Dreamhost ps and bursting


#1

Hi,

I just started using dreamhost ps for my webserver. I chose the smallest amount purchaseable (15/150). In general, it’s performed ok, as my website isn’t visited often. (Hopefully, that will change). I do have a question regarding how it works though… The “document” says it’s “burstable”. What does that mean? I have had situations where I go to run a backup, and suddenly, my site isn’t usable anymore. Shouldn’t that be covered by the “burstable” part. Curious to what burstable means, and what other people are experiencing. I would think that executing a tar on a site shouldn’t use to much memory, but when I executed it, my site crashed.

Are there commands to show exactly what is running on the site? I run a top,and it barely shows anything. I’m fairly good with unix commands, but none of them are showing me much on this server.

Any help is much appreciated…


#2

Have you tried “top”?

Chances are you’re having a memory problem, as you’ve guessed.

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#3

All top ever shows me is my login sessions, the sshd daemon and the php5.cgi running. I would expect other things to be shown. I am running Joomla, so maybe it’s all encapsulated in that, I don’t know for certain. I would expect to see my apach processes, for example, are those don’t show. Are those counted against my memory limits?


#4

I think Apache is running as root (or at least certainly not as you), so you’ll really only see your processes in top or ps.

You’re right in that Joomla should all be encapsulated in php when you run top because it’s a php web app.

And yes, I’d guess that our Apache process counts against our memory. After the basic services, on a 150MB PS server we only have about 50MB of “headroom” before we have to depend on “bursting” our memory limit. This is consistent with DreamHost’s recommendation of a 150MB PS server for static html websites.

You’ll really want to run top when you’re running a backup to see what’s going on. Note that top does give you the amount of memory your server is using, along with the percentage of total memory used by each process.

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#5

Oh gawd, I hope not! :wink: Actually, on Dreamhost, I believe Apache runs as user “dhapache” (many other hosts run Apache as user "nobody). :slight_smile:

–rlparker


#6

Oops, I stand very much corrected. I was actually thinking about writing “some root-like entity” - though “rootless entity” might have been more accurate, as I suppose it isn’t in any significant group.

But this does remind me to ask if anyone knows of a good tutorial about how suEXEC works?

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#7

Oops on my part! I wasn’t trying to correct you as much as I was commenting on the havoc Apache could wreak if it/she (is Apache a “she”?) did run as root. He he he. :open_mouth:

Your answer to the OP was still accurate in that he cannot see processes belonging to other users (one of which is Apache!). :wink:

He might be able top get a better indication of what is happening if he implements some of the techniques for getting PHP granularity in user resource reporting.

I don’t know, offhand, of a good suEXEC resource - I’m thinking Google may have something on the subject, or if we are lucky some one else here can save us the digging! :slight_smile:

–rlparker


#8

Thanks. Makes sense, all of it. I am seeing where my mem goes over my limit, and where it crosses the burst amount.

Guess I need to increase my limits, or take my changes with a shared server.


#9

Aside from your resolved problem, were you able to find out what burstable means?

I’m running into the same out of memory problems, thought it seems to be something related to apache processes, but I don’t think they are related to traffic.

I’m currently averaging below 300MB, but I get spikes that go beyond 800mb.

DH staff told me it might be bots, or something.

Decio.


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#10

Have you tried crawling your site manually or with a bot yourself and seeing what it does to your resource utilization?

How regularly do you see an excession?

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#11

Yes I have tried accessing my sites myself. I couldn’t any big changes in memory use, even triggering backup script (that I don’t use), or accessing not very used admin parts.

I was seen peaks happens one, sometimes 2 times a day…

I really appreciate the advices!


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