Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Server problems

I’m sure some of you have noticed that I’m experiencing occassional server problems. The host I’m on has been overtaxed, mostly due to spammer activity (both web and email varieties). There are times when the server load spikes up into the 20s, which is ridiculously high. To combat the problem, I set up a cron job which monitors the load level, and restarts apache and mysql when it goes above a certain threshold. However, for some reason, the mysql database server sometimes fails to restart properly. I’ve just added another monitor program which should fix that, so the database should never stay down for more than a couple of minutes. I still need to put something in place to do something more proactive about the email spam, though. Part of the problem there is that the volume of spam email is causing SpamAssassin and procmail to hog the CPU. I may need to enable some of the more aggressive SpamAssassin features.

I’ve been told that we’ll be getting some new hardware soon, so hopefully things will settle down more when that happens. It should also give me an opportunity to do some better performing tuning for the server.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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9 Responses to Server problems

  1. Pingback: The War on Spam

  2. What SA features would you be considering using, Dougal? Sometimes I have the same problem [although I run off a dual-CPU box, so this isn’t so much a problem anymore …].

  3. Dougal says:

    To be honest, I’m not sure. I’m not the person who set SA up on the box originally, so I’m still trying to get a handle on how it’s configured right now. Basically, though, I think all it’s doing now is tagging messages. I’m thinking that I should consider rejecting messages from RBL blacklisted sites outright, at the SMTP level.

  4. Mark says:

    SA was killing my server so often that I stopped using it. Performance has not been a problem since.

  5. Dougal says:

    Right now, most of the problem stems from trackback spammers. The trackbacks don’t get through, due to a good blacklist. But the horsepower required to process trackbacks coming in so fast is what’s killing the server most of the time.

    I’ve modified my system monitoring scripts so that when the load threshold is triggered, it temporarily renames the trackback module, then re-enables it after a five minute sleep.

  6. Pingback: Incoherent Babble » Blog Archive » Spam Assassin

  7. all sent mail is being daemon server and not sent

    what should I do

  8. Pingback: Spam Assassin - Habari

  9. ise says:

    i have the problem when boot the linux on server…when i boot…promp for username did not shown…so..linux was hang…what should i do…please help meee

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