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cPanel process limits and Windows Mail via IMAP not using any!?

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussions' started by MrArtist, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. MrArtist

    MrArtist Member

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    Hi

    Having just spent the best part of two days unravelling the problems caused by the 30 processes restriction on my shared hosting service, and the nightmare problems that having more than a few email mailboxes causes, each using up at least one process, and then the same again for any phone or tablet also collecting emails on those same email mailbox accounts, I have found something strange about my son's Windows 8 laptop and Windows 8 phone each running Windows Mail via IMAP.

    They both are NOT each using a process to collect or send his emails!

    This seems to be happening whether or not the devices are set to continually collect emails, e.g. IDLE or Push.

    Whatever miracle Microsoft have used for not using up valuable process slots, I want more of it!

    My Thunderbird email client was using up processes like there was no tomorrow for each of my eight email accounts each of which had 5 connections to the server, via IMAP with IDLE. When that happens, bang all websites go down and everything stops until the processes are cleared which could be problem if you can't get to the email program you've left running in your office, or you can't get online to cPanel because it too needs processes to run.

    Unfortunately, against everyone's advice, turning off IDLE makes no difference, the processes are still held open even with long checks between downloading new emails. I have however reduced the connections to 1 for each account (In TB under Accounts/Server settings/Advanced), which has temporarily helped. But the problem was just as bad when I turned on my phone and tablet each of which run the K9 email app and each using up more processes for each mailbox.

    It's a horrendous problem and basically makes running "unlimited domains, unlimited emails" types of shared server hosting services utterly pointless!

    The annoying thing is the connections made by each mailbox are mostly dormant and hardly stretch the systems, yet they are not closed automatically, and yet still count towards what seems a messily (and not uncommon) number of processes allowed on shared hosting.

    So what is the miracle method that Microsoft uses in its Windows Mail app/program that shows no processes at all?
     
  2. cPanelMichael

    cPanelMichael Forums Analyst
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    Hello :)

    To clarify, is this a process limit that your hosting provider has imposed with a third-party application such as Cloud Linux? 30 processes seems a bit low. The default is "100" with Cloud Linux. Does this server use Courier or Dovecot as the mail server?

    Thank you.
     
  3. MrArtist

    MrArtist Member

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    Yes, I believe it is my new hosting co's set limits. Not as bad as one other I've read about where the limit is 25. A bit mean perhaps these days when multiple devices will cause undesirable continual processes (e.g. IMAP and mobile/cloud computing)

    They say they can't put a script in to close IMAP connections (IDLE or not) after 5 mins (like they do on their VPS's) because that would affect everyone else on the shared server. My argument back is that I think everyone else would perhaps like that running if they were made aware of the possibility and just how easy it is to break one's sites through over use of processes due to IMAP.

    People need to be made more aware of these limitations before signing up for what promise to be unlimited domains, unlimited emails, etc. It's just not true in the real world. I'll be lucky if I just get a few sites and associated email accounts running before sites just start going offline for large chunks of the day due to exceeding limits, and that's before I get people actually visiting the sites. God forbid that one of those sites might actually become popular and start getting some action, then it'll all go down like a ton of bricks.

    Altogether it's all been a bit of a shock and surprise after moving from another more expensive shared server reseller package that didn't seem to have these terrible restrictions. I'm beginning to wish I hadn't moved but the servers do seem fast, I'll give them that, and they have a few advantages like staging and cdn, etc. although now I wonder just how much actual use I can make of these services for experimentation and development when it's so easy to use up one's allocation of resources, not just in processes, but also CPU seconds, executions and emails per minute quotas all at quite limited levels.

    Earlier today, I accidentally blew the limits on my execution and cpu seconds for the day when the unarchiving of a corrupt file from a site restore hogged everything for too long. It's a hard life in these limited everything-but-nothing shared server worlds!

    I have no idea what the name/version of server is, can't find that data in cPanel or anywhere. I think it's Cent OS6 if that helps?

    And the server is using Dovecot according to the process list.

    Many thanks.
     
  4. cPanelMichael

    cPanelMichael Forums Analyst
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    The best route to a viable solution here is to consult with your hosting provider to see if they will work with you regarding these limits. You may have to consider using a VPS or dedicated server if you want more control over these type of limitations.

    Thank you.
     
  5. MrArtist

    MrArtist Member

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    My apologies for all the extra waffle/moaning above, but I think my main question/observation here is:

    How is Windows Mail able to connect via IMAP without showing a valuable cPanel/server process being used up?

    Also, I would love to know why Thunderbird is not dropping its IMAP non-IDLE connections? I know that's probably more of a question for TB/Mozilla, but the whole process/resource issue that is counted/shown by cPanel is a big issue for some users where the hosting provider severely limits resources on shared servers that understandably need to kept in check to keep things as streamlined as possible for the total capacity of users the shared-hosting provider caters for. (i.e no one hogging resources)

    From what I understand (and I may be wrong), an IMAP connection isn't exactly taxing the server or CPU allocations? Being mostly the odd ping to see if any new mail has arrived or not, yet it's given at least 1 out of 25/30 processes (5 by default in Thunderbird email client) for each mailbox (and then again for each device on those same mailboxes!), and they are continually counted and shown the process count for long periods of time. If ever they do stop, they start up again at the next check for it to all continue pretty much forever or until the email program/client is quit.

    I don't know if it's a cPanel choice to count those IMAP processes or not? These days with everyone checking multiple mailboxes on multiple devices, minimal cPanel process allowances become a serious problem and when exceeded, website visits cease/crash even when no email is actually being received, used or sent.

    And if Windows Mail users can get away with it, why can't the rest of us?

    NB: I haven't re-rechecked my son's Win8 laptop and Win8 phone to yet again confirm, but I'm pretty sure Windows Mail is on the IMAP "all the time" setting and it never shows as a process (Dovecot or any) in cPanel.
     
  6. Infopro

    Infopro cPanel Sr. Product Evangelist
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    You can modify your Mail Server settings here:
    WHM » Service Configuration » Mailserver Configuration
     
  7. cPanelMichael

    cPanelMichael Forums Analyst
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    There is an option in the interface that Infopro referenced with Dovecot called:

    "Use New Authentication Process for Each Connection"

    Per it's description:

    Specifies whether to use a new login process for each new POP3 or IMAP connection. Setting this to yes may improve the security of the Dovecot authentication processes, but doing so imposes a significant performance penalty on heavily loaded servers.

    Note, however, you do not have access to this feature because you do not have root access to the server. You may find more of the technical details about how each particular email client handles authentication attempts directly from those companies.

    Thank you.
     
  8. MrArtist

    MrArtist Member

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    Hmm, interesting, thanks. But I guess this is already off because apparently POP (they/people/forums say) does not use up any of the valuable process allowances (although I haven't confirmed this by tests).

    Sadly not. As a cPanel only access user without WHM I probably can't do a lot of things that might be useful and of course the hosting co. won't change things just for me because it will affect others on the same shared server. They do though offer an "Advanced" cPanel option: SSH/Shell Access, but sadly of course they also say "Please note that you can not manipulate the system processes (executing ps, kill, pgrep, top and strace) on the shared server, since your account will not have such privileges.".

    Thanks for your responses. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on the processes list, use filtering for emails to another account, or just use alternative email services to keep server resources available as much as possible for just running websites.
     
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