can do without more memory, so I’ll schedule the server upgrade and continue tuning when I have additional resources.

 
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marc_j
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@fifthave - I already addressed your question here on a related topic - http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/17246/

Bottom line is this - Magento is the killer application for those businesses that SERIOUS about doing business on line. If you can’t afford $20/$50 month then in all honesty - find something else. This is just too powerful for your needs - start small and build up.

 
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J_T_
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Thanks for the link marc_j, I hadn’t heard of tmpfs. Is it true that any modern Linux distro has its /tmp file on this virtual file system already? Where do we tell Magento to use a /var directory different from the default one?

 
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marc_j
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but a typically user that uses a free software package is not doing big bucks in business

Really? That’s news to me. Heard of Linux? Apache? mySQL? Fortune 500 companies use all 3 very extensively. I think the challenge you are having is still in seeing open source as free (or even putting those same terms in one sentence).

Open Source (and Magento) is enterprise software for serious business. Yes - there is some junk out there but a lot of really great innovative products as well. This is one of them.

 
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sjmadsen
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@fifthave

Our current server is a basic VPS, 512 MB of memory with its share of a CPU.  It was fine for development and vetting of Magento, but it will not suffice for launch.  I am going to move us to a semi-dedicated VPS with nearly 2 GB of memory and a full CPU, plus additional burstable CPU.  If that isn’t enough, we’ll move to dedicated hardware.

I looked at DataFlow and discarded it almost immediately because it can’t import a category tree.  At first I interfaced directly with the back-end PHP classes, but I switched to the SOAP API when the 1.1.4 update tightened security.  It is very slow, but it is my only option at present.

I don’t expect that there are others with 85K products in their catalog that can offer me direct advice.  Perhaps someday Varien will publish some guidelines about what to expect as the catalog grows.

 
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J_T_
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I don’t get the impression Magento is specifically targeted at any market. It seems they are releasing early and often, like Google, so they get maximum feedback and arrive at a killer system as soon as possible. It seems to me 1.2 will pretty much be that system and I’m willing to ditch osCommerce for <1.2 Magento and ‘suffer’ the ride. It’s a small trade off. As far as turnover goes, I will be putting much more than the quarter of a million through it and wouldn’t even consider a closed source program whether free or paid for. We have specific needs not many other etailers have so I need it to be OS. The F part isn’t as important but definitely makes the P&L;look better. What I save in ecommerce platform fees I actually put in servers so the customers win.

For me it’s a matter of once I went OS it’s hard to be tempted to go back. And as far as OS e-commerce goes, Magento is it. It is already and definitely will solidify that position at break-neck speeds over the coming months.

If you look at ‘users online’ here over the last few months you can tell it’s hitting significant user numbers. From Wikipedia we know the users to contributors ration. It’s similar to the 80/20 rule but further apart. With growing users we will soon arrive at a significant number of contributors too and really see this fly.

 
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golles
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Joined:  2008-01-15
 

To help get back on point with the original question.

You will need to benchmark speeds with tools - there are plenty of web tools available for free that will give you a rough idea and paid tools that will give you more accurate data - just google some related phrases.

85,000 + products in my opinion you should be on a dedicated box - and maybe a seperate database server - we are getting to 20,000 products on one database (multiple store fronts) and we have a seperate database server to our main webservers (multiple webservers), we are also going to be moving to a central image server.

Users expect sub 2 second load times - if not quicker.

Pay for a quality host, it is worth it if you make you living at this game.

All of the above are general ecommerce points. Not Magento specific. I would expect the above criteria to apply whatever ecommerce system we are using.

As for Magento being enterprise ready. We believe it is. Infact we are betting the farm on it and are in the process of migrating 80+ stores and we believe the flexibility, scalability and functionality are world class and we have trialled many, many systems and have wasted an awful lot of $ in the process, including some of the larger players mentioned in this thread above.
Having said that we do have in house programmers and designers.

 
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marc_j
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@fifthave - I think you should take a step back, educate yourself and come back when you have thought things through. I will end with one last comment for you to think about: Linux, Apache, and mySQL and others have succeeded in the enterprise market because they offer an innovative, cutting-edge solution and presented a compelling value proposition that beat or exceeded competing enterprise commercial products. They certainly did not succeed because they were free - what enterprise will take a risk just because a product is free? None.

 
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Crucial Web Host
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Magento performs great. 

I dont understand this argument.  If you are trying to run Magento on yesteryears hardware and things are slow, this is not Magento’s fault.  Magento also will not properly install on my X10 toaster.

There are so many successes with, and awards for Magento, that at this point this is a really silly argument.  The fact is that Magento is years ahead of it’s time and we have the Varien Developers to thank for a free peek into the future of what open source software holds.

Go Go Magento!

 
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SimpleHelixcom
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Joined:  2007-08-31
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We have clients that have well over 5k+ with upwards of 100 concurrent users experiencing zero problems.

Magento ain’t oscommerce, times have changed. If you want all the goodies Magento have to offer, you probably want to invest a little more in hosting to get the performance you want.

As for the open source debate, nothing in the world is free, didn’t you know ? =)

 
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