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Understanding Server Status in cPanel

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by WannaLearn, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. WannaLearn

    WannaLearn Registered

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    I have a shared linux hosting account with a popular company. My sites go down sometimes several times daily for short intervals, or slow to a crawl. The biggest thing I have happening on any of the sites is an abandoned private SMF forum installation with <100 users (which I have since reinstalled to another host because of the disruptions) and a Joomla installation that is seldomly accessed. I have 7 email accounts that I use very lightly; 6 MySQL databases, mostly not used at this time. The service has improved somewhat over the past couple of months, but the problems persist, just to a lesser extent. Whenever I enter a trouble ticket, the situation is "fixed" within a few hours or days, but the same or similar problem occurs repeatedly. Because I do not understand exactly what the data is measuring, I do not know its significance other than the "lights" glowing yellow or red and the numbers and percentages getting high. When I report this to my host, they reply with answers that are fundamentally geared toward baffling me with BS rather than simply explaining what caused the problem. The problems frequently occur early in the morning (between 5am-8am) and late at night (between 11pm and 3am).

    For example, the Disk /***/*** (/home) 90 % has been flashing yellow for the past several hours. There is nothing going on there there other than me being logged in to cPanel!

    As you can see,
    Disk Space Usage 456.64 Megabytes
    MySQL Disk Space 17.36 Megabytes
    Disk space available 4543.36 Megabytes
    Bandwidth (this month) 58.77 Megabytes

    I have only used a fraction of the disk space, bandwidth etc. that I pay for, so it isn't that causing the problem...

    Personally, I think somehow I am being messed up by others sharing the server but I would like to understand HOW... If I am not and there is something about the scripts I am running causing these problems, I would like to understand so that I can mend my evil ways.

    If anyone can explain briefly or direct me to a resource where I might learn about this, I would be most appreciative. I found nothing in the cPanel documentation that explains about the server status or the meanings of the values reported there. TIA for any help.
     
  2. Infopro

    Infopro cPanel Sr. Product Evangelist
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    Since you're on a shared server you have no control over, you might want to find a new host who maintains the server properly. Sounds to me like the server is overloaded and that can cause many problems like you mention.

    A common problem in my experience is users installing vulnerable scripts who have no clue that they are problems waiting to happen. Since you mention Joomla for example, check this (incomplete) list.
    http://help.joomla.org/component/option,com_easyfaq/task,view/id,186/Itemid,268/

    Once a site is found that runs any of these scripts, worms and crackers will hit that site constantly trying to poke into it, and get to the server itself if possible.

    Now imagine a server with many Joomla installs not running mod_security (which helps to block many types of attacks) being hit constantly. If only one is broke into and say an IRC or other type of illegal server gets loaded onto that host, well, then you end up with many slow downs, crashes and other serious issues too numerous to mention.

    Some examples:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=SMF+hacked (2.1 million results)

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Joomla+hacked (2.4 million results)

    These are very serious problems and of course the answer is to keep all files and scripts up to date, on a well secured well managed server by a qualified hosting company.

    If I was you? I'd be moving, today. ;)
     
  3. MaraBlue

    MaraBlue Well-Known Member

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    Running unsecure scripts *is* a problem, but the Google searvh you cited was hardly accurate."Hacks" i terms of a forum often means the same thing as a "tweak." In this case it doesn't mean the forum does meth, it means it's a way of customizing the forum. Something very commonly done on forums.

    For instance, the "SMF+hacks" link you posted. First hit is:

    http://www.smfhacks.com/ A site dedicated to *tweaking* the SMF forum software. As far as forum scripts go, SMF has a reputation of being far more secure than other (open source) options out there, specifically phpBB.

    While there are some notoriously unsecure and poorly written scripts out there, it's more a case of proper server management and security,
     
    #3 MaraBlue, Sep 29, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  4. MaraBlue

    MaraBlue Well-Known Member

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    If the forum is not being used, then uninstall it, and now.*Any* forum script is a security risk if left unattended and out of date.

    If you don't have confidence in them, then IMO it's time to move.

    On a shared server, what others are running *can* affect the performance of the machine overall, but it's not going to do anything to how your bandwidth is reported, if that's your question.

    Your question is a little vague, and possibly beyond the scope of a forum reply. I'll agree the official cPanel documentation is a little "light", but since cPanel is so widely used, there's TONS of hosting companies that have written guides for their users that can be found on Google.

    When you find such a company, and like what they write for their users...you may want to consider becoming one of their users, rather than be with a company that "baffles you with BS." Just my opinion :)
     
  5. Infopro

    Infopro cPanel Sr. Product Evangelist
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    Of course I agree with you, the link to google was just a very basic example, not rocket science. There are hacks forums and sites of course, and there are also many links to posts about "getting hacked"
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=SMF+got+hacked

    Maybe I should have linked to this thread, http://forums.cpanel.net/showthread.php?t=62821&highlight=javascript when talking about this sort of thing, or would you rather I linked directly to a google search for r57.txt or cs.txt or stringa.txt or r.txt or pb.txt, or well, the list is endless as you must know.

    The point I was trying to make, valid, I think.

    I'm a fan of SMF as it sounds you are. I wasn't attacking them, just using examples from what was mentioned in the first post.


    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=phpbb+hacked (2.690,000 results)
     
  6. MaraBlue

    MaraBlue Well-Known Member

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    Your point most assuredly *is* valid, I wasn't trying to imply otherwise :) I wanted to add *to* your points, not dispute your original intent.

    Though opinions vary, I think SMF is a far better and more secure choice than phpBB, and I don't even allow scripts such as phpNuke on my server. And btw, thanks for the link! I had no idea http://www.smfhacks.com existed. I haven't had much time for tweaking it, though it's on my "roadmap."
     
    #6 MaraBlue, Sep 29, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  7. Infopro

    Infopro cPanel Sr. Product Evangelist
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    Again, I agree with you and don't allow phpbb or *.nukes on my severs at all. If a new client has a phpbb it's converted to SMF, or it doesn't make it here. I've converted over countless forums away from phpbb.

    SMF rocks, it's not VB but is a great solution all the same. :)
     
  8. MaraBlue

    MaraBlue Well-Known Member

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    I've now spent the entire afternoon downloading mods for SMF.

    I blame you and your link. LOL! :D
     
  9. Website Rob

    Website Rob Well-Known Member

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    Disk /***/*** (/home) 90 % << this is for the Server itself, not just your account

    As the Hoster is letting the 'home' partition get close to full, it is possible there are other areas that are not properly looked after as well.

    Looking for another Hoster that does not overload their Server is probably a good idea; you may need to quickly change Hosters in the near future.
     
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