Hardware and performance

 
 
Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

Recently I've noticed that when I make changes to a course in Moodle something terrible happens at the server level resulting in a 500 Server Error message. Following this message I cannot log back into my server and must reboot; and recently even that doesn't help fix the problem. I see between 44 and 60 sleeping tasks when I do a "top" via SSH, but nothing unusual. I have a cronjob running every 15 minutes to send out alerts to students, but that shouldn't be a problem either. Does anyone have any idea what could be wrong. Probably many things. But just a pointer or two could help. I should also point out that this is a fairly recent problem and that my server is running Cent0S 6.3. (No one else is using it, except me and I am only hosting 2 domains, only one of which is being used.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi

Does Godaddy provide no support?
- "Cron job syntax with Godaddy VDS in order to get posting alerts sent out" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=218499
- "Moving from GoDaddy Shared Linux Hosting to Virtual Private Server" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=216495
- "Placing moodledata directories when hosting multiple installations of Moodle 2.2.3" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=213386
- "Moodle Migration from one server to another with GoDaddy" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=212773
- ...

Or have they linked moodle.org as their support forum like the Softaculous people http://www.softaculous.com/softaculous/apps/educational/Moodle -> "Get support"?
sad
 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

I detect a bit of irony in your answer. wink The problem is that I don't know if this is a purely server issue or linked to Moodle. What I know is that sometimes if I logout after making changes to my Moodle site it takes a very long time and after this I can't get in and get an 500 Server Error. Could you possibly point me in the right direction; I know about the limites of GoDaddy support with a VDS.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Gary

You wrote:
> I detect a bit of irony in your answer. wink

This is right [no wink].

Firstly, you have so many open discussions. Are they still unsolved? Then better to get them solved first. If solved, pl. add a short summary: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Moodle.org_forums_Code_of_Conduct#Provide_feedback_for_others.

Secondly, I have an ideological grudge against GoDaddy: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=193106.

> The problem is that I don't know if this is a purely server issue or linked to Moodle.

Me too. You have to explore both ends, I guess. I would start at GoDaddy end, because the symptoms you describe are completely new to me.

>>> I've noticed that when I make changes to a course in Moodle something terrible happens at the server level resulting in a 500 Server Error message. Following this message I cannot log back into my server and must reboot;

It must be a Windows server then.
smile

Seriously, check the support documentation at GoDaddy. What is their package you are using? I did a quick search but couldn't find there VDS - only VPS: http://support.godaddy.com/help/article/154/what-is-a-virtual-private-server.

From the "top" command I assume it is Unix. Debugging under Unix is a completely different experience compared to Windows! (read past discussions here)

> What I know is that sometimes if I logout after making changes to my Moodle site it takes a very long time and after this I can't get in and get an 500 Server Error.

Could be performance. Where to start is all explained in the introduction to this ("Hardware and Performance") forum.
 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

Hi Visvanath, thanks for getting back. Well, after a long online chat the fine folks at GoDaddy suddenly realized that something was wrong not with Moodle but with their server, and they are now working on it after giving me a proper trouble ticket. They also admitted the problem was impacting many other users. So it isn't me who's the culprit, or at least not entirely me. But while trying to track down the problem, PHP or otherwise, I noticed a very simply error I was making anyway that I must fix. But I have a bit of trouble with this. I notice that the moodledata directory must not be visible via the Web. Fine. But my problem is where exactly to put it, given that I have two domains on my virtual dedicated server with Moodle installations /site1 and /site2. Does that mean I go into the Linux (yes, it is Linux) server via SSH and create a Moodle directory anywhere else? Even as a subdirectory of my /home directory, which is not served by Apache to the world? and i then change the reference to moodledata in config.php? is that really what I should do? also, given the fact that I had moodledata sitting for several weeks at the same level as /admin and the other moodle directories and that i assume there is data in the current incorrectly located /moodledata directory, will anything break when i create the new one. i saw, inter alia, /cache, /user, etc. in the current /moodledata directory. i will wait for word from you or anyone else viewing this before doing something i might regret.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Gary

> the fine folks at GoDaddy suddenly realized that something was wrong not with Moodle but with their server,

So my gut feeling was not very far from the truth, wasn't it? Godaddy may be the biggest but definitely not the greatest https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=215095#p961113 !
sad

> I notice that the moodledata directory must not be visible via the Web. Fine. But my problem is where exactly to put it, given that I have two domains on my virtual dedicated server with Moodle installations /site1 and /site2.

This is a) a different problem, should be a new thread, b) definitely not performance related. Please post in the "Installation problems" forum.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

Will do. I think I'm getting somewhere now; thanks for your guidance; will move to the other directory for my Invalid JSON String question related to moving my moodledata directory out of a Web-visible location. If I fix this last problem I'm OK, since GoDaddy apparently fixed the server-side issue.Regards

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

Actually, the previously posted message was meant for you. Yes, support is minimal when it comes to hosting Moodle platform and the interrelation betweeen VDS server issues and Moodle. Anyway, since this fact actually helps an individual to fend for him/herself I have started fending and seem to have pinpointed the problem in the PHP arena. Question in the PHP Support field of my VDS I can choose FastCGI Application or CGI application. Can you tell me which I should select. I read the pages in Moodle 2.0 related to PHP settings per Moodle version and switched all the other parameters accordingly, but I was not sure about this. Also I have set PHP memory in my Plesk interfact to 128M in PHP settings and in my php5.ini file. (I suppose that's redundant, but what the heck.) Any true pointers to other these or other things I should watch out for would be appreciated. In any case, the site is working much better now, which means I am getting somewhere. 

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Gary, I have been reading this discussion with interest because I too use a GoDaddy VPS. Mine has cPanel instead of Plesk.  I have not experienced any similar problems, yet. 

I looked in my easyApache configuration for FastCGI or CGI, thinking that I would see these switched on or off.  But I don't seem them.  Where do you look for these?

 

 
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Picture of Andrew Davis
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Is there anything in the php logs?

Are you able to turn on debugging (Moodle admin setting) and see if anything is displayed?

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

Hi Andrew, 

I am still looking for PHP errors, but don't see much. By the way, do you know if I should set my PHP stting to use CGI or fastCGI? I am not sure which I use with a GoDaddy hosted virtual dedicated server.

 
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Picture of Gary Lebowitz
Re: Problem with Godaddy Virtual Dedicated Server nd Moodle 2.3.3
 

Hi again. I looked harder in the error_log in /var/log/httpd and see the following. Not sure what this is related to, but it could be significant:

python_init: Python version mismatch, expected '2.6.5', found '2.6.6'. This happens at regular intervals in the history of today for example. And right after it:

python_init: Python executable found '/usr/bin/python'.

Any suggestions what this means to the performance of my server?

 

 
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