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General Optimization Tips

Hardware

Review Board itself is heavily CPU and network-bound. While generating side-by-side diffs, Review Board will fetch files from your repository, patch them, and perform analysis on the files.

The process can be CPU-heavy, and potentially memory-heavy.

CPU

Giving the server more cores/CPUs will help with performance. 2 cores should be a minimum. We recommend at least 4, if you can spare it.

Memory

2GB of RAM should be a bare minimum for a server. The more RAM you can spare, the better.

Review Board, your database, and particularly memcached will all function better with more RAM.

In particular, you want to set aside a lot of RAM for memcached. See Optimizing Memcached for more information.

Disks

The database will benefit greatly from faster disks. 7200RPM should be a minimum.

Multi-Server Strategy

Review Board is known to work well on large deployments with thousands of users using a single physical or virtual machine However, in order to really tune performance, you may want to consider a multi-server strategy.

One of the best ways to improve performance is to separate your deployment into multiple servers. You can put memcached, your web server, and your database server all on different machines and it will continue to work.

Database

The first piece to split up is the database. Databases are heavily I/O-bound, and generally need lots of memory in order to cache data for quicker access. By moving a database onto its own server, you end up freeing a lot of disk I/O and memory. This not only speeds up the database, but will speed up all other services as well.

Memcached

Memcached works entirely out of RAM, using no I/O and very little CPU. It’s less important to split this out initially, but it can be split onto multiple machines, particularly if you need to increase your cache size but are limited by how much RAM you can put in each system.

Review Board can be configured to provide a list of memcached servers. Simply change your cache settings to specify a list of servers. For example, server1:11211;server2:11211.

Web Server

The web server can be split onto multiple machines, which increases the number of clients that can access Review Board at once, and increase how many diffs can be generated at once.

Diff generation is performed on the web server, and will therefore be scaled out along with the web server.

Note

If you want to scale out your web server, be aware of a couple important changes you need to make to your configuration.

You will need to make sure your sitedir/htdocs/media/ directory is shared across all web server instances, or that you’re using Amazon S3 for your media.

You will also need to ensure that your sitedir/data/ directory is shared across all instances. This is mainly due to each server needing access to your SSH keys.