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  1. #1

    * LP: The Saga Continues... Or maybe not...

    I have a free clip art site that offers .gif images for download. A few months ago, I posted this at WHT:

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...hreadid=426390

    For those who don't want to read the whole thing, basically the issue had to do with LunarPages moving my site to another server (due to alleged *memory usage*), and warning me that if it had to move me again, I would be moved to an abuse server.

    Well, it seemed as if the issue was resolved. I was told that I had to reduce the thumbnail images to a certain size, which is what I did. LP told me that everything was okay.

    Today, I received THIS in my inbox:

    Hi,

    Your account is utilizing excessive resources, causing a significant
    degradation of services on the server. This is a shared environment and we can
    not allow one user to utilize the majority of the resources on a server as it
    affects all users adversely. Because of this, you have been temporarily moved
    to the Quantz server. A detail of the problem is shown below:

    [username]
    Average %CPU usage - 4.10
    Average %Memory usage - 8.78
    Average %MySQL usage - 0.0
    Top Process %CPU 11.0 /usr/bin/php
    Top Process %CPU 7.0 /usr/bin/php
    Top Process %CPU 6.0 /usr/bin/php

    We moved you to Quantz first to solve the issue of the degraded service on
    [server] and second as a courtesy in order to prevent any downtime on your
    site to allow you time to rectify the situation. Currently, your site is not
    suitable for a shared hosting environment.

    Quantz is not a production server and is not guaranteed to run in the same
    manner as your old server nor will it support all functions you may have. This
    is a transitional server only and is not intended to be a permanent placement.
    Please make a decision on how you would like to proceed within seven (7) days.
    After seven (7) days, your account will be suspended if no other arrangements
    are made.

    You may log into Quantz using http://quantz.lunarpages.com/cpanel or
    https://quantz.lunarpages.com:2083/ You will not be able to log into Quantz
    using the Lunarpages main login page as the server is non-production and not
    available via that page.

    You have the following options:
    1. You may upgrade your package to our Dedicated hosting plan. For more
    information on the features and pricing, please see
    http://helpdesk.lunarpages.com/faq.p...&articleid=400

    2. You may take steps to correct the problem. This must be done before the
    seven (7) days are up. You will need to let the technician know the steps you
    took to correct the issue and get approval before being returned to a
    production server.

    Please note that the above mentioned resource usage is due to PHP processing.

    Since we do not have the exact scripts to provide (since the manner in which
    PHP scripts are provided on the server only shows the username and not the
    script name causing the high usage), you would need to review your account for
    scripts that may be the cause. Please check ones such as forums, blogs,
    content management systems, and galleries as these are especially likely to
    create high usage.

    3. You may look for a dedicated server or other hosting solution. Please
    remember that propagation takes up to seventy two (72) hours so if you decide
    on changing hosts you should allow enough time for propagation.

    Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. We value you as a customer and
    want to work with you toward a solution that is mutually beneficial. Please
    let us know as quickly as possible how you would like to proceed.

    Thanks.
    PHP Processing, hmmm? That's interesting. I have no major PHP scripts running on my site, unless they want to include the LITTLE, ITTY, BITTY, WITTY GUESTBOOK SCRIPT THEY PROVIDED ME UNDER FANTASTICO. Oh-- and where have I heard that one before? Right-- the LAST TIME this happened.

    If I had any doubts about LP before, they have now been dispelled. Last time LP told me that the memory usage was due to unoptimized images. Now it's telling me something else.

    Can someone please recommend me a good web host that can handle a free clip art site that sees something like 2k page hits a day and won't keep finding new memory usage problems that magically spring up, even after they have been fixed? Thanks. I don't want pitches from the hosts themselves; I want the personal recommendations of people who like the host they are with now.
    Last edited by hfguide; 10-19-2005 at 09:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    I for one am impressed that they moved your site to a different server during the interm. Alot of hosting companies would have simply shut you down after a repeated issue of generally the same nature.

    Not sure if a vps would suite your needs, but you could definately ask at a2b2.com, powervps.com and vpsresell.com - all are good companies and will give you an honest opinion.
    Three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population

  3. #3
    It would be intresting to find out what is causing the high loads. Have you checked that your guest book is not bene abused in anyway. It may be possiable that there is a problem with the guest book that is causing the problem.
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  4. #4
    Hello, all.

    Right now I am going to write back to LP support. Then I will let everyone know what has happened.

    Thanks for your recommendations, BTW. I will definitely be looking them over.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I think they did the right thing when I see the stats you posted.

    if loads get too high other costumers might get into problems too...

  6. #6
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    I have seen examples of scripts being abused, it happened to one of my own contact form scripts. Had to take the thing down.
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  7. #7
    I removed the PHP guestbook.

    Now I am told that the .js includes that I use for my footers are the problem. *sighs*

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    343
    The problem isn't necessarily with your site.

