with server problems?

I've witnessed the following issues since I joined the community here:

The site is somewhat sluggish for me in general, compared to other websites.

Several times a day the server's responses get slower and slower, up to the point that I have to reload pages, or copy away posts I was about to write and paste them after reload, as not to lose my text.

Once every 2-3 days, the server completely fails to respond, usually for several hours then.

I'm in Germany. In case of complete failure, I tested the connectivity from my home DSL connection, as well as from my rootserver.

Maybe the site needs a faster and more reliable hoster? ;)



Up-to-date report: Today, the server went down completely three times. From about 11 AM to 2 PM, for like 30 minutes in the afternoon, and just now from 21:50 to 22:20. (All times in GMT+1.)

In addition, it is very slow today and gives me intermittent "500" errors from time to time, so that I have to copy away my text before clicking "Save" (cause the browser's BACK button - in Opera - most of the time clears the input box instead of preserving the text).

Yeah, I am looking into this .. there are 2 issues that I see :

  1. Apache sometimes runs out of semaphores, causing it to hang. I have a script to restart Apache in this case, but it can take some time before the hang is detected. To reduce the chance of this further, I have increased the number of semaphores allowed on the system from 250 to 1000.

  2. When our demo Xen instance gets reset, it slows the system enough that some PHP scripts don't complete fast enough. I've made some changes to the disks Xen uses to try to mitigate this.. we will see if it helps.

If you see any more 500 errors like this, please post the date and time it happened on this bug..

Okidoki, I shall be the "human watchdog process" for you. ;)

As for the demo Xen instance: Pardon me for making this probably naive suggestion, but wouldn't it be an idea to have the main website and the demo virtual machines run on separate physical servers, if they influence each other to a point that forum posts get lost? :)

If my fixes don't work, I plan to move the demo to another system ..

ronald's picture
Submitted by ronald on Mon, 11/01/2010 - 14:35 Pro Licensee

error 500
20.33 hrs GMT +2

Ronald - was this on a forums page?

Error 500 twice at 02:32 (GMT+1) trying to load the "Recent posts" page.

No 500, but repeatedly very long time to respond (20-25 seconds) at 13:27 (GMT+1). Actions were: loading "Recent posts" and adding a post in the "backup directly deleted" forum thread.

EDIT: Posting this comment took 15 seconds server response time.

ronald's picture
Submitted by ronald on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 13:00 Pro Licensee

Jamie, Yes. I have the forums as a tab in firefox. I usually click "recent Posts" if the forums come up ..

ronald's picture
Submitted by ronald on Tue, 11/02/2010 - 13:03 Pro Licensee

Jamie, Yes. I have the forums as a tab in firefox. I usually click "recent Posts" if the forums come up ..

Thanks .. I am working on moving some services off the machine to reduce load.

I think it's already having effect, site is at the moment noticeably more responsive than before. :) Still it should not take 5-6 seconds for the server to process a new or edited post.

Some thoghts... Does Drupal have high CPU demands? Aren't you using a PHP cache?

Another 500 just occured, after 30 seconds delay, when posting a reply to an Issue. 13:02 GMT+1, using HTTP (not HTTPS).

The reply I posted had made it to the tracker though, despite the 500.

Jamie will check that out.

I wanted to mention in regards to losing posts you've typed out due to the site erroring (I saw it happened to you at least once... it's happened to me as well!) -- if that ever happens to you again, don't hit back when you get the Internal Server Error. Instead, hit the "Reload" button in that tab.

If you're using a browser like Firefox, it'll prompt you to resend everything you attempted to submit previously. Hopefully that helps until Jamie can nail down the specifics of that problem :-)

I'm using Opera, and yeah I think I've seen this "do you want to repost?" notice there too. Shall give it a try next time. :) Thanks!

Another 500, while posting a new issue. 20:37 GMT+1.

Thanks .. looks like I need to move some more services off to our other box.

Yeah, sounds like that might help. Had another 500 last night around 3 AM or so... Didn't note down the precise time, cause I was about to go to bed. ;)

Server failed to respond completely (not even a 500) for the last ca. 30 minutes... 13:50 to 14:20 PM (GMT+1).

Yeah, I had some 500 errors during that period this morning, though I was able to reach the server during that time. Thanks for all your input! I know Jamie's eager to get that all sorted out.

New report... There's no "500" at the moment, but the server responds very slowly. Needs about 15-20 seconds to load pages (forum/issue list), and over 40 to process new posts.

Another 500 just occurred, while entering a new forum post. 21:33 GMT+1.

13:15 - 14:05 GMT+1: Server completely unresponsive.

Thanks .. Joe said he is looking into some Drupal tuning to improve things. I checked during some slowness yesterday, and found that backups seemed to be impacting the system..


