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How to calculate optimum load on Apache/MySQL server?

Last Modified: 2010-05-18
We provide a hosted database solution for our clients on high end servers in well respected data centres.

Our application is a web-based app with apache as the web-server and MySQL as the database backend.
The servers we host on are Windows Server 2003  Intel P2 Xeons with 4gig RAM.

What I'd like to know is how to calculate the optimum server load - in terms of number of users (by users I mean people accessing the web application, not actual server users), before we start to get performance degradation - so I know how many sites to limit each server to.

I know it's difficult to be precise, as it all depends on what my app is doing, varying loads from different users etc, but is there any calculation, or algorithm, or even just rough guidelines that I can use to get an idea?

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