    Numerous people had similar problems with supposed resource over usage, when I was hosted with LP. LP could very rarely say what was causing it, but they sure were quick to move people to the banishment server.

    I fully understand that it isn't usually the hosts job to troubleshoot scripts etc, but I feel that if they are going to accuse someone of something they should at least be able to prove it.

    I personally think the problem with LP is that they oversell. Hugely.

    That was the problem with them when I hosted with them back a year ago, I don't think the overselling issue has improved with time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    64
    In a shared hosting environment, CPU usage is absolutely critical and one of the first reasons an account is either suspended or moved to a VPS or dedicated solution. My guess is that they sent you an automated cutter response, but it shouldn't be difficult for you to determine, from your own logs, what scripts are being used a lot. If you optimize them right, then you shouldn't hear back from LP unless you get hit with high traffic. Often times free scripts are not written well enough, so when people get high traffic they get a surprise one day in their mailbox and, in other cases, php writters are inexperienced with high-traffic environments.

    You can't expect LP to do anything more than tell you the name of the scripts. Its also written very clearly in their T.O.S, the exact percentage of cpu usage you can use at any given time. I wouldn't want to be with a host who did it any other way (in a shared hosting environment). If LP didn't have this policy, 10 more people would come to this same forum complaining that their servers had high-loads....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    I also want to add that, if static images were bogging the server down (according to your original statement), then its unlikely that a shared hosting environment is sufficient...You may also want to look at how many people are hotlinking your images...

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by fgraph
    Its also written very clearly in their T.O.S, the exact percentage of cpu usage you can use at any given time. I wouldn't want to be with a host who did it any other way (in a shared hosting environment). If LP didn't have this policy, 10 more people would come to this same forum complaining that their servers had high-loads....
    What on earth good does it do a customer, to give an explicit CPU usage limit, if the customer can't measure this and the only way they can be aware of a violation is after their site has been moved? Even if it hadn't been how can the customer possibly verify that their CPU usage is indeed excessive?

    There's nothing wrong with having a CPU policy, but remember, the customer has absolutely no way to measure their site against this mysterious quota. So let's not condemn every customer who comes here confused by it. Such clauses in a TOS amount to "we can arbitrarily move or suspend your account until you upgrade your service level".
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  12. #12
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    Originally posted by fgraph
    You can't expect LP to do anything more than tell you the name of the scripts. Its also written very clearly in their T.O.S, the exact percentage of cpu usage you can use at any given time. I wouldn't want to be with a host who did it any other way (in a shared hosting environment). If LP didn't have this policy, 10 more people would come to this same forum complaining that their servers had high-loads....
    Well which script would it be then? LP said it was one thing. Now they are saying it is another.

    Originally posted by Big Bison
    There's nothing wrong with having a CPU policy, but remember, the customer has absolutely no way to measure their site against this mysterious quota. So let's not condemn every customer who comes here confused by it. Such clauses in a TOS amount to "we can arbitrarily move or suspend your account until you upgrade your service level".
    Well said.

  13. #13
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    3,109
    Just a thought ...

    No matter who you Host with next, make sure to advise them of your current situation/problems. That way there is no misunderstanding if you run into the same problem.

    And actually, it's hard to say just what the problem is at this point. LP seems a bit confused themselves and can only determine your account is a problem account -- from their point-of-view. Many people have been told their account is a 'problem account', only to go to another Hoster and have no problems whatsoever.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Many people have been told their account is a 'problem account', only to go to another Hoster and have no problems whatsoever.
    And this has happened even when the original host was not a "budget" one. One of the wonders of life I guess...

  15. #15
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    Australia
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    I'm impressed that they have a system like that for handling abusive sites. Not a bad idea, imo. It's not perfect, but it beats the heck out of the host shutting down the abusive site on the spot. Maybe more hosts should implement such a system?

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Website Rob
    Just a thought ...

    No matter who you Host with next, make sure to advise them of your current situation/problems. That way there is no misunderstanding if you run into the same problem.

    And actually, it's hard to say just what the problem is at this point. LP seems a bit confused themselves and can only determine your account is a problem account -- from their point-of-view. Many people have been told their account is a 'problem account', only to go to another Hoster and have no problems whatsoever.
    Thank you, Website Rob, for that advice. It is greatly appreciated.

    There are a lot of people who are posting in LP's favor. That's fair. But please try to understand where I'm coming from as well:

    -A few months ago (April 2005), I was moved to another server, and basically told, "A script is making your site a major resource hogger. If you don't fix the problem, we're going to just move you to an abuse server." I informed LP that there is only ONE .cgi script from a guestbook. LP wrote me back saying, "Oops-- our mistake; we meant that you didn't optimize your thumbnails enough."

    So I spent a week doing JUST THAT.

