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  1. #1

    Better to upgrade Dedicated Server or Buy 2/3?

    Okay. So this has been the biggest headache I've ever dealt with in the 'online world'.

    I have a quad core server right now with 4gb of ram hosted through inmotion hosting. I've had some SERIOUS issues with CPU load. I've split it up into 4 accounts, each account hosting anywhere between 5-15 wordpress sites.

    My CPU load is shooting through the roof and hits well above 4 every 15 min or so and hits as high as 200/300 and then crashes. When running 2 accounts, the load normally stays below 2, but does have it's occasional spikes to 6ish.

    I don't think this can work with this server anymore, so I'm thinking about either upgrading the server or buying a second server or possibly even a third. My accounts look like this right now

    Account #1: 14 sites Account #2: 11 sites Account #3: 5 sites Account #4: 8 sites

    Running 14 sites/server is pretty safe I'd say. I don't have very much traffic at all and I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that my server keeps crashing or is way too slow.

    The hosting company keeps saying that it has to do with the way that I've coded my scripts, but I've recoded to make the PHP scripts run faster, and the problem is still going strong. When I run 2 smaller accounts, then there's no problems at all.

    Any ideas on what I should do here? I'd like to stay with inmotion hosting, but if it just won't work, then I'll have to migrate somewhere else. I'm on the Advanced Dedicated Server (http://www.inmotionhosting.com/dedicated_servers.html) and I'm thinking of either buying an elite server as well as keeping the the advanced, or going for the "Commercial Class 1" or the "Commercial Class 2 - 24 Threads!"

    If anyone can provide some sound advice, I'd GREATLY appreciate it. The last thing I want to do is spend days upon days trying to fix this issue when it probably can't be fixed with this 1 server. If you have any other recommendations for hosting that could be more affordable and do the trick, I'd appreciate any links as well.

    Or would it be better to go with cloud hosting? I know nothing about it, but I see a lot of apps being used on the cloud. The load is going crazy from thousands of cron scripts that I run which grabs data and inserts it into MySQL

  2. #2
    Have you optimized your wordpress enough? I mean...have you enable the "cache" plugin to minimize webserver load??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Tampa, FL =)
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    MySQL on SSDs and what about varnish/nginx as a frontend for caching?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    96
    You better optimize your MySQL database and if possible stop using unnecessary cron scripts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    1,546
    While I haven't a clue why your cpu usage is so heavy, I would encourage you to find the source of the problem rather than purchase additional resources.

    If I were facing the problem, I would try to isolate the usage to a particular website or application by taking them offline one at a time. You may need to do that in the middle of the night to minimize service disruption.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Indonesia
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    1,776
    check if the problem in i/o, if that the problem even if u upgrade the ram and cpu u wouldnt get any improvement

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    39
    Have you considered running some vertulization software on your dedicated to break it down into several virtual machines, this way you can ensure that there is a minimum level of resources always available to your core system to ensure the server itself doesn't keep crashing and then run your accounts from within the virtual machines and this will allow you to do some load balancing by moving the individual sites around on your virtual machines to provide the best use of resources
    Luke
    Senior Support Advisor for daily.co.uk
    Low Cost VPS Soultions: www.daily.co.uk/products/virtual-private-servers | High Performance Dedicated Servers: www.daily.co.uk/products/dedicated-servers/

  8. #8
    I actually think luke@daily has a great idea in virtualizing the server to segment and discover the true cause of the problem.

    Also, logging. Start logging everything. Look into sar (presuming linux). It gives a great readout of lots of different systems, to help you narrow down when/where i/o contention may be happening. It shows system health over time.

    As stated, it's best to find out what the problem is before you upgrade, as you may be running into it shortly down the road again.
    ||| Steven Peters
    ||| Junior Linux Admin, Web Hosting Enthusiast

  9. #9
    Wow an overwhelming response. I appreciate it everyone!

