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Old 01-11-2006, 01:54 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
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High server load problem

I just bought an hp pavilian computer from best buy to use as a server. I have everything set up on it, and i am allowing my friend to use the server for ONE image that is displayed as a temporary picture for all of the people who are currently using You can see the image that i am talking about at in the comments area. It says Site down Temporarily.... There are sooooo many people using this site, that when he set the hotlinking to on, and transfered the traffic to my server for that image to show as a replacement, my server memory usage is averaging 84% to 92%. The swap is not being used at all, and the cache is staying around 50% used.

Here are the specs to the server...

1 250 gig harddrive
1 100 gig harddrive
1 gig ram
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Processor

I am running Business Cable as my Internet at 8mb/s

here is what i have set...well at least know how to set on the server

swap -> 96 gig
apache -> unlimited connections

here is what is installed

-php 4.4.1
-mysql 4. something
-somekind of bandwidth monitor tool that i cannot find out how to use :P

is there any possible way to allow more cache or use swap for ram or something? I need to make this server faster without buying more stuff!!!!!!

Any ideas would help!

Old 01-12-2006, 01:38 AM   #2
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Whoa, that's some iron you got there (at least from my point of view.)

Are you running a SMP kernel? That might make a change, though not necessarily - by "faster" do you mean the machine's response times? You could be running into a bandwidth limit. If that happens it will peak out (from your point of view) below what it is "supposed" to be able to do, merely because it is waiting for the saturated network interface to "unclog" if you can all it that. Going SMP should help only if actual processing performance is a factor.

I think... your milage may vary.
Old 01-12-2006, 05:29 AM   #3
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With the amount of traffic that gets, don't hotlink the image as your machine most likely cannot handle the amount of traffic gets, even if it is one image. When you hotlink, each new hit to that page redirects to download that image from your site, what it doesn't do is cache this into your apache webserver most likely from the sound of it since its more like a direct download instead of someone viewing it on a webpage on your actual domain it resides on.
Old 01-12-2006, 09:31 AM   #4
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i set my max connections in apache to 99999 and everything was alot better. had more free memory and everything
Old 01-12-2006, 10:00 AM   #5
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You might wish to reconsider that...

The max-user-count and other controls in Apache are "throttles" to make sure that, if your server is presented with a flood of requests (intended as a Denial of Service attack, perhaps?), it will not try to handle them all simultaneously.

It's certainly possible that your limit was set too low... as you describe the problem, the server was restraining itself (as it is designed to do), but maybe a little too much given that you were seeing excess, unused capacity.

You may wish to increase the configured limit, but it might be unwise to set it to '9999'. I would make small increases, then stress the system again and observe.

The buildup of a waiting-list (queue) might be annoying to impatient users, but it doesn't burn-up system capacity. If the dispatcher becomes overloaded and the system starts "thrashing," well, it isn't pretty.
Old 01-12-2006, 10:42 AM   #6
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the queue fills up so fast that my memory sits at 8mb left out of 1 gig if i set a limit to 150 or 300 max connections. i even tried 50, and it still used all of my memory. once i set apache to 99999 connections, my memory went from 8mb left to 290mb left, and stayed right around there. Is there a better way to keep the memory free?


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