This is a step by step guide on how to set up your own unmanaged server or vps to run as a WordPress Performance server environment. Using this setup you will have the ability to host a large WordPress Multisite set up or numerous single installs. This guide assumes you have a basic understanding of using SSH via the Mac Terminal app or Putty for Windows and requires an unmanaged dedicated server or VPS hosting account with either the 32 or 64 bit Debian kernal available.
In my last guide I touted a Nginx reverse proxy cache with WordPress and Apache as the ultimate WordPress performance stack but since then I have found that there is really no reason to use Apache unless you have a specific need for it. Nginx has matured and works great with the WordPress rewrite engine and even W3 Total Cache now includes Nginx rewrite rules for page cache, minify and browser caching.