Hi Howard, it's me again. I've come a long was since asking my newbie questions re streaming media. That is now no problem. But I have a much more serious one: I have a live class going right now with 30 people from all over the world. Only a few are online simultaneously, but nonetheless with a VDS from the fine folks at Godaddy with 2GBytes of dedicated RAM but a shared processor I regularly have spikes in terms of average load of from .01 to 2.5+ in a matter of a few mins. I have contacted the GoDaddy people and they see there is a user (won't tell me their name to protect the innocent) who indeed is running a process that is "overtaxing resources". I have an open ticket in right now for them to fix this. But I have in the past, too, and have email confirmations that the problem has been resolved, which it hasn't. My question is this: with version 2.3.2 is what I'm trying to do in my current IT environment simply not possible and do I require a much more powerful server than a VDS from the friendly folks at GoDaddy? Any tips in this regard would be most appreciated. For the moment people are getting 500 Apache server errors several times a day. GoDaddy thinks I should move to a dedicated server with my very own processor and 2GBytes fo RAM to fix this. But they also assured me that moving from Ultimate Shared Hosting to this economy VDS plan would fix my problem. Plus moving right now at the start of a pretty visible course is not an option due to all the things that would have to be reconfigured on a new iE3 (with 2Gbyte memory) or iE5 (with 4GBytes) server. Any feelings about all this? I know mine: unhappy to have been sold a car with brakes that work "most of the time."
Can you login to the machine and run 'top'? If not, can you see the way the load is divided up on the machine, somehow?
Is there any output you can get that looks a bit like this:
Cpu(s): 12.5%us, 26.6%sy, 9.8%ni, 38.5%id, 0.8%wa, 0.0%hi, 11.8%si, 0.0%st
I don't think your problem is RAM bound.
HI Simon, I don't think it's related to RAM either; I am practically certain it's related to the processor, which is shared betweeen users. What I noticed when doing a top via SSH is the way I get an average load spike whenever a user logs in and the command PHP-CGI followed by mysqld are run. It's something related to those commands I suspect. Perhaps a configuration problem? I was also told by the GoDaddy people that one user (sharing the same processor, but not the same RAM) had been running a rogue process that "overtaxed resources". They killed the process and then things got better; but the problem happened again, and since I cannot go over and stop their other users from screwing my applications up I must at least try to tweak my system to be as efficient as possible. Where to start is the problem? Especially when I am right smack in the middle of a course.
How do you suggest I run PHP then. I mean what in practical terms do I do given the constraints of my Plesk interface and the limited amount of things I can do there. Or are you talking about command line things?
Yes, you have to get in there on the command line and make the webserver use a more efficient method of executing the php scripts.
What distribution of Linux is it? What version?
I am not a tech, just a Moodle Admin, I have no programing experience but this what I would like to share.
I was trying to install 2.4.1 Godaddy only offer 1.9+ as an install. After researching I found that Godaddy can only support up to 2.2. Before you can use 2.2 you must update the PHP to 5.3 (by default it is 5.2). You also must build the database (Moodle evidently does not do that on a Linux server). The database is sql 5.0.96 and sql 5.1.33 is needed for Moodle 2.4.1. Godday does not offer the sql 5.1.33 so I had to go back down to 2.2.
Also when you are coneting to the database in Moode where it asks for Database you need to use the IP address.
After I did this Moodle loaded just fine and is working. I checked some forums and it looks like Godaddy is not upgrading sql anytime soon.
Hi Simon, Just to say that I managed to happen on a document that talked about tweaking the Apache httpd.conf file. So I took your advice, got onto the command line with vi and did what I had to do; and rather than seeing smoke come out the back I now enjoy much better performance. I'm sure I can still do things to make the thing purr even more, but at least I'm not where I was before the modified httpd.conf. So for the moment I stick with that and try looking at other things later on. The version, by the way, is 2.3.2. But I just also did a one-click instal of 2.4+ and it seems to be even smoother and faster than 2.3.2. The only question I have now is: For participants in a course with low bandwidth/computer resources would they be able to log on any easier with, say, an old 1.9.19 Moodle platform than with 2.4+? That's my issue now, since I foresee a course soon with people in that sort of ICT environment. Again, thanks for your pointers and I keep tweaking till I get things 100% right. Slowly but surely.
> I managed to happen on a document that talked about tweaking the Apache httpd.conf file
Good to know that you joined the Unix path!
As a reference for others could you post the link to the Apache article and exactly which parameters you changed?
> The only question I have now is: For participants in a course with low bandwidth/computer resources would they be able to log on any easier with, say, an old 1.9.19 Moodle platform than with 2.4+?
This is a new question and warrants a new thread. In fact you've started one: "Ease of access of users with low bandwidth/poor computer resources to 1.9.19 vs. 2.4+" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=223438. Please follow up the new topic in the new thread.
Hi Visvanath, thanks. I will move to the other thread. I am also condering moving to a dedicated server now; what I need to know is what sort of plan to buy into if I have mission-critical applications. I have tried to hunt around for this information, but if you happen to have a pointer to someone who knows....
The quality of virtual machines you can get varies wildly. I would encourage you to find a provider whom is local to you as possible and try and establish a relationship. While you probably can get good performance out godaddy or Amazon, you might have better luck with a smaller operator despite the higher cost.
Where are you located?
