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Poor Dreamhost performance (47 posts)

  1. ColdForged
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I received the infamous "too many server resources" email from Dreamhost recently. I decided to get active and profile my installation using the PEAR Benchmark class. What I found was surprising to me.

    I'm using WP-Cache 2.0.17 and a fair quantity of plugins. Serving dynamic pages takes more than a second. Serving cached pages takes on average 0.5 to 0.7 seconds. With the Dreamhost restriction for shared hosts of 30 processor minutes a day, that means that after serving roughyl 3,000 cached pages, I'm past my allocation. That's not counting any uncached pages of which there are sure to be plenty.

    Upon benchmarking the caching, the entire time -- well, 90-95% of it -- is spent in readfile(). So that single PHP call is taking over half a second to read a simple HTML file and poop it out over the network.

    Does this seem just utterly out of line? This basically means that anything over even a small readership -- like when I got linked by Gizmodo which was when I got my warning email -- causes me to go over my allocation.

    I've got a support email in to them but frankly hold no hope. Just looking for confirmation that I'm not going totally crazy thinking that caching should be a whole lot better performing than that.

  2. ColdForged
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    That went well. Let me rephrase, I guess.

    Using a cache, how many pages per second should I expect from a web host? Should a readfile() call on a shared web host take less than half a second?

  3. Artemis
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    This probably won't help, but I had a similar situation only with different software. Kept getting a warning email from my host about resources (over 600 members with 200 on the site at any given time). I finally got tired of it and purchased my own server. Did a cPanel to cPanel move over to my server, and after that I never once saw my resources skyrocket from that software. My host had kept saying it was the software, but it wasn't... it was their server.

    I can't help but feel that in your situation it's the same thing. Granted I have no proof... it's just a feeling. Sorry I couldn't help you though.

  4. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I received a notice from Dreamhost yesterday too! I use WP-Cache as well and don't see how this all of a sudden became a problem on their server. Traffic across all my sites has increased less than 10% in the last month so how did my site all of a sudden jump way over their limit? Doesn't make sense to me. Let me know what you find out ColdForged.

  5. davidchait
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Eeeek. And I'm just about to set up shop at DH!

    Sounds like the server's disk isn't keeping up. Could be other sites also hitting disk a lot, one site that's pounding the disk but using low cpu cycles otherwise, etc.

    Also note that the typical benchmarking times are raw timestamp start-to-finish, thus not necessarily representative of actual CPU usage (CPU shouldn't be 100% committed to you during a 1s period!).

    -d

  6. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    It's great they give us all the bandwidth and increase the allowance each month. But what good is it if we can't use it because CPU usage is too high?

    I'm using a little over 1/3 of my bandwidth, yet they tell me I used 60 minutes of CPU yesterday which is above their 30-40 limit.

  7. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I asked DreamHost if this problem just creeped up and they said it started on the 30th. I've disabled the new caching in the beta version to see if that solves the problem.

    Have you found anything ColdForged?

  8. ColdForged
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Have you found anything ColdForged?

    Not really. They asked for a minimal example, so I gave them one (http://www.coldforged.org/cachetest/cachetest.php) that simply performs readfile() on one of the files from my cache, bracketed with PEAR::Benchmark calls. Still takes at least half a second. We'll see what they say.

  9. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    After turning off caching I didn't see any changes. DH's "resources" output is useless. All it tells me is that php is doing all the work.

  10. ColdForged
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I've been "escalated to Level 2".

  11. davidchait
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    You'd think that given the majority of sites should be non-dynamic, their file-access should be highly optimized. Sounds like the file cache isn't big enough, the machine doesn't have enough memory, and/or the drives aren't well optimized for raw read speed. Dunno.

    Still watching this thread, do let us know as things progress...

  12. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I'm still hovering around 55-60 minutes a day. I've asked them if they could tell me which files spiked in CPU usaged starting on the 30th. I'm pretty sure I did a SVN upgrade to 6 blogs at some point that day.

  13. scaturan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    overselling does take it's toll. time to find a VPS and/or dedicated server provider. :)

  14. James
    Happiness Engineer
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Or, a shared hosting provider that doesn't oversell its servers.

  15. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Well, they wrote me back and told me something was missing from their instructions to get the log to show actual file names. They want me to add
    !/usr/local/bin/php
    to every php script on my sites. I just had to chuckle when I read the email. I emailed them back and said, "You're kidding right? I have hundreds of php scripts on each of my sites."

