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I am developing an online text-based game similar to Mafia wars. Of course I won't expect 20 million players on my site, but I want to choose a web server that is suitable for me.

I am a complete amateur when it comes to hosting a website. I need the minimum specifications for a web server to host my game. Let's say about 12000 users will register to my website and I expect 1000 users to be online at any given time.

Since it's a game you would expect many database transactions and Ajax calls in which speed will prove essential.

So what should I ask for in a web server (processor, storage, bandwidth,...etc.) and their values.

Thanks in advance.

PS: I use PHP (zend framework) on a mysql database + JQuery and CSS3.

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Is your game's internal architecture designed such that it can be deployed onto cloud instances? – Matt Dec 19 '11 at 16:10
@Matt Sorry Matt, but I have no idea about what you mean by deploying my game onto cloud instances. Actually I was thinking about normal hosting like any other website. – Songo Dec 19 '11 at 17:19

Where did you get the 12k registered users and 1k simultaneous users figures from? Is that the amount of traffic you project at launch?

If it is, then you just need to calculate what the average usage pattern is for a typical user (requests per second for different URIs/operations) * 1000, and stress test the server using OpenSTA or some other load testing tool for that level of traffic.

If you're using VPS or cloud hosting, then it'll be easy to scale up to whatever you need when you need it. But short of testing it yourself, there's no way anyone can tell you what resources your app uses for a certain amount of users.

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