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  1. #1
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    dreamhost domain throttled? What that means?

    Hi,

    I've been with dreamhost for 6 months, and appart from usual mail server problems and downtimes, the web server was never down extremely.

    This morning I got an email from the support saying this:

    We found problems with your server and after testing, found the problem
    to be your "xxxxx.com" domain. There were far too many
    concurrent connections which caused the server to crash repeatedly. It
    did not appear to be a DDoS attack, so a throttle was put in place on the
    domain for 100 every 50/seconds.
    What this might be? My site is down and it's a high performing site with more than 5k uniques a day. I dont know what the connections issue may be, but if incoming traffic is their problem, then their marketing pitch is not working.

    Please, if anyone can explain me what the "domain throttled" exactly means?

    Thanks in advance!

    D.

  2. #2
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    If you are getting more then 5k uniques a day then why are you on Shared Hosting? You need to move yourself to a VPS.

    Throttled means you are being limited to 100 either connections or page accesses every 50 seconds.

  3. #3
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    I think 'domain throttled' means that DreamHost now limit the amount of cocurrent connections that are allowed into your site (I might be wrong here).

  4. #4
    babylonian, "throlled domain" means that your site has downtime because of using too much bandwidth on the server. It can be a DOS attack of your competitors. You have to pay extra money for consuming it or have the other plan with more bandwidth or buy a VPS/dedik.

  5. #5
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    Hi all,

    Thank for your answers.


    @adam: I went to dreamhost from my another host, because of the traffic I was getting (if they can't keep up with 5k uniques, they dont deserve to have business). They were promising terabyte trafic and whatnot, only for me to find out now they can't take more than 5k visitors. Thats so lame!! I havent used up 5% of my allocated traffic!

    Adam, if I take VPS, will I need to administer it myself? What are the pros and cons of using VPS in my case? Thanks!

    Trish, I havent used my bandwidth to the limit I've been allocated. This is what cpanel says

    Xfer: 1% of 2224 GB
    1 %!

    I hope I resolve this issue soon, since I loose money every minute of downtime.

    Oh, yeah, did I mention that dreamhost support is catastrophic !!! There you go. And only when I remember that I got reccomendation for that host, from this forum

    Cheers and thanks.

    D.

  6. #6
    It sounds like to me you have one of the rare successful sites that Dreamhost is no longer able to support. Congratulations! If you are still within the parameters of your Dreamhost hosting plan, then shame on them, if not it is simply a case where you have outgrown your hosting.

  7. #7
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    thanks meanpc

    I really dont see a reason for droping my site, without any prior notice. Oh, I paid for the hosting for a year

    I guess they decided I outgrown them, and just closed it. Very shamefull.

    Now, I think I managed to backup my database now, using shell access, using this command:

    mysqldump --opt -u username -ppassword -h yourMySQLHostname dbname > output.sql
    I didnt use mysql dumping using a shell account before, so can someone tell me if I did this right, and if this is a proper way to dump the mysql database (after migrating, evertyhing will be there?).

    Also, then I tried to tar the dumped archive using

    tar -cf dbname.sql dbname.tar
    Now, the tar has been created, but it's weight is bigger than the sql file it's been created from. Is this normal?!?

    sql file > 96.156.712 bytes
    tar file > 96.163.800 bytes

    Very strange. I thought archiver should arhive the data

    Thanks alot for your answers!!!

    D.

  8. #8
    My best guess is that the sql file was already compressed using gkzip or some other such method and can be compressed no more. Add some overhead for the tarball and you have a bigger file. That's my best guess.

  9. #9
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    It's not only traffic that is important... You need to look at the CPU time also.
    You may get 1% trafic but if your site is using a lot of CPU time they will close you down. So it's important how your coding is done... not just how many people ar on the site.

    Oh...and beliving that you can have a 5000 uniques a day in a shared server and have no problem with it and also use 1 TB bandwith for 10$ a month is a let's say... not so bright ideea.

    You may want to check the VPS and Dedi offers. But be carefull... if you don't know much about servers you may want a MANAGED one as UNMANAGED ones can be a pain

    Good luck

    edit:/ Well you can ask them to send you a backup of your site (if you have another account with some other service provider you may want to give them a ftp account where they can upload the files for you). I don't know if they will help you but you can try.