  16. davidchait
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    That's insane -- first, in theory I'd think it's only needed in the 'root' php files (like index.php, wp-rss2.php, etc.), that starts the php process. So it's a more limited number. But, still silly as, Second, why can't they update the global PHP binary to include whatever they need for logging?? Obviously, if they are overselling and running into performance issues, any tiny logging overhead would be offset by the INSTANT ability to see the ACTUAL php files that are the issue. HOWEVER, if only the root php files are tracked, it won't tell much (I don't know that's the case -- I know nothing of the internals of the PHP processor!).

    Amazing we haven't seen a DH guy here yet... last time a DH issue came up, they were pretty quick to jump in, given their 'anointed' status as a WP host.

    -d

  17. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I've even sent them the link to this thread. They aren't being very helpful or cooperative. I can't really do anything without their help. Looking for which file (or files) are causing the problems, is looking for a needle in a haystack at this point.

  18. kickass
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Let me know if you need a real host . . .

  19. davidchait
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    As a lot of us host on DH, and they're a recommended host, if they're not providing adequate response/investigation then Matt needs to get involved... or nominate someone else with 'authority'. Note that DH >has< been very receptive in the past, and has also donated money back to WP, so it's certainly in their history (and in their interest!) to support WP users. ;)

  20. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I sent Matt an email a few days ago, but last I remember, he's over in Europe.

  21. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    ColdForged,
    Which version of WP are you using? I'm using the 2.0 code.

  22. davidchait
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    btw, something struck me on the caching optimizations... while it helps to not have PHP processing as much dynamically, it's causing a much higher disk-hit locally versus DB lookup time (and DB time isn't local CPU time...). So possible that on crowded apache boxes, you in some cases might be better off with running live PHP, or if we had a caching system that stored into SQL instead of local. Yeah, that sounds SERIOUSLY nutty to me as I write it... hmmm...

  23. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I'll turn of WP-Cache and see what happens for a day or two.

  24. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Turning of WP-Cache sent my CPU time up to over 120 minutes/day!

  25. rebelminion
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Wow, this thread is really hitting home for me.

    I am relatively new to blogging (is that the right verb?). I started this little experiment off over at simplehost.com.

    I host one blog, several forums and a few sites there as of about june of this year. Only really started getting things rolling in the last month or so and have discovered that their support just sucks. Their SQL server keeps going down and the end result is that my sites have been down more than up over the last two weeks.

    I know price is an issue for many, but if someone wants guaranteed uptime for their sites and the ability to install wordpress, php nuke, post nuke, SMF, etc., etc., etc., who should I be looking at as a host?

  26. James
    Happiness Engineer
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I know price is an issue for many, but if someone wants guaranteed uptime for their sites and the ability to install wordpress, php nuke, post nuke, SMF, etc., etc., etc., who should I be looking at as a host?

    I strongly recommend A Small Orange. Unlike the other three providers that I have tried, including Dreamhost, A Small Orange has never let me down.

    Disclaimer: No hosting provider can offer 100% uptime. That is the nature of hosting. Unexpected things do happen, especially when you share a server with other users under a "shared hosting" plan.

  27. rebelminion
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thanks macmanx I will take a look at them.

    I don't expect 100%. I worked in IS long enough to get that stuff breaks. But when I send a support ticket set to "URGENT" with the title "All sites DOWN!", I would like to get a response in something less than 4 days. And in addition, to have some effort put into solving the problem. Its been over a week and a half and my sites are still messed up at simplehost.com.

    If the folks at small orange have shown you the kind of support and diligence to solve problems I am looking for, then thats what I need.

    Thanks again.

  28. James
    Happiness Engineer
    Posted 8 years ago #

    But when I send a support ticket set to "URGENT" with the title "All sites DOWN!", I would like to get a response in something less than 4 days.

    Ah, you'll be happy with A Small Orange then. All of my tickets have been answered in under thirty minutes (even the "low priority" ones), unless I submit the ticket outside of normal business hours.

  29. Nick Momrik
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I think I'll be looking for a new host. DH isn't providing any help in the matter and I'm also tired of getting their "XYZ service is currently down" emails every other day. I had heard some good things about DH, but I've been very disappointed.

    Maybe I'll look into those VPS plans from A Small Orange. I need more bandwidth than most shared hosting plans provide...that's why DH's shared hosting seemed like such a good fit. :-/

  30. rebelminion
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Cool macmanx.

    I am going to start my stuff up at A Small Orange today. Now all I need is for simplehost to get my stuff up long enough for me to back it all up and get the hell out of there!

    Thanks

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