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Magoo: VPS Admin (Read 69170 times)
Rad
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Magoo: VPS Admin
Jan 25th, 2008 at 10:25pm
 
Just wanna bounce off you (again) the idea of VPS administration .. should we need to go that route.

I'd rather stay shared, due mainly to price ($100/yr vs $500). But LP keeps telling me I need VPS.

Could always move to a *different* host (been there, done that) .. but what if we raise flags there too?

No idea what VPS admin involves, and would prefer continuing my foray into learning CSS design. (Then maybe PHP.)

If I have to learn VPS admin, I'd imagine it could get involved. Of course I would *like* to learn VPS admin .. but when I *want* to .. not cuz I *have* to. =/

Is there a chance it could become too much 4 you to handle?

Everything server-related these days seemed to be Linux/Apache/PHP/MySQL/Perl-based scripts.

What about Apache? You up on that, too? Seems like a black art to me.

I was hoping that forwarding the old YaBB 1.4 forum and upgrading Y2.1 to Y2.2 would drop CPU.

Now they tell me I'm hogging memory. BTW here is comparison of Perl flat-file vs PHP/MySQL dynamic-based scripts. Written by the guy who leads YaBB, so I doubt he's unbiased, but interesting nonetheless.

http://www.yabbisback.com/media/YaBB_Versus.pdf

They also cited the TrackBack script in Movable Type .. tho not which *version* of MT, as I have both 2.63 and 3.35 installed.

The 2.63 version has way more blog entries (360), and I read somewhere about TB abuses with those early versions. So I'd gues that the culprit.

I also have an anti-TrackBack abuse plug-in installed in v3.35, so that another reason why I suspect 2.63.

I think I can go in and simply disable all trackbacks in 2.63 with a single click.

Anyway, I'm trying to feel things out should we be persuaded to go VPS.

On another note, I'd also expect a VPS-based server to respond more quickly. No? Certainly not more slugishly.

With less # of sites allowed on the server .. altho these should all be BUSY sites .. or they wouldn't be there in the first place. Right?

Rad

PS Sorry again about the part of that thread you lost. I've only heard of two such losses since we first launched YaBB, years ago. Doesn't mean there haven't been more, only that I've only heard of two. Wish I knew what happened and how to prevent.
 
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MrMagoo
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #1 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 4:36pm
 
Yeah, sucks we lost those posts.  It was one of the higher quality discussions Pleo and I have had.  Only way to prevent it would probably be to take database backups every week or two.  Then you could dig most of the thread out of the backup and rejoin it. 

I'm not afraid of a vps server.  I'm pretty comfortable with Apache.  It's actually pretty straight-forward once you get familiar with the configuration file.  As far as how much work I would have to do - Linux servers don't require much work once they are set up.  It would take me a little bit to set it up, but then I would just have to check on it occasionally and do upgrades if you needed it.  The only thing would be I'd have to be quick if it broke, but it really shouldn't break often if its set up right and secured properly.

I also have experience with Perl, PHP, MySQL, and all their tie-in's to Apache, so I really wouldn't have to learn much.  I could help you learn it if you want at some point later.  I actually find myself in the opposite shoes you are in - I'd like to learn to code better HTML (I'm terrible with standards) and learn CSS.  Right now I know just enough to tweak templates that are provided to me, but I couldn't really build it from scratch.  Unfortunately, its important to my career that I delve deeper into system administration and learn the internals of Unix right now, so there isn't time for web coding in my academic schedule.  So, I understand where you're at. 

As far as load, I'd expect a shared server to be faster.  You are paying more, so they should give you a much bigger share of the server.  If not, it seems a pretty raw deal.  Not that we've had any problems with performance since we moved to this particular server (that I'm aware of...?)

As far as the article on PHP vs. Perl, I don't really see any good benchmarks or scientific comparisons in that article.  While he is probably not impartial, I also don't think he is entirely wrong.  Both PHP and Perl have been essentially re-written in the last few years, and what I'm starting to find in poking around is that there isn't nearly the same differences between them that there used to be.  They still have their strengths, but those strengths have become more subtle.  Even if switching to PHP got you off the bad-boy list, it might not buy you much time.

I would say to disable those trackbacks.  Maybe try to find out what is causing the high memory usage and if there's anything we can do to help.  Threads in this forum tend to get very long compared to other forums - any thread Pleo joins is pretty much guranteed to go 5 pages  Wink.  Maybe splitting some of the longest threads would help?? 

