[OSM-talk] rendering map tiles with mapnik - hardware requirements

Jon Burgess jburgess777 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 28 22:27:40 GMT 2011

On Tue, 2011-03-01 at 10:41 +1300, Robin Paulson wrote:
> On 1 March 2011 10:22, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:
> > On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM, Robin Paulson <robin.paulson at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> we at OSM New Zealand are looking at rendering our own (NZ-only)
> >> tiles, and we'd like to get a rough idea of the hardware requirements
> >> we will need
> >>
> >> are there any rules of thumb for how long it would take to render a
> >> given lat/lon bbox, using mapnik?
> >>
> >> i assume lat/lon is the independent variable, although i guess
> >> density/complexity of data will affect things as well.
> >>
> >> disk space, cpu, ram, time would be useful
> >
> >
> > On 1 March 2011 10:22, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:
> > It depends.  These two metatiles rendered in 18 seconds and 1.5
> > seconds.  So it can be all over the place depending.  This box is busy
> > doing other things too.
> >
> > http://weait.com:8080/map/shield.html?zoom=6&lat=-41.73199&lon=173.35156&layers=BFF
> >
> > zooming in to CHCH metatiles were well under a second.
> >
> > You can get by with a modest box as long as you don't mind waiting and
> > have little load.  OSM has a monster with 96GB ram and many fast disks
> > in RAID.  You can probably keep a good size group happy with

The main OSM tile server, Yevaud, is a little more modest than that -
48GB of RAM with 6 fairly fast disks (10k RPM SATA) for the database and
tiles: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Servers/yevaud

The total disk space used is just over 1TB: 250GB for the DB, 900GB for

> >
> > a quad core
> > 8 GB ram
> > 1 TB of disk
> as high as that! wow, i thought it'd be way lower for ~200MB of
> uncompressed data
> we're gonna need a bigger machine

Putting exact estimates together is always tricky when you do not know
how things will be used but I would say the above is maybe too high for
such a small area. Provided you do not attract too many users then I
suspect you would get away with only 2 cores, 4GB of RAM and maybe 100GB
of disk. 

To improve the responsiveness you probably want to pre-render all the
tiles from zoom 0 through to around zoom 13, 14 or 15. These are the
ones which take the longest to render, leaving the higher zooms to
render on demand. For a relatively small area it will probably take a
couple of days of CPU time to render these.


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