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Forum maintenance

This is a discussion on Forum maintenance within the General Chat forums, part of the Knight Online (ko4life.com) category; Im still trying to figure the problem with the "high" CPU usage. Hosting uses prolly some cheap Celeron box and ...
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  1. #1
    h4x0r Admin Devile's Avatar
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    Default Forum maintenance

    Im still trying to figure the problem with the "high" CPU usage. Hosting uses prolly some cheap Celeron box and hosts 100+ sites on it, reason why a small forum like this hogs the CPU fast. Besides phpBB is not good in performance when it comes to 50+ concurrent ppl.

    Even with the restrictions I added, we are over 5% and that will prolly mean we will get kicked out again soon. I'm looking for new options but I wanna try switching forum software to vBulletin to see how well we go. If its the same shit, I'll go back to phpBB cause there's no point on wasting a $160 license if we are gonna have the same problem.

    This change will take 1-2 hours at most, meaning forums will be down. If CPU problem is fixed, we stay with vBulletin and start moding it like we did with phpBB. If not, rollback (few posts will be lost) and start thinking on a hosting that doesnt bother us with CPU bullshit which will be hard.

    I'll do the switch today, prolly in a couple hours.

  2. #2
    h4x0r Admin Devile's Avatar
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    Tried vBulletin but made no difference so we're are back with phpBB. Next step will be moving to a different hosting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member giga's Avatar
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    Deville your working really hard to keep these forums on
    Really appreciate it. these are so much better then ranking

    may i suggest a donations thread if better hosting costs more money

  4. #4
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    working on it :blink: :wacko:

  5. #5
    (\/) (;,,;) (\/) Why not Zoidberg? Admin camaz0tz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forum maintenance

    Originally posted by Devile
    Im still trying to figure the problem with the "high" CPU usage. Hosting uses prolly some cheap Celeron box and hosts 100+ sites on it, reason why a small forum like this hogs the CPU fast. Besides phpBB is not good in performance when it comes to 50+ concurrent ppl.

    Even with the restrictions I added, we are over 5% and that will prolly mean we will get kicked out again soon. I'm looking for new options but I wanna try switching forum software to vBulletin to see how well we go. If its the same shit, I'll go back to phpBB cause there's no point on wasting a $160 license if we are gonna have the same problem.

    This change will take 1-2 hours at most, meaning forums will be down. If CPU problem is fixed, we stay with vBulletin and start moding it like we did with phpBB. If not, rollback (few posts will be lost) and start thinking on a hosting that doesnt bother us with CPU bullshit which will be hard.

    I'll do the switch today, prolly in a couple hours.

    omg roll back wtf!? ur no better than k2!!!!!! :angry: jk keep up the good work and ty

  6. #6
    Senior Member C4pt4iN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forum maintenance

    Originally posted by Devile
    If not, rollback
    We gonna have some duped post then =( j/k xD

    U are going an excellent job devile, keep it up

  7. #7
    __countess__
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    I don't know what's your budget but Dedicated Server hosting is the solution you're looking for, this donation thing someone mentioned is a good idea, i'd like to contribute too.

    Devile if you could just send me the bandwidth statistics for this site, if it's not that high i can setup a linux server with apache+mysql+phpbb for you and you can use 100% of the CPU i don't care, i just care about the bandwidth coz i only have a 2mbit DSL.

  8. #8
    rain`
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    2Mbit DSL would choke and die in minutes ><

    The problem here is shared hosting = 5-9$/month, dedicated hosting is ~$80/month. Thats quite a significant difference here considering the CPU usage limit raises from 5% to 100%. Seems awfully rediculous to pay that price when your only using 10% (tops) of the CPU anyway...

    I think the solution is to optimize the PHP pages, not pay more money. Some things that significantly reduce CPU usage are easily done and cost nothing.

    Pruning the database helps a bit.
    Caching/Partial caching pages helps quite a bit.
    Changing session code helps quite a bit (files vs mysql vs oracle vs etc)
    Using any sort of compression/decompression tool hurts a lot!!!

    I spend 20 CPU minutes a day @ konptracker creating unique graphical sigs. The ironic part is graphical sigs are cached and recreated 3 times per day. Based on number of requests/usage now, I would project that not-caching the sigs would yield more than 600 CPU minutes/day!!! Caching is very important (now that I look at it, maybe recreating them less often would save some CPU usage for the actual website ><). For a context to compare to, I usually hold around 2000 at any given time and serve 200,000/day to users. These statistics are pretty much a direct result of ko4life.com and s11.invisionfree.com/knightonlineranking/ forums (as well as plenty of smaller neglidgable sources). As you can see, they too are getting some heavy duty traffic.

    Also, have the hosters checked the logs at all? KONPTracker gets hammered daily by turkish IP's. One day I got 50,000 requests for one single webpage from one single IP. This will eat forum CPU alive!

  9. #9
    __countess__
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    Well i just got the bandwidth reports from Festo and it doesn't look so bad. KONPtracker is totally different issue and that's because you are dealing with images. 90% of phpbb and forums in general are all text.

    1 character = 1 byte


    If you minimize the avatar/signature size 2mbits will be more than enough to host a forum (my guess).

    I've already set up a linux server with apache2, php, mysql and phpbb. Already gave URL and account information to Festo to play a bit with it.

    Worst case scenario ko4life can be online on that server while you look for a better host, just trying to help you guys out

  10. #10
    h4x0r Admin Devile's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for the offer __countess__. Its nice to see community helping this project stay alive. We got a couple more days til we decide what to do. Right now, our current hosting moved as to an "abuse" server, a temporary, more powerful box til we fix the problem, get a dedicated with them (yeah right) or leave.

    phpBB is clearly not perfect when it comes to performance. Out of the box is not optimized for a medium-big forum. This forum is small going to medium. For the past days I've been digging into the code to see what can be improved. Right now we are catching pages and staying below 3%. Sure, easy to keep that on a 4 CPU Xeon box and not on the cheap 1 CPU Celeron coffee machine we were. Yet I see sometimes we go over 5% which makes me thing is not just page parsing.

    phpBB uses 2 tables to store search information. With time, these 2 tables start to grow so much it can easily be 50%+ of the size of the DB itself. Sure I could restrict the search option like we are doing it right now (u can only run a search every 60 secs), but the problem is not ppl searching but ppl POSTING. Whenever a user posts, it will update this table with new words for the search. This operation takes more resources the bigger the DB. I've tried to optimize those tables by removing most "common" words that dont really need to be there (stopwords) reducing it a bit. Yet I need to work this out.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other improvements I can add to make phpBB run smoother, but the fact remains, this board has 65000+ posts, 2000 posts a day, 50-80 concurrent users, which is not that light for most hostings. Even with all the modifications I can add to improve performance, we will have to find a better place to stay. Besides this site keeps growing, so whatever decision we take, it has to consider the our growth capacity for the next 6 months at least.

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