Hello, thank you for your reply (May 13th). Since then, on the websites that I’ve been logging at 10-minute intervals, there have been two more slowdown episodes (i.e. PHP calls consistently taking more than 30 secs):
on 126.96.36.199, starting May 15th 12:10 PDT until 17:20
on 188.8.131.52, starting May 16th 12:10 PDT and still continuing now (May 19th, 01:50)
Curious coincidence that both slowdowns started on different days at 12:10 PDT.
I took the opportunity to confirm the hypothesis mentioned in previous note (#24, this thread) that triggering PHP activity at intervals of less than 6 minutes turns off the slowdown, if FastCGI is enabled:
while leaving the original 10-minute cron jobs unchanged, I added (on another server) another cron job to call another PHP file on the same website at 3-minute intervals, and immediately the original cron jobs started showing no slowdown; after a couple of hours I turned off the 3-minute cron job, and immediately the original 10-minute cron jobs reverted to slowdown.
But I imagine you don’t really want customers pinging their websites at 3-minute intervals in order to keep them alive. So what would you recommend? My suggestion would be for Dreamhost to do something like that invisibly and automatically on each server (as a temporary solution while the engineering team is chasing down the problem) but as you have more insight into the overall situation please can you advise.