    -Then after being *careful* about file sizes, several months later LP moves me to an abuse server, and tells me to either fix the problem, buy an account for $99/month, or just get out. And yes, once again, it's a mysterious *SCRIPT* that is bogging down their servers. It's a forum, it's gallery software, it's CMS, it's something grandiose like that. "Script?" sez I. "I have one PHP-driven guestbook that YOU provided me. One." [This was a month-old guestbook that probably had 4-5 visitors during its life, and had only two entries.]

    No answer. I remove the Viper Guestbook-- y'know, the one with two entries that is practically *crippling* LP; was installed on a subdomain that sees barely 50 visitors a day; and has only two entries in the entire month of its existence. (Sarcasm aside, I'm serious about that; the memory usage was cut by half when I uninstalled it, which makes NO SENSE TO ME.)

    But wait, there's more! Not even uninstalling this rogue script is enough! I'm still over the limit! LP posts a log, and lo and behold, now my .js includes that I use for a footer are still using gobs of memory.

    Can someone see why I'm frustrated? Whenever this happens, first I'm being told it's most definitely a script that I need to fix, then when I correct LP (it's not a script), they tell me it's something else. In other words, they never really discover the REAL problem until I delve further into it. This is akin to you being told by a doctor, "You have a disease that is genetic." Then you tell the doctor, "We have no history of that in our family. I even tested negative for it last year." Then he does another exam and says, "Oops-- so sorry. You really have another illness." I dunno... seems kind of shoddy, even though the doctor means well. This doesn't restore confidence.

    Making matter worse, this *memory usage* problem keeps springing anew like weeds, with brand new sources to create them. In April, the problem were my thumbnails; NOW the problem was this PHP script they gave me AND my .js includes. It doesn't make sense. Why are my .js includes NOW creating a problem, when they didn't before? I don't understand how a guestbook that nobody knew about caused memory usage to soar. How could it have been subject to abuse, if no one knew about it?

    So not only am I filled with unanswered questions, I feel insecure about my status at LP. What does this mean for me in the future? No more scripts at all? No more .js includes or guestbooks or forums on this account, lest it cause problems? If I fix this current problem, will I have to worry about SSI Includes next?

    Maybe I would be less bent out of shape about this if I hadn't been treated like a *repeat offender.* That's what's really bugging me. It doesn't bother me IF my site is moved to another server or something... I understand the technical reason for that... But to be given this BLUNT 7 day ultimatum that says, "Just fix it or leave or sign up for another account"like I'm some jerk who's trying to make trouble for them... and not really be specific about what's causing the problem... especially after the last time when I was more than accomodalting in fixing the image optimization problem... I don't know what it is. I was a bit stunned.
    Last edited by hfguide; 10-24-2005 at 03:36 PM.

  17. #17
    Well, to be honest, javascript IS a script. And you haven't mentioned what the javascript does.

  18. #18
    Originally posted by ArtieFishill
    Well, to be honest, javascript IS a script. And you haven't mentioned what the javascript does.
    Yes, but they didn't MENTION that type of script. They initially mentioned anything related to guestbooks, CMS, photo galleries, forums, etc. Javascript has nothing to do with these things.

    And I mentioned that it's an include. It's just an include that I use to write footer information and links to each page.

  19. #19
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    Javascript is client-side, Artie. Unless you know of a host who supports SSJS? In terms of server usage, having a JS include an image is no different than just transferring an image from the server to the client. So it can't be accounting for any memory or processor cycles on the server.

    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    I'm impressed that they have a system like that for handling abusive sites. Not a bad idea, imo. It's not perfect, but it beats the heck out of the host shutting down the abusive site on the spot. Maybe more hosts should implement such a system?
    Provided it's called something besides the 'abuse' server. Like I repeatedly mention, calling a customer an 'abuser' is no way to upsell.

  20. #20
    Originally posted by BigBison
    Javascript is client-side, Artie. Unless you know of a host who supports SSJS? In terms of server usage, having a JS include an image is no different than just transferring an image from the server to the client. So it can't be accounting for any memory or processor cycles on the server.
    Well, actually the .js include was merely text [using "document.write"] to write footer information [copyright notice, a few page links, etc], but I'm praying that what you say still applies! Can a .js include of text and some 600 bytes in file size be such a memory resource? I don't understand! I have thumbnails 3X that size!

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by hfguide
    Can a .js include of text and some 600 bytes in file size be such a memory resource?
    Not on the server, no.

  22. #22
    Originally posted by BigBison
    Not on the server, no.
    Then it's curious, isn't it?

    Look, some things are happening behind the scenes now... I will post an update soon, perhaps Friday at the latest, to let the interested know what's up.

    Thanks to all who've responded.