Hi Simon, thanks for getting back to me. I'm located in Switzerland. The problem is I think I might have what I need with Godaddy, now that I've more or less figured out how to tweak the httpd.conf file of Apache. I still have to play with my.cnf settings, but that's not till the course is over. The problem will be when eventually I hae more than just 30 persons on line. I have already set up 3 domains and hope to set up a 4th on my VPS, but I have no idea what happens processor load wise or memory wise when there might be say 100 people working (well, say 10-15 at a time). And no one seems to be able to tell me this, including the hosting services ready to sell me a dedicated server. So there seems to be a gap here: hosting services can't tell me what I need to know; and Moodle.org people need to know things I can't really find out. (GoDaddy won't reveal the top secret of what sort of processors they use!!! They can only tell me I have 2GBytes of dedicated RAM, and a "shared processor")
Sorry, you seem to judge only from "outside" without looking into what happens inside the system.
If you wish, I can create two (or three) Moodle instances, 1.9/(2.3)/2.4, in one of my servers and let you compare. The advantage is that I monitor the machine closely. Check my profile for contact information.
Hi Visvanath, that is very kind of you. I was thinking of doing the same thing on my VPS with GoDaddy. The problem is it's hard to emulate a group of around 100 persons with, say, 10-15 going in at the same time. That's my real fear: that I will get myself into a situation in which even a test set-up like you describe gives me a false illusion of everthing being OK. I need to test this in vivo, and that might create problems. What to do? (For the moment I am very happy now that I tweaked the httpd.conf file and will soon do the same with the my.cnf file of mysql, but if things get any bigger I have to have some theoretical guideline as to how far I can push the envelope given the meager resources of my VPS)
Now I have the same question! Can you please explain your experiences, if you selected one of Godaddy Services. Or what do I need to take care about?
Could you instal last version of Moodle (2.5.1)?
I have been running Moodle 2.5.1+ on a Godaddy "Value" VPS for my small site (<20 courses per year, <200 students per year) for around 3 years. The Price/Performance has been good. It does take some knowledge of Linux, and some tweaking of settings (which never ends).
What is your specific question?
Thank you so much for your answer.
My first question was to know which Moodle version to install on Godaddy, which you answered.
I want to set up Moodle on an "Economy" VPS (Linux CentOS) in the beginning to test it and later for live Work on "Value" VPS (or also upgrade higher). My a few further questions are:
1- With <200 students, you mean students in one course or in simultaneous running courses? (for example two classes each with 100 students!) In my case, we will probably have 200-300 students in only one course. Can I still remain on "Value" VPS?
2- I have experience with Linux. But as you know, any software has some typical points to consider. Therefore I wonder if you have any tips or a link to any special documentation or tutorial in my case. I want to install Moodle at this weekend .
Once again thank you for your inputs and have a nice and sunny day
1) <200 students spread across all of the courses. I purposely design due dates and assignments to reduce the chances of too many simultaneous activities (which I have none). For example, right now I have made Friday evening the due date in two courses, Sunday evening the due date for two other courses, and Monday evening the due date for my fifth course. As long as you have asynchronous activities, I think that you will be fine.
2) I purchased the book on Moodle Security, which I thought was very good.
I have found that getting C-Panel with my Godaddy server solved some problems. I did not have luck with Plesk.
Thanks a lot for your answers.
Last weekend I could install Moodle 2.5.1 on a VPS server of Godaddy (also using cPanel). I needed some time to find out how it works, but everything went well . By configuring server using WHM, you should add needed php extensions and mysqli (docs.moodle.org/25/en/PHP) in last configuration step: "Exhaustive Options List". That's all ;).
Spreading assignments is a really good idea. Thanks.
We want to offer some live video courses and as at that time all students are of course online, many of them can probably log in to moodle to do some stuffs. If we say, we have about 200-300 simultaneous activities in Moodle, does it suffice a Value VPS (2GB RAM) or based on your experiences with Value VPS it would be better to upgrade to bigger packages? We will have only a website (for visitors) and Moodle on the Server.
It would be odd to have 200-300 simultaneous activities. This could happen if you are giving an exam face-to-face, and tell all 200 students to click "right now". Will this be happening?
Seems like you know what you are doing with your server.
Probably I expressed myself not correct. We will have around 200-300 students and offer them live video lectures for about 60 to 90 Minutes.For it we want to use an online meeting tool (like Anymeeting, GotoMeeting etc.). Around this time, students are all online and therefore the possibility that they also visit simultaneously Moodle to "download course materials", "write comments in Blogs", "ask questions", "chat with other classmates" etc. is really high.
These are all different things that can occur simultaneously. If 200 Students hit the server, we have some load and I don't know how these kind of student activities affect the server and if this will be critical or not. Therefore I try to find out if a Value VPS provide the needed stability or we need to upgrade?! Or maybe I should just start and check how it's going in the first week!
Some of this might depend upon where the videos are, meaning what server is serving them. Are they on Youtube? If so, I don't use Youtube so I cannot help. If the videos are on your Value VPS, you could run into performance problems...I believe that I did.
Right now, my videos are on a video server, and no one has complained.
Here, you give it a try. These are my "Using Moodle" videos.
Relative to 100 students being active in Moodle, a lot might depend upon how you have your VPS configured. I haven't messed with mine much, but I wish I had time for this since I think that there is opportunity to improve the VPS's performance. (I am a teacher, not a system administrator).
Thank you so much for your answers.
I thin I got what I need