  10. #10
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    They didn't drop your site, they just made it so that only 100 connections can be made to it at one time. There's gotta be a reason for it. Maybe the code wasn't very optimized, or maybe most of the cpu load is only from a single page or 2. Ask support to work with you on that. It is shared hosting after all so they gotta be on the look out for the stability of other domains on the server.

  11. #11
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    Aaah finally the example I've been looking

    So he's using a whopping 1% of the 2TB offered by DH and they're giving him ****, ridiculous.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by HC-Josh
    Aaah finally the example I've been looking

    So he's using a whopping 1% of the 2TB offered by DH and they're giving him ****, ridiculous.

    He was having over 100 connections every 50 seconds....thats over 8,640,000 connections a day, any host would throttle him

  13. #13
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    how can I find out if that's true?

    I dont think that was the case, the site was working normal and optimal speed until yesterday?!

  14. #14
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    Throttling just means that we place a limit on the number of concurrent connections that your domain may have for a period of time. This is done through mod_throttle for domains hosted on Apache1 and mod_cband on Apache2. If you believe this to have been done in error, or if the traffic on your site has subsided, please contact the support team so that the throttle may be removed.

    @HC-Josh: It generally helps to read and understand an entire thread before posting on it. I'm sorry to hear that it sounds like you don't throttle your customers when they are using an excessive amount of connections that would cause any Apache instance to go wonky. Ouch.

  15. #15
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    Other than Bandwidth or CPU/MEMORY usage, the hit can play the role.

    With 5K unique, it means there are several times more page requests.
    If each page has lots of small images, css, (i)frames, and so on,
    the hit count can become huge and that can cause problems.

    I had a 5k unique site on PowWeb (before they were sold to incompetent Endurance)
    without any problem, but my site had only small number of items per page.
    Now, my main site still has a few K unique with dreamhost and I have no problem.

    Is 5K unique too much for a shared account?
    I don't think so, as long as the site is optimized.
    And even smaller site can cause huge problem to the host,
    if it's badly constructed.

    To know the real reason, you've got to check the raw log, stat programs,
    and also access patterns of frequent visitors.
    Maybe you are attracting badly written robot scripts and they are causing the problem.

    And it's the responsibility of site owner to construct and maintain his site.


    PS.

    Also, slow terminating script can accumlate and cause memory shortage on the serrver
    if it was accessed repeatedly.
    So, it moght be another thing to look at.
    Using PS command, you can watch how your processes are doing, in realtime.
    Last edited by extras; 10-17-2006 at 08:30 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelS
    Throttling just means that we place a limit on the number of concurrent connections that your domain may have for a period of time. This is done through mod_throttle for domains hosted on Apache1 and mod_cband on Apache2. If you believe this to have been done in error, or if the traffic on your site has subsided, please contact the support team so that the throttle may be removed.
    Thanks for answering.

    How did I get, or if I got, all this concurrent connection, I dont know. So, can you just work with me fixing this problem, rather then blocking my account. Leting me know how I can fix the situation would help alot, not take the site down and never answer on a support tickets !!!!

    Yes, I posted the tickets immidiatelly, and after 6 hours, still nothing, and I'm loosing money from site being down every minute!

    Michael, please, can you take a look whats going on with it. The situation is very bad to have nothing on the domain at the moment.

    Also, not only this one site is down, but my complete account, with all the domains is down?? Why is that?

    Looking forward to your answer. I hop we would be able to resolve the situation.

    D.

    P.S.

    The site is based on wordpress, daily maintained.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by [babylonian]
    Thanks for answering.

    How did I get, or if I got, all this concurrent connection, I dont know. So, can you just work with me fixing this problem, rather then blocking my account. Leting me know how I can fix the situation would help alot, not take the site down and never answer on a support tickets !!!!

    Yes, I posted the tickets immidiatelly, and after 6 hours, still nothing, and I'm loosing money from site being down every minute!

    Michael, please, can you take a look whats going on with it. The situation is very bad to have nothing on the domain at the moment.

    Also, not only this one site is down, but my complete account, with all the domains is down?? Why is that?

    Looking forward to your answer. I hop we would be able to resolve the situation.

    D.

    P.S.

    The site is based on wordpress, daily maintained.
    They didn't block your account, they just throttled apache user access.. For instance, connections to pop3, imap, ftp, httpd, etc..

    If you have 100 users connected concurrently to the server, no matter what service for 50 seconds, that 101 user won't be able to connect.

