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Website Issues with TRHOnline.com
Posted July 15, 2009 - 12:19:55

 So some of you who tried to access TRHOnline.com last night and early this morning may have noticed that certain parts of the site had been running exceptionally slowly. The forums and the front page were effectively rendered completely unusable.

I was asleep at the time, so I didn't read an e-mail sent from my webhost Drak.net which said:
Your site has just gone off the scale on resource usage. The first # is avg CPU over the course of a day, second is average memory. The first line is yesterday, and each line goes one day back from that:

trhonline.com 69.97 9.54
trhonline.com 1.31 3.86
trhonline.com 0.61 2.73
trhonline.com 0.87 4.10
trhonline.com 3.30 4.61
trhonline.com 1.75 3.50
trhonline.com 1.97 2.39

This seems new, this massive spike, but its definitely an issue.

They went on to list what scripts were doing the usage... and it honestly made little sense. Fearing some hacker, I went and investigated the scripts to make sure they weren't compromised (as what happened to the now defunct Weather Center). So far, I haven't found anything though -- so that left me scratching my head.

I went through several of the scripts and disabled some of my custom routines which had created some minor problems in the past (but never a massive CPU spike before) and that seems to have at least made the site WORK... but I have no idea what's causing this as of yet (beyond a huge spike in traffic from Yandex.ru... geh).

This is why certain parts of the site look excessively simplified (including the front page) and why other parts have a very duct-taped together look to them. I will be going through and fixing these, but at the moment they're functional. As soon as I know more about what's going on, I'll post here about it and let you know.

Update: I think we've fixed the problem (although we won't be sure until we check tomorrow's usage numbers), so now it's just time to slowly recover the site. Right now the front page might accidentally log out some users as I've resorted to an old trick on the front page (which I stopped using for this very reason a while ago). I'm going to sit down this weekend and rejigger the whole thing though -- so please be patient.
- Traegorn

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