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question about modern lamp clustering technique [long]

Hi debian-isp,
Probably vast of this group's members are admins dealing with system
engineering and general administration on a daily basis. Most of you
did many LAMP or LAMRoR or whatever installations throughout years.
What I would like to ask You - which suite of apps would you recommend
to create a farm serving one or multiple (doesn't matter) sites
,assumed that we have 1+ boxes
Why I ask is that since 1998 (when I started playing with unix/linux)
I know no good technique of having for example two very strong
physical servers (say bi-quad with 24GB ram each and raid1 1TB disk)
serving one site with apache/mysql/php on it that will squeeze whole
computing power from it. Even if I use XEN (which I like v.much) and
create VMs for separate services Below are problems that i'd like to
avoid :
- one standby server (WTF ? I want two of them sweating at a time)
shared storage :
- In my opinion _unefficient_ shared storage on NFS kernel mode (I
dont have access to my ISP's switches) what is _usually_
single-point-of-failure as it's hard to cluster NFS
- use of DRBD + GFS2 in multimaster mode is of course possible , but I
have really bad feelings about using GFS at all (especially on debian)
- mysql ndb cluster ? Nay sir...
- mysql in multimaster mode : the only solution is
but how silly is that to do such workarounds that add extra several
hours to the after-crash recovery ?
www/proxy :
- generally the best part because there are so many
httpd/proxy/loadbalancers out there like
cherokee/haproxy/thin/nginx/even apache that I don't mention this part
of the problem.

So provided that you have 2 servers ,each capable of 4 strong VMs
(6GBram/2cpu) - how would You divide this lil'farm to have following
services : shared mysql database , shared postgresql database, shared
static content server, non-shared dynamic content (app) server with
php/ruby/whatever workers

Few words on the matter will be enough.
Thank You for reading and answering

Wojciech Ziniewicz

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