Which server should our Rails website use?

Hello all,

My team and I plan on releasing our Rails startup soon, but we’re not
sure which server to use. Nginx? Litespeed? Apache? We’re going to use
SliceHost (a 512MB slice) if that helps.

I’ve played around with Litespeed, and it’s nice not having to deal
with any mongrel clusters, etc. Apache is what I use on my personal
computer, so I feel comfortable and have the most experience with
that. And with the release of mod_rails, it’s really tempting to use
Apache. (Never used nginx before.)

So, what do you guys think would be the best one to handle massive
load (e.g.: the “digg effect”) (probably wishful thinking, but it’s
better to be safe than sorry) when dealing with 512MB. Or should we go
for the 1024MB slice?

Thanks everyone!

I think the conventional wisdom is to purchase the server you need now,
and worry about scaling when you really need it. From what I hear,
Slicehost makes it easy to upgrade. All the servers you mentioned are
really fast at serving static pages, so I think any one of them would
probably be fine. Pick what’s easiest to configure and deploy for you
needs.

If you really plan on getting Dugg, I would say that your Rails app is
going to be a more likely bottleneck than your webserver. Making sure
you’re caching your site properly, and have it tweaked for performance.
If you expect a sudden influx of traffic, it might be a good idea to
contact your host, and let them know, so they can work with you on
handling it properly.

Personally, I would stick with the 512mb slice for now and go with
Apache + mod_rails OR nginx + thin cluster. You really can’t go wrong
either way.

We’ve been using 256MB slice with LiteSpeed for an “incubator” site
and been pretty pleased with the results so far. The thing that LS
has in its favor is that it can spin up/down instances as you need
them (rather than statically creating them with the more memory
intensive mongrel/clusters).

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