phpBB auto-scaling

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tdigby
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:57 pm

phpBB auto-scaling

Post by tdigby »

Hello,

I'm currently working on a large project which is expected to have a large amount of user activity.
We're currently developing the website using Amazon Web Services so that we can ensure that if needed the site will scale to handle user load.

A part of the site is the forums where users can come together and discuss topics. The phpBB forums need to be integrated into the website and also need the ability to scale along with the rest of the site should user load be an issue.

My question therefore is can phpBB handle going from one server to many, whilst still running off the same database? Also would there be any tricky issues in this area, such as session management?

Regards,
Thomas.

tdigby
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Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by tdigby »

Anyone?

ToonArmy
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Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by ToonArmy »

Assuming you are scaling by deploying more front end servers the problem areas you will have are uploaded user content (avatars, attachments) and cache. You will need some way of replicating/sharing the uploaded content between your front end nodes. The default phpBB cache is stored in the file system you could share this with NFS/whatever, but you are probably best switching to using the memcache driver for phpBB's cache.

phpBB sessions are stored in the database so you'll be fine in that regard.
Chris SmithGitHub

tdigby
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Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by tdigby »

Thank you for your response. I had forgotten about user uploaded content such as avatars and attachments. Our server environment for the website currently uses S3 buckets to hold static content such as images and downloadable files, which are then served through cloudfront.

Would it be possible to change the upload path for phpBB to post to an S3 bucket rather than a directory in the phpBB installation?

If so, how would this best be achieved?

tdigby
Registered User
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by tdigby »

Any info you could give on this would be greatly appreciated.

ToonArmy
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Posts: 4608
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:29 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Name: Chris Smith
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Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by ToonArmy »

tdigby wrote:Would it be possible to change the upload path for phpBB to post to an S3 bucket rather than a directory in the phpBB installation?
You have two problems really to get around, first off phpBB only writes to filesystem locations. Secondly phpBB serves attachments and avatars through PHP for security reasons. You'd have to modify phpBB to support natively storing content in an S3 bucket and then allowing cloudfront to serve the upload files.
Chris SmithGitHub

tdigby
Registered User
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by tdigby »

ToonArmy wrote:You'd have to modify phpBB to support natively storing content in an S3 bucket and then allowing cloudfront to serve the upload files.
Okay that's kind of what I was expecting to have to do. Can you give me an indication as to which files the majority of such work would involve?

tdigby
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Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: phpBB auto-scaling

Post by tdigby »

Never mind... we've decided against using the attachments add-on and are going to tell users to use third party sites for sharing large files. It also helps us with bandwidth. We're just looking into the cache issues now.

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