The full range of details regarding server setup is outside the scope of this documentation. To start to get a sense of how to set up a server to run Drupal, the requirements page is a good starting point.
To run Drupal 7, we generally recommend a standard LAMP stack:
- Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat, Debian, CentOS, or other flavors)
- Apache 2.x
- MySQL 5.x
- PHP 5.3.x or greater
This post, from June 24, 2012 goes over the basics of setting up the latest Ubuntu server to run Drupal.
Properly tuning a server requires a thorough understanding of the source of any performance issues.
A full description of server tuning is outside the scope of this three hour session, but a good overview of how to start tuning, including links to more specific information, is available in the Drupal handbooks.
In general, moderately trafficked sites will remain speedy using some of the tools provided in a core Drupal install with some fairly simple server config.