The server is too busy...
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  1. #1
    SOH-CM-2020 Cees Donker's Avatar
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    The server is too busy...

    On the positive side: our hobby has a lot of followers, which is good. On the other side:I'm wondering why? Members donated more than 10.000 dollars, and this is the result? Personally I encounter this far too often imho. Not to criticize the people that run this site, but I would like this to be clarified.

    Cheers,


    Cees

  2. #2
    I get it all the time. Lasts for hours. Kind of frustrating.
    Commercial AS/MEL & Instrument
    Certified Airplane Nut

  3. #3
    At a certain time of day the server has to do housekeeping like backups. Iím not sure when in the day that is, but it used to be when I was getting ready for work, regular as clockwork. Under lockdown, net traffic generally is much higher these days or hadnít you noticed? I have several teenagers at home connected from breakfast to mid-afternoon for online schooling and there are lots more like me. We canít visit shops for other than food so other things are bought online - Amazon et al report a bumper season - so that drives up net traffic too. Plus social media is very busy with millions of bored lockdowners sharing photos and videos of cats, dogs, cancelled holiday plans, etc.

    Got the picture?
    Tom
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  4. #4
    SOH-CM-2020 Cees Donker's Avatar
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    I get the picture all too well Tom, as I'm one of the teachers that is mainly teaching online these days, but what's that got to do with the server? It's quite annoying to try to post something and then getting the message described above. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the goal amount was considerably higher this year. If not for a better server, what else?

    Cees
    Last edited by Cees Donker; May 14th, 2020 at 02:39.

  5. #5
    Yes, I see it every day also from long time. Very strange, never saw it on Avsim for example on the other forums including mine from website. Something is wrong with forum settings or pls change the server.
    Webmaster of yoyosims.pl.

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  6. #6
    If I'm not mistaking, the site hasn't been moved to the new server, right?

    Priller

  7. #7
    It's all the more frustrating after typing a post and it freezing on submitting it so you lose it and have to start again. Which happened just now!
    Well I've been to one World Fair a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

  8. #8
    The same problem here
    http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=81650&dateline=141228  2824

  9. #9
    Yep, I get slow responses or freezing too. However, the volume of internet traffic these days is so high that our (rented) server gets lost in the crush (I presume - I'm not an admin) and I hadn't even mentioned the millions now discovering they can, and have to, work from home. And Cees, this year's bandwidth drive was the same figure as last year's I'm pretty sure. Lots of sites have very slow/freezing responses these days - how about two hours to put together an online grocery order? It's not that I'm halfway up a mountain at the end of a telephone line; our local connection is pretty decent fibre. Nor am I talking about the corner shop, but a major national supermarket chain, but two excruciating hours is what it took.

    I can't give any suggestions, but I do feel your pain Ė it's just we're all in the same boat right now and SOH is like a small dinghy in Rotterdam's international harbour, sigh.
    Tom
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  10. #10
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    Too busy in the MESZ zone

    Hi,

    I have the "too busy" phenomenon in repeated or more or less regular manner for felt/estimated 30-60 minutes in the morning ( 0800 - 1100 am).
    I am living in the MESZ (UTC+2h) time zone.

    The "problem" is not needed but it isnīt annoying - me - too much...normally I am online in the afternoon or in the evening without any problems,


    Greetings RS

  11. #11
    DOS attacks perhaps? I know that has been a problem in the past.
    My computer:Win XP 32 Home SP3, Q9650 @ 3.6 GHz, 4GB DDR2-800 RAM @ 800 MHz, EVGA Nvidia 560Ti-SOC-1GB

  12. #12
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    There are obviously more knowledgeable around here to provide an explanation here, but I will try.

    First; I fully understand the frustration, because we all have to deal with it. When you carefully read the message at our homepage in which the donation drive of this was announced by Dangerousdave26 you will be able to find most answers.

    The amount of money we tried to generate during the last donation drive is exactly the same as it has been for the last 10 years.

    As Dave explains there are several options, but our current two servers are over 10 years old, so we really need to do something. As we also want to try to reduce costs we want to put both simhouse.net as simhouse.com at one single server. Although this will save costs, the lack of redundancy is of course one of the disadvantages.

    Our current .com server is a 32bit server, with 3GB ram, Quadcore CPU and 1TB drive. When you look at the specification of your current computer, you will realise this is not exactly current state of the art. Like your own computer a server needs to do its own maintenance, files which are incorrectly stored need to be moved, files need to be shift in an optimal order, etc. compare it with defrag on your own computer. The maintenance requires processor power, due to which less power becomes available for the external users (we). As the increased processor activity requires more power and will generate more heat, you often get a time window in which you are allowed to have you server do its internal maintenance. I assume you will understand that the number of actions on a server with 400-500 multiple users is a bit more complex than on a desktop with one single user.

    As we are a global wide wide forum it is not possible to schedule this internal maintenance at the moment nobody is using the server.

    To solve most performance related problems we want to move to a 64bit platform, 8 core CPU, 64GB of ram and 2TB of drive space in a RAID 6 environment. Which is a decent server with a good pice-value balance. (Still not the absolute best, but when you want to donate a better machine, please do).

    During the donation drive, most of us (if not all) were suddenly confronted with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the SOH one of the immediate consequences was that the donation drive lasted much longer than expected. Many of us lost there jobs or were confronted in a different way with the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
    The target of this years donation drive was only reached on the 12th of April. Which provided a green light for the planned modernisation of our servers. But as you can understand the replacement of the servers currently isn't automatically the highest priority, as many of us have severe and urgent issues in real life which currently need their attention.