  23. #23
    UPDATE:

    After being told that the .js include was causing a problem, I deleted its contents. I got another log showing me that excessive memory usage was unchanged. Then I got this message:

    It's either just high usage because your site is very very busy with loads of
    small files, or it's because in a file called /var/cpanel/users/hassle2, some
    of your domains and subdomains are listed twice.


    This might cause the usage to not be reported correctly. I know it can do so
    for bandwidth statistics, but have not come across a case where it did it for
    resource usage yet. We will see.

    I hope this is the case. We have edited the file, hopefully your usage will go
    down now.

    If not, then it's most likely that you have hundreds of small files, seperate
    requests for each one, and it's just getting a lot of hits for each page.

    You can use up all the bandwidth just by offering massive files for download,
    but if you use lots of tiny files, it can slow down the server for other
    users.
    It gets interesting now, isn't it? LP says it will get back to me and try to figure out what the source of the problem is and whether the deletion of this file will show a change in stats. I'm just CHOMPING at the bit!

  24. #24
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    If we're talking about the site you have listed, I whipped out HttpWatch and did some checking. I counted 17 server hits and 45KB of data transfer for my first access of the home page. I clicked a link for a subsequent page, triggering 7 more server hits for an additional 14KB of transfer. I honestly can't see where this person's site could possibly impact others on a shared server, there's simply nothing out of the ordinary about it. I have no idea where LP is coming from on this at all.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBison
    Javascript is client-side, Artie. Unless you know of a host who supports SSJS? In terms of server usage, having a JS include an image is no different than just transferring an image from the server to the client. So it can't be accounting for any memory or processor cycles on the server.



    Provided it's called something besides the 'abuse' server. Like I repeatedly mention, calling a customer an 'abuser' is no way to upsell.
    True...brainfart...lol.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by BigBison
    If we're talking about the site you have listed, I whipped out HttpWatch and did some checking. I counted 17 server hits and 45KB of data transfer for my first access of the home page. I clicked a link for a subsequent page, triggering 7 more server hits for an additional 14KB of transfer. I honestly can't see where this person's site could possibly impact others on a shared server, there's simply nothing out of the ordinary about it. I have no idea where LP is coming from on this at all.
    I think it's a different site. There's a site linked to the that one at the bottom of the page that has actual clip art files on it. The one page I pulled down (file save as) came about to about 150 KB total (html file and supporting images) with approximately 55 files. So if it's a popular site, even if it's all static standard stuff, could that be causing a high page load?

  27. #27
    Hello, everyone. I am back.

    After going back and forth with LP support for a week and a half over this issue, it finally told me, "Well, sorry, despite all the changes we proposed to you to fix this issue, it's a no go; your memory usage is still unacceptable." Then it told me I had a choice of going with a semi-dedicated plan (starting at something like $39/month, full year paid in advance, of course), or going through an outlandish effort of making all of my pages less memory intensive (something to the effect of converting each of my thumbnail galleries into one large image file or something.) Naturally, I asked to cancel my account and so this past week I was given a pro-rated refund, since I still had something like seven months left on it.

    I am now with a new host.

    Of course, this issue isn't over, because there is a possibility that the same issue could arise at my new host. That's why I've been doing a lot of research into other causes of bandwidth/ memory abuse. I recently started doing some heavy looking into the possibility that perhaps "bad bots" may have been the major cause of the memory abuse, since clip art sites are frequently targeted by site rippers and offline browsers. If it was the case all this time that "bad bots" were the issue, then that says a lot for the expertise of LP's technical staff. I told them so many times what type of site was being hosted, and yet the possibility of site rippers never crossed their mind. So... *shrug...*

    At any rate, as I said, I am with another host now, because I was extremely displeased at having my site be labeled abusive and given this ultimatum, then with each new correspondence, watch LP fumble its way through the many theories as to what may have been causing the problem. So I guess the saga is now over... at least, for now...

  28. #28
    Join Date
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    I assume it is the site now with HG.

    Do let us know how it goes. Comparative reviews are really useful.

  29. #29
    Join Date
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    So I guess the saga is now over... at least, for now...
    Yes, let's hope it won't resurface with your new host. Thank you for keeping us updated.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Dormouse
    I assume it is the site now with HG.

    Do let us know how it goes. Comparative reviews are really useful.
    I most definitely will, Dormouse. *keeps fingers crossed* One thing I'm pleased to say is that it's quite a relief that I no longer have to pay up front for the entire year anymore like I had to at LP.

    And I also have to say that in LP's favor, they didn't give me a hard time about getting the remainder of my refund. I was really afraid that they were gonna give me a hard time about it, because you know how it is with *any* service when you've paid for something up front. But I calmly explained the situation (that they basically gave me an ultimatum), and I got refunded.

    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc
    Yes, let's hope it won't resurface with your new host. Thank you for keeping us updated.
    No, problem! And if anything happens at my new house, you can be sure that I'll be back with another *saga!*

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