vBulletin server load



We moved our vBulletin installation to DreamHost from 1and1 because, although we had scads of disk space, 1and1 limited us to only 100mb of mysql space. It only took us about 5 months to get to the point that we had to start purging messages.

We’re on DH shared hosting plan, Level 3 (60gb disk space, 1.6 Tb bandwidth).

We’ve been running a little over a week, and DH is complaining about our CPU usage, something we never heard from 1and1 with a similar installation. They say we’re using 140 cpu min/day, and they’d like us to get it down under 60.

I received this comment and suggestion from DH support:

So if any of you who ‘have been able to get [vBulletin] within acceptable CPU limits’ are out there, I’d be extremely grateful for any help you can throw my way.

Doug Wilson
Administrator, Timeshare Users Group BBS


I have heard of vB causing larger server loads too, as my WoW guild’s forums were chucked off their original host due to too much CPU usage. I’ve been using SMF for the new forum (for the guild) and so far it is keeping around 30 CPU minutes a day, and this is while many of them are still signing up.

Unfortunately all forum software uses a lot of CPU power once it gets to a moderate size. A few methods I know of:

  1. Disable Search.
  2. Enable Persistant Database Connections (this one is a good one, should be in vB somewhere)
  3. Turn off any extra stats recorders, especially the ones in the forum software. The Dreamhost stats are pretty good, so these usually use up a lot of unneccessary power.

I’m still not sure how well SMF will handle the load, as it’s only been up a couple of days. I’ll be monitoring it through the resources stats.

Guide here: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/CPU_Minutes_FAQ#Where_can_I_find_resource_reports.3F

Good luck :slight_smile:


I’ve already determined that I can’t turn off searching, as I’m afraid it is an essential requirement for our board. The loss of posts due to purging was the main reason we changed servers. Being able to retain older posts but not being able to find the information they contain doesn’t make much sense.

I don’t think I can set the persistent connections on a shared host board with DH, but I’ll check.

I’ve already turned off as many of the other ‘frills’ as I could, and have it set to send CSS as files rather than included in each page. But our CPU minutes are still up there.

Sadly, we’ve come to the conclusion that a dedicated server is going to be needed. DH has none available at the moment, so we’re out shopping.

Thank you very much, Kuiper. I’m still open to any other suggestions to trim CPU usage in the interim.

Administrator, Timeshare Users Group BBS


No problem. I know how crucial search can be.

You might want to try turning off options pertaining to avatars including:

Uploading avatars
Resizing avatars

I found that in SMF there was an option to check and resize avatars every time they load, which is a good thing to disable.

The only option on my forum right now is external avatars, which works out much better for me. :slight_smile:


Heh heh. I’ve got avatars turned off completely - at least for now. Users didn’t like that much. Should be able to turn back on if/when we get on a dedicated server. Tonight I also eliminated the “no cache” parameter from the headers to reduce unnecessary rebuilding of pages.

Thanks for the reponses - when I posted I didn’t expect to get an help at all.

Administrator, Timeshare Users Group BBS