    We also have to find out whether our plans are still executable under the current circumstances. Are the required technicians available? Can they travel? Is the planned hard-ware still available, etc. So the execution of plans might need more time than we originally anticipated.

    Priller is correct that our servers were moved in the past. When my memory is still correct, this was because our previous data-centre merged with our current data-centre after which they abandoned the data-centre which housed our servers.

    Last year Dave provided an overview with all the annual costs and the way our money was spend. I expect he will do the same this year once he know how he will and can spend it. Please have some patience as Dave is one of the people who is hit quite hard by this crisis.

    As said I understand everybodies frustration, but we are doing our utmost best to keep this outhouse running. And I ask for your understanding that people currently have other important things on their agenda.

    We don't have any influence on people who think its fun to overload data-traffic or who invest in bots which "harvest the complete internet several times per week.

    Kind regards,
    Huub

  13. #13
    SOH-CM-2020 Cees Donker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanation Huub.

    Cees

  14. #14
    Charter Member 2015 delta_lima's Avatar
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    I've noticed it a bit more often of late, too, but as was mentioned, lots of factors, all understandable. I'm on PST, so that's probably when the updates happen - likely in the evening my time.

    The couple of times I had a post not go through because of bad timing taught me this trick: If I have a lengthy and data-intensive post, right before I hit "submit reply" - I do a quick CTRL+C (copy). If that's precisely when I get timed out, then I open a quick Notepad file on my desktop and paste (CTRL+V). Later, when can log in, I simply cut and paste the reply and I'm done.

    dl

  15. #15
    I get it often and for years now and have let folks know. The messaging makes it sound like there are too many people online.
    If that's the case, need to start dropping"guests" and give priority to paying supporters.

    I was told there was a server backup going on or something like that.
    Seems to always be around 10:30pm PST so I just stay away around that time.

  16. #16
    It happens rarely here in Portugal...and I consult SOH often in a daily base...

  17. #17
    I don't recall this ever being a problem here for me in the central U.S. If it is a server problem, wouldn't all forum users be subject to it? I log in multiple times each day for brief periods.

  18. #18
    Here in Texas (CST) the only time I've seen it is after midnight, between say 1AM and 3AM
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  19. #19
    I have seen "server busy" a couple of times in the morning. I just figured it was busy and went about my business. They do do maintenance at around 1 am ET every night for like a half hour or so. I ain't got no issues. And thank you SOH team for everything you do. I totally appreciate this site and how much work it takes to keep it going.

  20. #20
    I agree whole heartily with Delta_Lima, I can almost set my watch by it. 10:15-10:40, PST and the server goes "busy". Dave has explained that that's the time the server does it's maintenance duties..My wish would be, could it be delayed only an hour. That's slightly after midnight in the CST area where the server is located as I understand. Fortunately, that's the only window I've been affected. New server equipment or not, if they don't change the schedule, still going to have the same problem. I understand the older equipment, but my experience suggests no need to get in a big rush to change out parts. Do the homework then Plan your work and then work your plan.

  21. #21
    Huub, you are right. Upgrading is not only expensive, but is time consuming and has to be done correctly. We just upgraded our server at work. I bought a referb. The whole thing was almost 14 grand for the parts, software, etc. In addition, the work prior to the swap, etc. is also time consuming. This stuff isn't cheap, for sure! Thanks for the update!

    Don BP

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by simtech View Post
    I agree whole heartily with Delta_Lima, I can almost set my watch by it. 10:15-10:40, PST and the server goes "busy". Dave has explained that that's the time the server does it's maintenance duties..My wish would be, could it be delayed only an hour. That's slightly after midnight in the CST area where the server is located as I understand. Fortunately, that's the only window I've been affected. New server equipment or not, if they don't change the schedule, still going to have the same problem. I understand the older equipment, but my experience suggests no need to get in a big rush to change out parts. Do the homework then Plan your work and then work your plan.
    I think it is hard , if not impossible to satisfy all of the members. SOH is a global community and the staff is a good example of that: North America, Oceania and Europe are represented.

    I guess that we'll have to live with it until the site(s) gets migrated to the new server.

    Just my two Äcents worth of course.

    Priller

  23. #23
    Thanks for the explanation, Huub. I did not realize how old and outdated our server actually is.
    My computer:Win XP 32 Home SP3, Q9650 @ 3.6 GHz, 4GB DDR2-800 RAM @ 800 MHz, EVGA Nvidia 560Ti-SOC-1GB

  24. #24
    SOH-CM-2020 Mick's Avatar
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    Very interesting! And thanks for the explanation, Huub.

    Here's another data point:

    I have occasionally gotten the Server Busy message, but only very occasionally. I visit the site every morning when I do my on line stuff and any other desk work, and not very often at other times. I'm in the Eastern (US) time zone. As someone suggested, perhaps it's related to the time of day.

    I'm all in favor of a new server if that's what we need, but I leave it to the admins, who know so much more than I do about the site and it's operations, to decide how best to spend our limited money.

  25. #25
    Here in Western New Mexico I have only had it happen a few times, but it doesn't last very long, maybe 15 minutes or so. I check out SOH a quite a few times a day and normally I pop right to the website.

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