Drupal Hosting via BOA: Benchmarking
  1. Rackspace, 512M RAM, quad-core, Debian 6 (Squeeze), 64-bit, stock php.ini memory_limit =128MB
  2. Amazon EC2,612M RAM, single-core,Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, 64-bit, micro-instance:ubuntu/images/ebs/ubuntu-lucid-10.04-amd64-server-20120110 (ami-8eb33ebe), stock php.ini memory_limit = 128MB.
    1. Added a 3GB swap volume, as no swap was included in the AMI
    2. The single core seems to easily become overloaded.  During installs, for example, the CPU load (via top) often reaches large (>5) values and progress slows to a stall.
    3. Also stalls under drupal authenticated loads.
  3. Linode, 512M RAM, Debian 6, 32-bit, stock php.ini memory_limit = 128MB
  4. Hotdrupal, "Plus v2" account (no longer available), stock php.ini memory_limit =160MB.
  5. Hostgator, "Baby Plan" account, stock php.ini memory_limit = 256MB


Initial website:

  • install standard profile, drupal-7.12-prod
  • install devel & devel generate modules
  • turn on devel block
  • turn on devel 'page timer' and 'memory usage'

Content generation

  • 2,000 users
  • 5,000 nodes
  • 5,000 path aliases
  • 250 terms
  • 15 vocabularies

anonymous, ​ab test

  1. ​ab -n1000 -c1 http://server/
  2. ab -n1000 -c5 http://server/

admin, ab test

  1. ab -n100 -c5 -C 'SESSxxx=yyyy' http://server/admin/modules/

Benchmark Protocol

Drupal + RackspaceCloud + Ubuntu + ISPConfig + Nginx (DRUIN) vs. Shared Hosting

I host a number of low traffic Drupal (drupal.org) websites.  Several for a non-profit, a few consulting shops, a book & poetry site.  Low traffic, but a couple sites use lots of drupal modules, so performance and resource limits can sometimes be issues.

I've used hotdrupal.com as my hosting service for some years.  They've really been excellent.  First rate.  I've only needed support a few times and they've always been prompt and professional.  But the big thing, for me, is the accounts are highly optimized for drupal.  My webpages load in less than 200 ms (thats a Drupal Devel module timing number).  I've toyed with other hosts but nothing comes close.  Part of it the large php memory_limit = 160M in the stock php.ini for my account.  Nice.  But they've obviously got other optimizations too.

Still, nothing lasts forever.  As Drupal grows, and as my websites grow, I've used more and more resources.  Currently I'm bumping into my account's 3GB disk space limit.  And that includes the MySQL databases.  One of those is using > 400 MB.  That's as reported by Cpanel, which is the number that counts toward my allowed quotas.  phpMyAdmin reports less than half that number, but I gather this discrepancy is fairly common.

Now, hotdrupal.com isn't all that generous on disk space.  They say they provide premium disk space (meaning fast), so they can't provide unlimited amounts of space.  I'd just get more diskspace, but for the incremental cost I could price myself into another provider. 


Headline: Army looking at how fish oil might reduce suicides

Submitted by cvining on

OK, here's the story.

I've got my Google homepage setup to give me headlines from various sources.  Anything really big will be on all of them.  You know, I need to keep informed.  So as I can hold an informed conversation down at the Wheelhouse Tavern.  But from time to time there will be an oddball headline that just catches my attention.

Today's winner?  This one:  "Army looking at how fish oil might reduce suicides."

Mind you, I'm not all that interested in the story.  I just want to parse the headline.

The Army.  The friggin' 'Be All You Can Be" US friggin' Army.  Two friggin's.

Is looking at.  Looking at, mind you.  Fish oil.  That's right, fish oil.  I'm thinking, 3-omega.  And for reasons a marketing guy might better explain, I'm also thinking ginko biloba.  

And suicides.

Army.  Fish oil.  Suicides.  Got it.

Now, that's the sort of news I want Google brining to my attention.  Army. Fish oil.  Suicides.

