I'm having an issue that Dreamhost doesn't seem to be able to help me with at this point. Perhaps someone here can give me a clue as to what to do next.
The issue is with websites that reside on the same server. But note that the different sites do not hit the same database server.
What happens is that there is a very long latency before getting a response back from the server, and after that the page loads quickly. However, static pages load nearly instantly with little latency. I have gone so far as to create a totally fresh static page to ensure that nothing was cached -- it loaded very quickly.
I have tried this from two totally separate systems in different locations (although both are in Kansas City).
Here are a few examples:
http://www.scrooks.net/wiki. This is a one-click install mediawiki site that has not been touched at all since the install. I use it for testing things like this. When I try to hit that site it takes 10+ seconds to load, but nearly all of that time is spent "waiting on scrooks.net" with a blank page.
http://www.crooks.net/ttt.htm. A simple static page with a large picture on it. It loads nearly instantly with no "waiting on crooks.net".
http://www.crooks.net. A Drupal site. Again, it takes 10+ seconds before I get any kind of response and then the entire page loads nearly instantly.
Dreamhost support staff is trying to tell me that the problems are in my code and that hitting a database can cause delays. But it seems to me that a standard mediawiki install should not take 10+ seconds to load the home page, so something else is wrong and not the code.
Some other data points:
-- Before a few days ago I was not experiencing this problem at all.
-- Very early this morning the latency seemed better, although still not what I would call speedy or normal. It got dead slow again during work hours.
-- My pings are good at around 60ms.
-- My server load is usually around 7.
-- My server is cookie.
-- The wiki database is on spot:alvie, and the drupal database is on puss:lucilla.
I hope someone can help. This is killing me. I've been with Dreamhost for 4 years now and have been very happy (and forgiving during those downtime periods). But it's kind of frustrating that I'm now getting responses on this that essentially say, "everything looks okay, your installation just needs to turn on the cache, and drupal code is inefficient." What I'm seeing is definitely not okay. Although I can't say where the problem is, and it's possible it's not even at Dreamhost I guess, I know that mediawiki install should respond much, much faster and has in the recent past.
Any pointers for what to try/do/say/ask next?