Server Down – Maintaining a Server – Commons Problems of Web Hosting.

It has never been easy to handle a dynamic website. Due to the well-known Malaysian Hosting Providers Quality and Internet Service Providers and Noob Webmaster like me…website down is a very common and frequent event…The fact is, even subscribing to overseas hosting services is very lame also (Super Overcrowded Server and Network Lag time.)

Over these years, I’ve encountered quite a number of different situations that making my websites down. The number one goes to:

1. Internet Service Provider: Network down and lag time – Made me gave up using VPS hosted in US. You see, even you got an Alien Server with you if the network used by the hosting provider is bad, then it is bad...to be cont server just down again…OK, the seems that the server will have some maintenance everyday at 3am…I’ll see how then.

In Malaysia, most of the Server Networks are provided by TMNet and Jaring. (Both Sucks)

Tips: Always asked how much bandwidth is allocated to you. Most of the Shared hosting providers in Malaysia are Sharing 2Mbps line in one server and Dedicated Server normally with 1Mbps. For US Shared Servers, normally it share 10Mbps with all users in a server. If you’re podcasting a lot which consumes a lot of bandwidth; make a wise decision or you may be suspended by your hosting provider.

2. Overused Memory / Processing Power – Joomla, DotNetNuke, Drupal or WordPress are Application i.e. Program. (Dynamic Website) while Website that run with HTML, txt, html, xml and Flash (not neccessary) is Static Website. (Does not reuqire server processing and memory).

If your website is running on Application like DotNetNuke, you gonna need a lot of processing power and memory to run it. You will need to get a more powerful server when you’re getting more website visitors.

95% of the US Hosting Providers will not tell you how much resource is allocated to you. While most new servers run with system like Windows Server 2008 can dynamically analyze and allocate the needed memory / processing among the hosted websites, most hosting providers will still fix a quota for a fair usage among users.

90% of the Malaysian Hosting Providers limited the processing power to 100Mhz and 64Mb of RAM.

Tips: Make sure you know what kind of application you are going to use in your website. Asked the Hosting Provider in advance to prevent over usage. Some new hosting providers charge you based on how much resources you used instead of a fix price and we called it Cloud Server.

3. Bad Scripting and Code Error – This is mostly happened to those Free Software, Application or Module. If you have used Drupal’s third parties free modules before, then you will know there are a lot of bugs and leaks in it that causes your server memory leaks, infinity loops or worst: security leaks.

Tips: Try to buy / get application and modules from reliable sources and official website. Get lastest updates and use Stable Release for production website.
Extra: Do you know until today, FireFox 3 still have memory leak problem?

4. Mis-configuration – Commonly happened. Running wrong version in the system. For example, Python 3 is not backward compatible with Python 2.X; Some program only support up to PHP 5.5. Set Memory Persistent in ASP.NET may over used your server memory. Some server configuration may not fix all applications installed inside, thus crashing it. Commonly happened in Joomla and DotNetNuke’s Third Party Free Modules.

Tips: Just Get Latest Updates lor.

5. Being Hacked,sql/script injection – If you’re using Shared Hosting, normally anti-virus program, firewall, control panel, anti-spam software are pre-installed by the hosting provider already. All you need to worry is the FTP, file access permission and your web application setting (some of it can override server security setting).

Tips: Can’t help you much…Every servers’ setting is different. Don’t worry too much, just get your web application up-to-date and you should be safe.

6. DDOS – You must be getting famous and someone is envy you already. If you have money, get a strong server then people DDOS 9 u till 10K simultaneous connections also no problem and you can laugh them back: What another lame n00b hacker….(Just like what www.dotnetnuke.com did 😀 )
Tips: Check your sitelog / Server log and block the attackers IPs. If you’re targeted by numerous corpses and mummies….then good luck!

7. Forget to Pay Bill! – Don’t laugh, this actually happened to some large websites before. Try not rely too much on autobilling. It is not safe and tend to charging you with the old price and hiding the promotion / dicounted price from you. AutoBilling=Making you to FORGET!

Let’s see if I can think of any new point to add in the future….now is 4.07am already. Really have to thank to the server’s problem that made me staying up late.

Btw, I’ve just subscribed to a website monitoring service. USD 25 Gone. No choice…you’ll need it when you’re having a production website. Site Down = Lost Income;Visitors;Clients;Advertisers;Credibility;Brand;Images;Relationships;Time;Health;Money…It will just drive you to crazy whenever your website is down…NIGHTMARE

p.s. I supposed to write and post this blog entry on 12/12….I’ve secretly changed the publish date to 12/12 and guess I gotta write another one later so that I still keeping ‘Everyday a Post’ Promises.

p.p.s aiya…after all it is the stupid server that wasting my time and money mar….

p.p.p.s Modify a lot a grammar mistakes…arr My Grammar is ssooooo broken…Writing Blog really helps my writings ^^