Something For Nothing Expired Today

Submitted by cvining on

Money isn't real: it's just a mutual agreement to keep track of what we've promised to each other.  Frequent Flyer Miles are even less real.  But trading the two, until today, could get you travel around the world at no cost.

Here's how it works.  Get one of those credit cards that gets you frequent flyer points for your purchse.  Then, go to the US Mint and buy dollar coins, charged to your credit card.  The Mint would ship you the coins for free.  You deposit the coins in your bank, pay off your credit card, and pocket the Frequent Flyer points.  Voila.  Something fo nothing.

Sadly, as of today the US Mint will no longer allow purchase of coins by credit card.



Cell phones 'may cause AIDS'

Submitted by cvining on

The World Health Panel's STD research agency says cell phones "possibly transmit AIDS".

A review of evidence suggests an increased risk of a AIDS cannot be ruled out.

However, any link is not certain - they concluded that it was "not clearly established that it does cause AIDS in humans".

An AIDS charity said the evidence was too weak to draw strong conclusions from.  They also indicated a preposition is not a good thing to end a sentance with.

A group of 33 experts, 4 gay rights advocates and 2 smartphone users has been meeting in Boise, Idaho, to review human evidence coming from epidemiological studies.

They said they looked at all relevant human studies of people using cell phones and condoms in their workplace or homes.

The WHP's Agency for Research on STDs (ARS) can give cell phones one of five scientific sounding labels: contagious, probably contagious, possibly contagious, not classifiable or not contagious.  Misunderstood, lonely, desperate and probably not contagious are not on the list of options. 

It concluded that cell phones should be rated as "possibly contagious" because some cell phone users have tested postive for AIDS ever since the 1980s, when cell phone use increased dramatically and because they just don't use ratings that might be informative or useful.

Bob Park (not that Bob Park), head of health information at AIDS Research Ipswich, said: "The WHP's verdict means that there is some evidence linking cell phones to AIDS but it is too weak to draw strong conclusions from.

"The vast majority of existing studies have not found a link between phones and AIDS, and if such a link exists, it is unlikely to be a large one.

"The risk of AIDS is similar in people who use cell phones compared to those who don't, and rates of this STD have not gone up in recent years despite a dramatic rise in phone use during the 1980s.

No proof of citizenship? You must be natural born!

Submitted by cvining on

The issue of Obama's eligibility to be US President is unlikely to end with the recent release of his long form birth certificate.   Already suggestions of forgery abound on the net.  Or a problem shift:  doesn't matter where he was born because his dad wasn't American.

So, I thought, how would I prove that I am a 'natural born' citizen?  

Turns out, if I have no proof of how I became a citizen, but I am a citizen, then I must be natural born.  It's the fact that I have no documentation of becoming a citizen that proves I'm a natural born citizen.  OK, bear with me a minute.  Here's some back story.

This whole issue only comes up if you want to know if you are eligible to be US President.  Sadly, most infants today really aren't thinking this through.  All the Constitution says is Article II, Section I:

"No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

So far as I can see, that's all the constitution actually requires.  You gotta be at least 35.  And you gotta be a natural born citizen, or over 224 years old.

The sticking point  is that term 'natural born'.  Which seems to mean you are a citizen by virtue of your birth, as opposed to becoming a citizen some other way.   The constitution doesn't provide a more precise definition of "natural born," but US Code does:


Me Mother's Side

Submitted by cvining on

I'm Irish on me mother's side
And English on me father's
I wear the green one day a year
And repress meself the others

A Protestant was me Da
And divorced to boot was he
But once he deigned to marry Ma
No protest came from she

Yet childless were me parents now
For seven years they wondered
When they'd bring unto this world
Me sisters and me brother 

When once they got the rhythm down
We came along like clockwork
Every other year we were
A blessing to our mother

Friends inquired  "Why'd it take so long
'fore children came to thee"
"I was only pokin' 'round in fun
but she took me seriously!"