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Metrics to support Daily Entry Process investigations


Do you support this recommendation?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you support this recommendation?

    • Yes, basic Access and Error logs would be sensible for the free hosting product
    • No, such logs such remain for premium hosting only

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Recommendation: Re-enable Access and Error logs on free hosting


I've now had enough days with iFastnet to realise that the Daily Entry Process failure is super sensitive and a mystery to all.

I've kept an eye on it today... logging into Wordpress admin portal saw an obvious jump, maybe 25% of the daily limit from logging in and updating a few post tags. A few hours later however the graph jumped to the red line (using remaining 75% of todays allowance in one go, although CPU usage remains < 10% for the day). I get the impression that the graphs are updated every 15-30 minutes, so I don't believe it was my login that caused it, but something big happened (high process volume, but low CPU) in that short window.

I see others raising that they get suspended over this metric too. I raised it with iFastnet as a ticket, and pointed out that my Access and Error logs weren't working, so I couldn't investigate what any bot or user was doing at the time on the site. They replied that they turned off the Access and Error logs for performance reasons.

I get this is a free service, but without metrics, I don't think people are able to help themselves or iFastnet.

I recommend basic Access and Error logs are re-enabled, to help people understand their traffic. This would be particularly helpful to identify anything that causes sudden spikes in usage.



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I support this idea. I believe that iFastNet should try to replace the logs they had on the free hosting system with more basic and simple ones, so that performance isn't affected so much, but understandable so that we can figure out what causes these spikes.

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Most of the resource limits on free hosting are not assigned specific numbers. There is a good reason for this. If the exact calculations and limits are explained, then abusers might try to game this and try to stress the servers as much as possible without getting suspended. This is bad for all other websites, which would be slowed or even brought down because of this.

Also, keep in mind that while cPanel/CloudLinux also limit Entry Processes, CloudLinux restricts concurrent EP usage whereas VistaPanel restricts daily EP usage. CloudLinux can fairly easily take a snapshot the moment the limit is hit, but you can't do that with a daily limit. Unless you would snapshot everything or try to predict when there is a peak, but both require some really complex engineering, especially to make it work smoothly on a high load environment like free hosting.

Having some logs would be useful, but access logs on their own don't tell any conclusive information about CPU/EP usage, because they only tell which pages are being requested and not how much resources those pages take to load. Even unfiltered access logs are too simple to be useful.

I don't quite see what more "basic and simple" logs would look like, I don't see how they could be of any use and I don't see how aggregating logs would be any more performant than simply collecting and routing these logs.

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On 13/02/2019 at 3:06 PM, InfinityFree said:

Having some logs would be useful, but access logs on their own don't tell any conclusive information about CPU/EP usage, because they only tell which pages are being requested and not how much resources those pages take to load. Even unfiltered access logs are too simple to be useful.

Thanks for your thoughts @InfinityFree. My suggestion of basic Access Logs was based on my experience that, in the case of my WordPress site certainly, traffic appears minimal (handful of people an hour), and yet I see these spikes where the site uses 100% of a resource limit (there's no WordPress updates going on at the time). My feeling is that, given free hosting only supports small traffic volumes, Access Logs can be used to see what changed in that period as there's so little overall traffic. Hopefully this would help identify spikes in traffic from a search engine bot, or a particular (problem) page being accessed only in the day the resource usage was being hit.

Even better thinking about it, would be if the resource usage captured the full history . It looks like it updates every 15 minutes. Knowing at least the hour of the issue, would help site owners review the handful of traffic in that period within the Access Logs.

I appreciate iFastnet isn't going to want to spend a lot creating deep analysis for free sites, I was just shocked to be suspended for resource limits on a site with so little traffic, and to be told that there's no server based logs for me to understand what was being accessed at the time.

Happy to be a guinea pig if iFastnet fancy trying some logging out on my account.

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I understand what you are saying @JayAld. There are absolutely cases where access logs are useful to have. If I need to debug a resource limit on cPanel, I generally use a combination of the resource graphs, snapshots and access logs to figure out when the limit was hit and what was happening at the time.

The thing is that it's sometimes better to give people no information than limited information, as people will draw incorrect conclusions based on the incomplete data. Like people saying the CPU limit is wrong when there aren't more hits, but dozens of plugins and themes have been updated. Or people saying the hits counter is not resetting properly, because why else would they be suspended while Google Analytics says there aren't many visitors (hint: visitors != hits).

Having all data would be the best, of course, but I wouldn't say that any data is better than no data.

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