    I reckon they wouldn't have as much of a problem if they would offer things within logical limits per price ratio though. What can I say though? I'm not them. I just don't appreciate companies who oversell at astronomical limits like this.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngine
    They didn't block your account, they just throttled apache user access.. For instance, connections to pop3, imap, ftp, httpd, etc..

    If you have 100 users connected concurrently to the server, no matter what service for 50 seconds, that 101 user won't be able to connect.
    Almost right.

    This applies to Apache web connections only... HTTP requests. We specify limits like 100 connections per 5 seconds, meaning that there can be only 100 active HTTP requests for every five seconds.

    Unless the website keeps persistent connections, a visitor's connection will drop off after the site is downloaded, freeing up a spot for someone else.

    It's an alternative to shutting a site off. It allows the site to continue to function while preserving the integrity of the server.
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  19. #19
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    Is that normal ratio for all the hosting providers?? 100 concurrent connection?!?

    What is the limit for VPS or Dedicated server? How's that tracked?!

    I can't control the amount of people coming to my site in any way, and 100 concurent connections doesnt sound to me like something alarming, that should be normal behaviour with medium level sites, isn't it?! Why this limiting number is not written anywhere when you are at the stage of purchasing a plan?

    I simply don't like the idea of being cut of without any kind of warning, that's unacceptible!!

    Is there any way I can track how many users connect in the same time to my account?! If I could track it somehow in the cpanel, and I knew of restriction, maybe I could've done something to prevent this from happening?? In fact, I had some plugin installed in wordpress tracking the numbers of users online, but it never went over 20! Maybe it was inaccurate, but I can't be positive on that?

    Thanks for listening.

    D.

  20. #20
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    I've told you already.
    You need to check the raw log.
    It shows ALL connections (unless the server is really in trouble and logging is somehow dropping.)

    Also, checking with PS command (using small script) would tell how many processes are running for how long with how much memory and so on.

    To maintain a busy site within the limit of an account (and especially shared hosting account), checking these items is essential.
    I don't know why, but not so many people bother to check these untill they get caught.

  21. #21
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    What is the limit for VPS or Dedicated server?
    There's no limit, but at some point, the VPS or the dedicated simply won't be able to handle the load.

    I can't control the amount of people coming to my site in any way, and 100 concurent connections doesnt sound to me like something alarming, that should be normal behaviour with medium level sites, isn't it?! Why this limiting number is not written anywhere when you are at the stage of purchasing a plan?
    There was no limit set. Depending on the scripts you're using, in theory, even 1 page per minute can overwhelm the server. Once DH has issues with server performance, they investigated it and you appeared as the "overuser"/"abuser".

    I apologise if I sound presumptuous, but when you pay $10, you should have proper expectations, regardless of the hype you might read.
    And only when I remember that I got reccomendation for that host, from this forum
    A more thorough research would have led to posts explaining the possible limitations of any shared hosting account, including with DreamHost's.
    Last edited by ldcdc; 10-17-2006 at 10:01 AM.

  22. #22
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by [babylonian]
    Also, then I tried to tar the dumped archive using



    Now, the tar has been created, but it's weight is bigger than the sql file it's been created from. Is this normal?!?

    sql file > 96.156.712 bytes
    tar file > 96.163.800 bytes

    Very strange. I thought archiver should arhive the data

    You are not compressing the SQL
    man tar - for appropriate options

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc
    There's no limit, but at some point, the VPS or the dedicated simply won't be able to handle the load.

    There was no limit set. Depending on the scripts you're using, in theory, even 1 page per minute can overwhelm the server. Once DH has issues with server performance, they investigated it and you appeared as the "overuser"/"abuser".

    I apologise if I sound presumptuous, but when you pay $10, you should have proper expectations, regardless of the hype you might read.
    A more thorough research would have led to posts explaining the possible limitations of any shared hosting account, including with DreamHost's.
    Well said, because when it all comes down to it, they're still a shared host, you can only expect X% of the system resources.

  24. #24
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    YEAH!!! THROTTLED MY A** !!! The site is simply down (

    The site is down all day, with no sign of life. No tickets are answered after 10 hours, Michael is ONLINE on the forums and apparently he doesnt want to answer. Very bad experience, can't believe this kind of negligence towards customers! I tried everything to get in contact with them, and work on the problem resolution, and NOTHING!