    1) Yes I have optimized wordpress. I've removed wp-cron from the wp-config file, I've added caching through W3 Total Cache
    2) I'm not sure if I can request to have modifications made to my server with inmotion (ie. SSDs on MySQL)
    3) I have a Database administrator that's looked through my custom tables and he hasn't said that there's anything crazy wrong with them. I'm not quite sure that that would be the issue. One thing is that the wp_options table always builds overhead after just a few minutes, but apparently it's an issue with wordpress. All cron scripts are necessary.
    4) @ajonate - I've been trying to figure out the root of my problem for the past 3 days constantly monitoring SSH and seeing when things spike. I think it may be that there are too many PHP scripts which all query mysql. I've gone through the isolation process, but it's near impossible to figure out. The hosting company has installed mysql slow querying to try to find out where the issue lies.
    5) How do I check the log for the I/O? I had a problem with this when the load was really high.
    6) I don't really understand what virtualizing the server is. What kind of performance losses will I have by doing this? What happens when each segment gets overloaded?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    1,546
    Quote Originally Posted by salmanpasta View Post
    4) @ajonate - I've been trying to figure out the root of my problem for the past 3 days constantly monitoring SSH and seeing when things spike. I think it may be that there are too many PHP scripts which all query mysql. I've gone through the isolation process, but it's near impossible to figure out. The hosting company has installed mysql slow querying to try to find out where the issue lies.
    If you have ssh access, try issuing the top command.

    # top

    Just sit and watch it for awhile and see of you observe %CPU spiking. If it does, notice while application is responsible. That will be on the far right of the table under COMMAND.

    Do a Ctrl-c to exit top.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ajonate View Post
    If you have ssh access, try issuing the top command.

    # top

    Just sit and watch it for awhile and see of you observe %CPU spiking. If it does, notice while application is responsible. That will be on the far right of the table under COMMAND.

    Do a Ctrl-c to exit top.
    The command that's always spiking is either mysqld or php. Because there are so many PHP files which all interact with mysql, I have no idea where to begin to identify which file it is that's causing the spiking.

  12. #12
    Also, I'm not sure which method of PHP to use, but it sounds like suPHP could be slowing my site down and overloading the CPU since there are thousands of PHP scripts that run. Would you be able to recommend one in particular?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
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    1,546
    Quote Originally Posted by salmanpasta View Post
    The command that's always spiking is either mysqld or php. Because there are so many PHP files which all interact with mysql, I have no idea where to begin to identify which file it is that's causing the spiking.
    Good! It appears that the problem is indeed mysql. I suggest running mysqltuner to see what it recommends. To do that, use the following perl script.

    http://entomy.com/mysqltuner.txt

    Either copy & paste the entire contents to a new file, or download the file, then name it mysqltuner.pl and save. You can either save the file to your cgi-bin directory and run it from your borwser, or save it anywhere in your Linux box and run it as a perl script. You will need to give it execute permission either way, like:

    # chmod 755 mysqltuner.pl

    When you run it there will be a list of specific suggestions at the bottom of the output. See if there are any practical suggestions that might help you. Pay particular attention to the variables recommendations at the very bottom.
    Last edited by ajonate; 02-06-2013 at 05:58 PM.

  14. #14
    Thank you all for your input. The problem has been solved by JacobN from the Inmotion community - http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/team

    He was able to narrow down the problem through my linux logs to identify exactly what was wrong! STAND OUT GUY!

    For anyone following, the reason was because there were too many bots crawling my site. As a result, we've blocked out these bots and load is now fine!

    Thanks to all and Jacob again!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ten1/0/2
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    So, short answer is you do not need to upgrade at the moment.

    Long answer is NEVER upgrade without knowing the reason for excessive resource usage.
    CPanel Shared and Reseller Hosting, OpenVZ VPS Hosting. West Coast (LA) Servers and Nodes
    Running Linux since 1.0.8 Kernel!
    Providing Internet Services since 1995 and Hosting Since 2004

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