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Scaling and Performance consulting

Stefan's recommended approach:

For performance consulting, begin by asking whether they have high server load or just slow page loads. In the latter case we must first find out if it's the server or something else yslow can tell you.

In the case of high server load you should ask for the slow log. It would be nice if they had monitoring data for cpu ram and so on. Don't ask for full access to the data first. Some companies are really cautious about that and it's not necessary to get access for a starter.

If we find that their hosting provider cannot cope we might actually look for a Drupal specialist host for them.

We might have to sign agreements first, an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) for that.

Quickly turning away potential customers who won't give needed access early is good policy, but so is asking for only necessary access. If we don't need access, it's better not to have access.

We don't need their Google Analytics or similar. They should tell us the top pages they are worried about. The question is just, what pages are visited a lot and matter.

And if they happen to have something like munin running on their server, it would be good that they share it with us plus the slow logs.

Searched words: 
scaling performance bottlenecks fix site slow page loads


More notes on analyzing and scaling/performance

APC is great

Firebug and YSlow for Firebug (version 0.9 or better).

Xdebug for code profiling and KCachegrind, Webgrind, and MacCallGrind for visualizing and tracing this data.

Varnish (tricky to set up, especially regarding cookies, but it can be great, and has a forgiving mode that lets the underlying site go down, inc. for maintenance or upgrades, while everything else keeps going).

See also the more information here:

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