Seems like your site should be able to fit into a shared setting, but maybe it has just simply grown past that.  I think we have a lot of lurkers on the forums these days gleaning technical tidbits, and your blog probably has grown in popularity with the variety of experiences you've shared over the last 2 years.  Do your site statistics show increased growth?  Last I looked you were over 1mil hits a month, which seems impressive for a personal site.  It's ironic that the most popular features like the Ghost Guide aren't really the troublemakers.  Something to be said for static HTML...
 
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Rad
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #2 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 5:22pm
 
Quote:
..any thread Pleo joins is pretty much guranteed to go 5 pages.


Made me chuckle out loud.  Smiley I love Pleo. Very articulate. I especially like how he is able to present differing POVs in a respectful manner.

Well then, you are the man .. when it comes to VPS admin. ("I ain't scared of no stinkin' VPS.") I respect confidence.

I like how you say "once it's set up, it shouldn't take many man-hours to administrate." (paraphraing)

I will look into disabling trackbacks on MT 2.63.

I received another love-note from LP today, saying pretty much the same thing > how the site had reduced CPU usage, tho our memory consumption remained too high to move me back to "general population". (my phrasing)

On the subject of posts, I guess each thread gets it's own *.txt file. I had somehow (in my mind) thot each *page* got  its own own file. But not so, apparently. So those long (multi-page) threads get big file sizes.

I just got done transferring all threads/posts to the server from back-up I had downloaded.

Most files were 3-8 KB. But about 6 or 7 were up around 100 KB. Without exception, I had trouble x-ferring all those big files. I'd que up 50-or-so files,and if they were all small > no problem.

But if one was near 100KB, my FTP client would spit it out, and I'd have to x-fer it individually. Sometimes attempting more than once.

You'd think a server wouldn't care about file sizes, but my experience has been different.

So maybe we should (in the future) try to "split" threads longer than a certain size.

Again, I feel bad about losing those posts. I feel responsible.

Well, I definitely feel like you can handle the admin. (I'm impressed that you're not scared. Smiley )

The only other thing is their particular flavor of Linix. Are you comfortable with that?

And upgrades. Are you comfortable upgrading (should we need/want) to .. say, Linux, PHP, MySQL, etc.

On a related topic, what is your position on PHP4 vs PHP5? Or do you have one?

Anyway, whatever we do/decide, I appreciate your willingness to help.

http://www.lunarpages.com/virtual-private-server/
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #3 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 6:54pm
 
Rad

Quote:
I received another love-note from LP today, saying pretty much the same thing > how the site had reduced CPU usage, tho our memory consumption remained too high

I'm curious--what does that mean--*memory consumption*--I thought they were complaining about CPU usage--what functions of the forum or website *consume memory*--can't they tell you where that's coming from?
 

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No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are Wink !
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #4 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 7:49pm
 
Test.
 
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #5 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 7:56pm
 
I take care of a few linux servers as part of my day job.  It's easy to be confident when I'm familiar with the task.  If I remember right, they said they would be installing CentOS 4.2 on the server, which is one of my favorite distros.  Its based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux source files, so it is very stable and I'm plenty familiar with it.

Upgrading PHP/MySQL/Perl shouldn't be any issue.  We would just have to make sure there aren't conflicting requirements in the apps you run.  MT and YaBB shouldn't cause any issues.  I don't know of any reasons not to start with the latest versions, tho, so you would be fine for a while after that.  I always use PHP 5 at home and I've never run into issues, but I could do some research to see if there is any reason to stick with 4.x for a little while longer on a production server              .
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #6 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 7:57pm
 
They don't really say. Here's the contents of their message.

Uh, I am having trouble posting the contents of their message. Erroring 403 Prohibited. So I'm posting in parts to see where the problem lies. Here's the first part.

Quote:
Hello,

Thanks for your cooperation. After reviewing your account, it seems that your account usage is reduced but still not acceptable so we are not able to move your account back to the production server. We have to monitor your account for another 24 hours. Your account is still using high memory resources. If your account resources usage is acceptable then we will move your account back to our production server. Here is your resource usage for today:
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #7 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 8:26pm
 
Quote:
CPU usage: 1.14
Memory usage: 0.99
MySQL usage: 0.0
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #8 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 8:29pm
 
Okay, here is the part they don't like. I had to change the word P-E-R-L to "pearl" .. but you get it.

