Website unavailability over the past week

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#16 Post by GeddichNixan » Wed May 06, 2009 8:44 am

Getting the error message 500 plus additional 404 every now and then. Sometimes it works fine, than when I try to access the forum the only thing I see is the error message. Reloading the page doesn't help. I need to wait a bit and it works again until the next error message.

The provider is not only behaving unethical, but you don't get the service you are paying for not even after having accepted the more expensive service package.

Hey, there is also a 503 message (Service temporarily not available due to maintenance or capacity bla-bla-bla).

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#17 Post by Kranor » Thu May 07, 2009 5:05 am

yup 500's 503's and 404's every other window :(

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#18 Post by trpplayer79 » Thu May 07, 2009 11:45 pm

I use as hosting provider.
The price for a shared LINUX hosting is 1.45USD/month
For this price you get 3000MB web space, unlimited transfer and PHP5 & MySQL.
During the past 5 years that I use this hosting provider I didn't experienced large problems
and with the 24/7 chat support you have an answer on your question/problem within a short time.

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#19 Post by Checker » Sat May 09, 2009 10:13 am

Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
This is, what I've got most at the time.

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#20 Post by Napiophelios » Sat May 09, 2009 3:32 pm

I dont know if it has anything to do with it
but it only happens to me when I am using a machine that has Java installed on it
Every other page switch in the forum goes to those messages.
But with no Java installed It acts normal....unless someone has already fixed the problem. :oops:

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#21 Post by bassiliin » Sun May 10, 2009 2:31 am

Today everything seems to be ok for me. Haven't seen any errors so far.

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#22 Post by JohnW » Sun May 10, 2009 7:55 am

Just to agree with bassiliin

Don't want to tempt fate but everything seems back to normal now!

EDIT ...
Spoke too soon.

Still getting 'Service Temporarily Unavailable'

A work around is to refresh the page but the performance is a mess to be honest. But we know the reason so we can but sympathise.
Last edited by JohnW on Mon May 11, 2009 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#23 Post by ashghost » Sun May 10, 2009 10:34 am

I just got a 503 error.

What's even stranger is that I once again can't log in using Firefox on my desktop. I'm still logged in on my laptop, thanks to the "Log me on automatically each visit" checkbox.

Two weeks ago I was logged out on my desktop in Firefox and couldn't log in, but was able to use my laptop. After another day or two, my laptop got logged out as well, so I requested a password reset, after which I couldn't log in from any machine or any browser.

After the site problems calmed down, I was able to do another password reset and then log in with IE. However, I couldn't log in with Firefox until I had deleted my cookies.

Currently, when I attempt to log in with Firefox, I get redirected to the main page of the forums with no error message, but I don't get logged in. I was just able to log in using IE on my desktop, so I'm not only certain that it's not a password problem, I have evidence.

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service temporary unavailable

#24 Post by Pathologist » Wed May 13, 2009 5:04 am

The 503 error appears every second entry.
In addition the following message appears almost every click.
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
I realize that normal hoster can be rather costly, but this issue compromises your resource.

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#25 Post by usdcs » Wed May 13, 2009 8:35 am

You know, it makes one wonder what the hosting company must be thinking when it messes with a site that has nearly 3000 members, many of whom are IT professionals... It's not exactly the best marketing strategy, in my estimation.

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#26 Post by guinness » Thu May 14, 2009 12:12 pm

I would quite happily pay 5euros to Andrew to move to another hosting company, if every member was willing to pay 5euros, well that would be a very large donation indeed!

Portable Freeware has been my source since 2006 for applications of a portable nature.
This site RULZ!!

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Andrew Lee
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#27 Post by Andrew Lee » Thu May 14, 2009 7:47 pm

I am sorry I appear to be silent on this issue, and but like most of you, I have been unable to reliably compose a message on the forum without getting a 503 error! But finally we seem to be making some headway...

My first priority was to get the site working again (despite my displeasure with DreamHost). At first, I thought I wasn't allocating enough memory to the virtual server, but that turned out not to be the case.

So I contacted support, and they told me I was running out of Apache connections on the server. Huh? They told me the Apache server was default configured to have a max of 300 concurrent connections. So I told them could you please double the number of connections for me? To their credit, they promptly did.

After doubling the number of connections, thing didn't seem to improve at all! So back to support I went. After some analysis, they told me the file downloads are taking up most of the connections (something I totally didn't expect), and gave me a number of options. The only viable ones within the short term are 1) increase the number of connections to some crazy number, but it will cost a bomb (eg. >$200/mth), or disable the download service temporarily.

Sure enough, after I disabled the download service, things returned to normal again. Never thought that could be the problem! But on hindsight, it made perfect sense.

Anyway, I will have to work on finding a way to get the download function back ASAP. Either implement some kind of queuing system, or install a lightweight HTTP server for download only.

When that works, I will continue to look at migrating TPFC to another host.

Thanks for all your support and suggestions! I won't reply to them individually, but I will take all of them into consideration when choosing the next web host.

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#28 Post by Andrew Lee » Mon May 18, 2009 9:36 pm

Just a little update: The download function is working again under DH, courtesy of lighttpd.

I managed to download/compile the source, then successfully configure it to work, thanks to the instructions here. Right now, Apache is configured to proxy all requests to the lighttpd server, so everything just works transparently.

Why lighttpd? For one, it is very, very lightweight. Unlike Apache which spawns off numerous child processes (each about 2MB) to handle the requests, there is only a single lighttpd process (about 500KB) doing all the heavy lifting. So it should help keep the load on the server down.

Another great thing about lighttpd is that it supports X-SendFile out-of-the-box, so I reimplemented the quota-ed download function to use X-SendFile. In this way, expensive PHP processes are not tied up serving static files.

Lemme know if you guys hit any more problems. For those of you who have emailed/PM to ask, my DH account is currently configured as 496 MB for $49.60/month (but the estimate is that I will end up paying approx $20/month due to all the various discounts which I am sure will be gradually removed), but I will try to bring that down gradually within the next few days and see what's the optimal "sweet" spot without breaking the website.

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#29 Post by GeddichNixan » Tue May 19, 2009 10:22 am

Hi Andrew,

I've got a new error message for you. I have never seen it before until today. Here it is:

Occurance: today 18:10 - 18:20 GMT+1 DST

Error Code 502

Proxy Error

The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
The proxy server could not handle the request GET /.

Reason: Error reading from remote server

Before it popped up today the website worked fine for a couple of days.

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Andrew Lee
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#30 Post by Andrew Lee » Tue May 19, 2009 4:55 pm

@GeddichNixan: Do you get it consistently or intermittently?

Anyone else seeing this error?

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