Server Problems

Design Sojourn is currently experiencing server side problems.
According to Media Temple tech support, it is an errant WordPress plugin that was causing excessive call ups on the WordPress database causing the server to crash and return a 500 error.
I have been running the same set of plugins for almost a year. Ok I give MT the benefit of the doubt, maybe an updated plugin broke the server.
Even though I doubt this was the case, on the advice of tech support, I reinstalled WordPress.
Guess what?
Well you probably already know, the server is still spitting back intermittent 500 server side errors. Even better, Media Temple can’t seem to reproduce the errors when the rest of the world seems to be able to.
I keep on receiving multiple site up and down email notifications from independent site monitoring services like Siteuptime or Furthermore friends from around the world also report similar incidents.
Damn server is bouncing up and down like a ping pong ball.
This is really unacceptable and I apologize that you have to hit a number of browser refreshes to get the site up. I will try to get to the bottom of this, even if I have to move to another server host.
Not something I want to take care off during my long weekend.
Edit 1: Currently 1 out of 4-5 pageviews will get a 500 server side error.
Edit 2: Two days later, the MT Tech Support still insists that nothing is wrong. I consider myself an educated man, but I am that close swearing at the Support Staff. I still get a number of random of 500 server side errors and I’m now full blown trouble shooting my site myself.
But hey they tell me “We have browsed to the URL both via our network and via Proxy and were not able to duplicate the noted 500 internal server errors.” But wait did anyone not look in the error logs? What I don’t get, is that it looks clear to me on the server logs that there is a problem. Ooh and guess what the little bird in Google told me that other sites hosted on Media Temple are also experiencing similar problems. (Exhibit A and Exhibit B)
Now you know why I want to swear.
I noticed I get a little more stability, but not much, by moving my PHP 5 back to PHP 4 and deleting unused MySQL databases.
What frustrates me to no end, is I have this sensation that Media Temple’s Grid Servers are so fragile, that it does not take much to bring it down. How can this be? Heck, the service has been so crap that I’m running on a full year of free credit due to server down times.
I also noticed it takes a blog post like this to get MT to sit up and listen. Regardless, the folks at Rackspace Cloud seem to be a lot more happy to deal with me and my problems. I’m planning to talk with my feet.
Standby for an update.

Edit 3: I’m not going to waste anymore time ranting about it here, but the long and short of it is I have decided to leave Media Temple for better pastures. I’ll give you the full update when I get the site up an running at 100% efficiency.
So I will be migrating this site in the next 48 hours. Please expect down times and sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Edit 4: Media Temple and I have come to a mutual understanding on this issue which has not really been resolved. Separately the up time of this blog, still at MT, seems to have stabilized. Whatever that has been causing the random 500 server side error seems to have been flushed out of the system. Hopefully for good. I have told MT that I am “watching you”, and will be tracking the reliability of the site in the next few days. Please let me know if you experience any down time? Meanwhile its back to regular programming while I make that final decision to move or not.

  • DT

    September 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm Reply

    Hey Foci,
    Thanks for your kind words!

  • foci

    September 23, 2009 at 4:48 am Reply

    thanks for the updates and continuing to push forward with the site.

  • Joey

    September 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm Reply

    Must admit I’ve been struggling to access the website over the last 3 or 4 days.. had wondered if you’d stopped updating.. hope it’s sorted soon 🙂

    • DT

      September 22, 2009 at 11:47 pm Reply

      Hey Joey,
      Thanks for letting me know. I’ve managed to get the site going again, so have a try to see if it is working for you?
      I’m currently troubleshooting to make sure things are running smoothly, so likely no new posts for the next few days.

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