    Explained already that this is the site that is money maker for me and is down for more than 12 hours. Somebody has to be responasble for this money waste. Anyway, this must be a lesson learned for me...

    Cheers,
    D.

  25. #25
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    Have you tried accessing it from different networks? Does it respond to pings?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by [babylonian]
    YEAH!!! THROTTLED MY A** !!! The site is simply down (

    The site is down all day, with no sign of life. No tickets are answered after 10 hours, Michael is ONLINE on the forums and apparently he doesnt want to answer. Very bad experience, can't believe this kind of negligence towards customers! I tried everything to get in contact with them, and work on the problem resolution, and NOTHING!

    Explained already that this is the site that is money maker for me and is down for more than 12 hours. Somebody has to be responasble for this money waste. Anyway, this must be a lesson learned for me...
    Sorry for not being able to provide an immediate response via WebHostingTalk. Keep in mind that I likely am working when I browse WHT and sometimes leave the window open in another browser without paying attention to it for an extended period of time.

    I've provided you with more information via PM and offered to move you to another server as well. I also gave you an alternative means of contacting me if there's anything else that I can help you with.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH
    He was having over 100 connections every 50 seconds....thats over 8,640,000 connections a day, any host would throttle him
    Wouldn't that be 172,800 a day?
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelS
    @HC-Josh: It generally helps to read and understand an entire thread before posting on it. I'm sorry to hear that it sounds like you don't throttle your customers when they are using an excessive amount of connections that would cause any Apache instance to go wonky. Ouch.
    I understand that, my point is that with their plans it appears as though the customer is receiving far more then they actually are and therefore in a situation such as this although the customer might think that he/she will be able to handle that sort of traffic it's far from the truth.
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  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by HC-Josh
    Wouldn't that be 172,800 a day?
    Yes sorry....did my math wrong

  30. #30
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    That's fine, just making sure I wasn't missing something.
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  31. #31
    This is why the hosting market is so messed up right now. Most of the hosts out there promise 1000000 Gig of space and 3 trillion gig of bandwidth. Someone actually calls their bluff, they get shut down. Not only that, but someone from the "company" will inevitably berate them for using the resources promised on their templated hosting page. There's no accountablity here, as another fly by night guy can open up shop and do the same thing again tomorrow.

    Since dreamhost made some public comments about this case, let's hear the whole thing.

    What plan is this guy on? Did he exceed the plan? Did he break your terms of service? Is it possible to use the max bandwidth/space on your plan without breaking terms of service. How about some details here?

    Also - are you, or are you not answering this guy's emails? He claims you are not. Since dreamhost Michael has not been back in awhile to respond to that accusation - I'm assuming for the moment that it's true.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanpc
    This is why the hosting market is so messed up right now. Most of the hosts out there promise 1000000 Gig of space and 3 trillion gig of bandwidth. Someone actually calls their bluff, they get shut down. Not only that, but someone from the "company" will inevitably berate them for using the resources promised on their templated hosting page. There's no accountablity here, as another fly by night guy can open up shop and do the same thing again tomorrow.
    Couldn't agree more.
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  33. #33
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    I agree that DreamHost AND all other hosts should give more warnign/info
    about the consequences of abusing the server and what consists the abuse
    in the way even newbies can fully understand.

    If not, hosts should create a monitoring system (similar to the CPU time logging of DH, but realtime monitor)
    so that users can know what kind of resources their site is eating up.

    With the clear display of such information, client can make more efforts in reducing resource usage,
    and also understand the situation when their site have to be controled, hopefully


    Most people don't even know that many of popluar PHP/MySQL apps are very resource intensive.
    Unless told so, they would expect to have no problem in running WP with lots of vistors, unfortunately.
    (That's the fault of PHP and WP authors, too, as they failed to inform that PHP is a slow language and WP IS recourse hog like phpBB or other heavy apps.)

    I think the shared hosting industry is choking their own neck by promoting these heavy apps.
    By promoting the better language/programming technique/caching, a host can easily increase the number of clients per server and thus become more competetive, IMO.
    Small PHP app eats 5 to 10 times more resouces compared to similar apps written in C/Ocaml/Shell script.
    And 2 to 5 time more compared to Perl/Python.
    (When PHP is unning as CGI.)
    Last edited by extras; 10-17-2006 at 03:39 PM.