Quote:
radified.com

Top Process %CPU 37.0 /usr/bin/pearl -- YaBB.pl
Top Process %CPU 8.5 /usr/bin/pearl -- YaBB.pl
Top Process %CPU 5.2 /usr/bin/pearl -- YaBB.pl


P-E-R-L is a skripting language, so that probably why LP flags (prohibits) it .. I'm guessing.

Notice how they say CPU usage in now okay, but that memory usage is the problem, yet give me breakdown stats for CPU usage, but no breakdown for memory .. just a global figure.
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #9 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 8:33pm
 
And their final comments.

Quote:
Please, upgrade all your addon(s) and audit all your scripts. We appreciate your attention to this important matter to ensure server security and stability.

I hope this information is helpful.
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #10 - Jan 26th, 2008 at 11:59pm
 
Yes, you're correct > they install CentOS 4.2.

Glad to hear you like it.
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #11 - Jan 27th, 2008 at 12:41pm
 
Quote:
…any thread Pleo joins is pretty much guranteed to go 5 pages…

Thus the origin of the forum member name “Pleonasm,” defined as “The use of more words than are required to express an idea” . . .

Smiley
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #12 - Jan 27th, 2008 at 6:48pm
 
Just got this today:

Quote:
Hello,

Your resource usage for memory on the server is currently at 1.42%. The allowed range is 1.0% or less we will need you to lower your memory on the server as this can become a potential risk to the shared community. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact our support team we will be more than happy to assist you further.

Thank you.


Limiting you to 1% indicates they're putting AT LEAST 100 accts on each server .. cuz I'm sure there are plenty of sites which use less than 1%.

With VPS, I beleive they limit the number of accounts to 40, which would give everybody 2.5%

The kicker is .. I have no access to their stats. I'm mean they could be lying and how would I know? I mean, Radified is reasonably popular, tho I have no frame of reference.

Do you?

And *how* do they get this number? Cux, I'm sure this metric fluctuates. Lotsa questions. Can I see this metric myself, or do I simply have to believe them?

And why was it not a problem before .. when the forum had 273 people here?

I posed these questions at the YaBB forum:

http://www.yabbforum.com/community/YaBB.pl?num=1201486768
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #13 - Jan 28th, 2008 at 11:41am
 
Here's the latest (Monday AM). Good news.

Quote:
Hello,

Thanks for your cooperation. After reviewing your account it seems that your account usage is ok . We will again check your usage after 24 hours if usage is ok then we will move your account back to the production server. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask us, we will be happy to answer them. We are committed to making your hosting experiences pleasant and fulfilling.

Thank you for contacting lunar pages support team.


Still, even if this latest usage report holds, we may, in the future, look to moving to a VPS acct, which gives us more control over things. Cost is the biggest deterrent ($8/mo vs $45). Also thanks to Magoo who has agreed to administrate, and even bring me up to speed on Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl, etc.

Also, I deleted a krapload of files from old YaBB v2.1 (members + posts) and old YaBB v1.4 (again, both members + posts). They claim I can have 350 gigs, but in reality, they may not liked my acct having so many files. We're talking about the deletion of, say, 8- or 10K files .. *small* files, but files nonetheless.

I also put lots of Afiliate ads on my site, for Lunarpages .. not so much for the $60 I earn from someone joining LP via my site, but rather cuz LP is less likely to give me the boot if they're benefitting from my site advertising their hosting. I'm being realistic.
 
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Re: Magoo: VPS Admin
Reply #14 - Jan 29th, 2008 at 2:57pm
 
Upon further investigation, it appears TRACKBACKs are *not* enabled in MT 2.63 (the old version).

http://blog.radified.com/ (based on MT 2.63)

That would make TB's in MT 3.35 what they were talking about:

http://blogs.radified.com/ (based on MT 3.35)

TB spam/abuse is a common problem, and I've installed a plug-in to thwart such spammage.

It appears to be working, as I've yet to have any such problems, and can see in my admin console where bots from various IP addys have tried to spam my TB's (without success).

But these attempts by Trackback spammers must be what is generating CPU usage. Another possibility is that the anti-TB-spam plug-in I installed is poorly coded and therefore using excessive CPU cycles .. or even if it's WELL-coded.
 
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