At 2010-11-19 10:20 EST I got a server error 500 from your server trying to post to an issue.

Taught you might want to know.


ronald's picture
Submitted by ronald on Sun, 11/21/2010 - 04:07 Pro Licensee

21-11-2010 10.45 gmt+1 error 500 11.02 gmt +1 slow response.

BTW. Reading the drupal forums indicate that the forum.module is just slow and it's not really being developed
per haps it is not your system but just the code of the forum that gives issues

Nov 21. GMT+1:

11:14: Error 500 posting an issue entry

Afterwards, from 11:15 to 15:24: Server completely unresponsive

Currently, from 15:25 onwards: Very slow reaction (15-20 seconds to make a forum/issue post)

15:33: Error 500 retrieving a forum post.

Thanks .. we saw an issue where Apache was stuck using 100% CPU until it get automatically restarted.

Nov 24th, 0:20-00:27 (GMT+1): seven consecutive 500 errors, then two 503 errors.

Nov 24th, 0:29 (GMT+1): another 500 error; additionally server response very slow

Nov 25th, 00:40 (GMT+1). For the past two hours: Server very slow, most requests result in "500" or no response at all.

Nov 25th, 10:15 - 11:50 (GMT+1): Persistent "500" error, website inaccessible.

Nov 28th. 11:15 (GMT+1): "500" error making a forum post. Website slow in general.

Nov 28th. 12:02 (GMT+1): Another "500" error making a forum post. Website still very slow.

Nov 28th. 12:12 (GMT+1): Another "500" error editing a forum post. sigh participating here is getting somewhat tiring when having to wait 30+ seconds after each post or click.

Joe just made a change that should help here ... we will see how it goes.

And the "fun" continues...

Dec 5th 11:33 (GMT+1): "500" error making a forum post after 55 seconds delay. Server very slow (up to 40-50 seconds delay) in general.

EDIT: Dec 5th 11:37 (GMT+1): Another "500" posting this here.

Uhm, seriously, any idea what's the problem with your server? I've been hosting multiple sites on my machine for a long time and never experienced SUCH drastic availability issues. It's not that this site has overly much fancy stuff, it rather looks like a run-of-the-mill CMS with forum and FAQ and issue tracker (additionally some scripts to fetch license keys and stuff). So I don't really see why it should bomb out performance-wise like this...

If you could use some place to outsource or host or test this: I have a quite powerful server available. :)

EDIT 2: 11:44: Another "500" making this edit. Giving it up for now.

Seems the server problems are back.

Jan 31st 11:19 (GMT+1): "500" error making a forum post after about a minute delay. Afterwards unreachable for a few minutes. Server very sluggish in general, up to timing out.

I've seen a few 500 errors myself today, around 9:30am EST.

We are in the process of getting a new and bigger machine that should solve these issues..

Like regularly on Sunday mornings, the website is very sluggish right now. Reply times of up to 40 seconds, and some 500 errors. Still not gotten a sufficiently powerful dedicated system for the site yet?

Joe's got his hands on some pretty high end hardware right now, and is working to configure it all. Joe, how is that new hardware smell? :-)

And again, like last week, the last four hours the site was down ("500" error after about a minute).

Seriously, people, being a company which offers a web hosting panel, it doesn't look too good if your own website has such regular problems.

Sunday morning, and the server is failing again.

The "pretty high end hardware" that Eric mentioned seems not to be in operation so far?

Makes me wonder, how long can it take to rent a new server and install Linux/Drupal on it? I'd guess, including transfer of the existing data, like a few days? Considering these performance issues here have been present at least for half a year, it makes me wonder.

Also, what about using a regular forum software for the forum actually? It would a) yield much much better performance (e.g. on one of my forums, when I click "show all unread posts", it takes about half a second and the page is loaded), and b) comfortable features that a forum usually and really should have (filtering sub-boards, marking all posts as read, and several other things we mentioned over time).

Another Sunday morning, another attempt to scan through some old issue tracker entries (namely I'm trying to find one about a new feature "show last login times for email users" which was IIRC promised to be added but which I can't find), and I get more 500 errors thrown at me.

I'm getting seriously annoyed about this.

Can't you guys just please, PLEASE, use a REAL and EFFICIENT forum and bugtracker software?? Like WBB or SMF or MyBB or Mantis or Bugzilla?? There's SO MANY good pieces of software for that out there, and you have to use this terribly sluggish Drupal for all your stuff. I really don't get it. You're selling a web hosting software, and your own website goes down that regularly. Can't you just perform this server migration which you've been promising for half a year?? How long can it take to migrate one damn website to another server?? This is getting ridiculous, really.