  34. #34
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    There's no accountablity here, as another fly by night guy can open up shop and do the same thing again tomorrow.
    Maybe, but many of these hosts are not fly by night operations. DH isn't one either.

  35. #35
    Fair enough. I'm not familiar with DreamHost, but the marketing model is pretty widespread. I really know nothing about DreamHost than what I've read in this post. We still don't have the whole story here, so I can't criticize those guys. The cost of webhosting is simply too low right now as a whole. It's got to be one of the most competitive markets I've ever seen.

  36. #36
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    At the end, I got confused. I will explain why.

    First, nobody answered my tickets by this time(I wrote 2 and the oldest exceding 14 hours right now). Michel did answered my private message offering switch of the servers, and I requested it right after, but 3 hours after, NOTHING HAPPENS STILL!!!

    Very interesting thing happened. The message I posted as a starting post of this thread was from dreamhost support, informing me that I have many concurrent conections and they think my site was killing the site, but Micheal gave me completely different story. Decide for yourselves:

    I apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused you. The server you're on (*****) has been experiencing some issues over the past couple of days. There's talks of failing it over to new hardware today, which should resolve the problems. It's currently being worked on and we hope to have it up and running promptly. Once it has been revived, I can move you to a new server if you'd prefer, or you could wait to see if it gets new hardware which will correct the issue.

    Up to you! If you'd like to switch servers, please email me directly at ******** and I'll take care of that for you ASAP.

    Sorry again for the troubles. Please don't hesitate to write back if you need help with anything else.
    Oh, I thought ASAP means as soon as possible ??!
    Anyway, this is very strange. At the end of the day, I really dont know what was the real reason for my site(s) to go down? Is it really concurrent connections or is it old server hardware and its mallfunction? Whatever it is, I'm still waiting for Michael or whoever to return my site to previous state. This is becoming painfully ridicilous.

    @meanpc: let me try to answer some of your questions

    Since dreamhost made some public comments about this case, let's hear the whole thing.

    What plan is this guy on? Did he exceed the plan? Did he break your terms of service? Is it possible to use the max bandwidth/space on your plan without breaking terms of service. How about some details here?

    Also - are you, or are you not answering this guy's emails? He claims you are not. Since dreamhost Michael has not been back in awhile to respond to that accusation - I'm assuming for the moment that it's true.
    I'm on their "Crazy Domain Insane!" plan (200gb space/2Tb transfer). Haven't exceeded the plan in any way (not including "non written" rule of concurrent connections ) 1% usage of both space/transfer. I got one single answer, and that is after sending private message to Michael couple of hours ago. He sent me email (as he wrote in a thread), but after that NOTHING happened.

    I'm still miserably waiting for them to push the copy button and let my sites live. Hopefully it will happen soon, or I will be forced to ask for some kind of compensation or something. The situation is getting pretty desperate and nervous.

    Thank you all for listening. I hope it will resolve soon, so I can stop all the nagging.

    Cheers,
    D.

  37. #37
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    but Micheal gave me completely different story.
    Not necessarily entirely different. When the server started to become problematic, they probably thought is was a "server resources abuse" situation (and tried to "took care" of the top users on that server) rather than a hardware malfunction.

  38. #38
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    Hi,

    Just wanted to follow up on this issue.

    They did return my site back but it's still under the throttle. They also offered 2 months of free hosting. But...

    The throttle is still?! on, and I'm lost lots of traffic due to this misshap. Their support is just ridicilous, so bad I can't explain. Another ticket requesting for my throttle to be turned of (since I still think it was not my problem in the first place) haven't been asnwered for 2 days. That's just unacceptible for proper support service, in my opinion.

    Cheers.

    D.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam
    If you are getting more then 5k uniques a day then why are you on Shared Hosting? You need to move yourself to a VPS.

    Throttled means you are being limited to 100 either connections or page accesses every 50 seconds.
    5 k uniques a day no way justifies a vps. It is not an amount that need excessive resources.

    The server that it is on needs to be working optimally though, else 500 uniques would create a slowdown too.

  40. #40
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    If you have it enabled (via their control panel), and are comfortable with shell access (I suppose you could ftp and pull the files too), you can go into ~/logs/resources and there are various files there which will tell you your cpu usage for each of your users (1 file per user per day).

    It also provides a breakdown by script, so you can see which scripts are using the most resources.

    You should check those out and make sure you don't have some sort of rogue script (or even worse been hacked though that's probably unlikely).

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