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#958589 - 08/02/2011 23:12 Site shutdown during severe weather events?
Curious George Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 08/02/2011
Posts: 1
I'd like to know if we can expect the plug to be pulled on the forums in future severe weather events as happened during the recent North Queensland cyclone?

I don't for a moment buy the line that it was due to server load.

Considering the advertising revenue which would have been coming in with that traffic, the decision to kill the site cannot have been easy.

Can the management please detail under exactly what circumstances we can expect to see such shutdowns in the future?

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#958598 - 08/02/2011 23:28 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: Curious George]
SBT Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 07/02/2007
Posts: 14286
Loc: Townsville Dry Tropics
The server went into overload due in no small part to the General Cyclone Yasi thread. I counted at least twice that the website was being viewed by over 2500 visitors and 1000 members. Any server would struggle with those sort of numbers when on average we only have a 100 or so members at a time and less than 200 visitors.

Who knows? Probably the administrator but my money would also be on DDOS attack at the same time. Events such as this always bring out the idiots in the world.
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#958605 - 08/02/2011 23:41 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: SBT]
nanangoblue Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 03/02/2011
Posts: 13
Loc: south burnett
just a silly question... in the "whos online" box, what does it mean "spiders" and "invisible". im guessing "guests" are unregistered viewers.
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#958609 - 08/02/2011 23:43 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: SBT]
Andrew Miskelly Offline
Weatherzone Webmaster

Registered: 15/11/2001
Posts: 3149
Loc: Mittagong, NSW
Hi George,

I'm intrigued to know what you do think happened.

The system log on the machine indicates that it ran out of memory and swap space on Wednesday, and subsequently collapsed in a heap. To exactly what we attribute this hasn't been investigated.

I was on leave (indeed in Queensland) at the time and was oblivious to the problem. If I had have been around things would have been rectified far more promptly than they were so apologies for that. I can understand that it would have been very frustrating at the time.

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#958624 - 09/02/2011 01:40 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: nanangoblue]
bundybear Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/12/2010
Posts: 2366
Loc: Between Bundy and Gladstone
Spiders are search engines that are gathering data. So when you put into some where like google Yasi Weatherzone it will then bring up the thread you want in the results.

Invisible people are ones who have the ability to log on but not show as being online. Often that is mods.

Guests are people who are viewing the forums but are not registered users.

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#958638 - 09/02/2011 07:58 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: bundybear]
David Simpson. Offline
Weatherzone Administrator/Moderator

Registered: 13/10/2002
Posts: 4932
Loc: Tasmania
Originally Posted By: bundybear

Invisible people are ones who have the ability to log on but not show as being online. Often that is mods.



Incorrect, the mods are visible when online.

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#958664 - 09/02/2011 09:52 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: Curious George]
Andy Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 29/06/2001
Posts: 1018
Loc: Mid-North Coast, NSW
Originally Posted By: Curious George
... I don't for a moment buy the line that it was due to server load ...


Why not?.
Are you some sort of conspiracy theorist?
Do you think the admins simply decide to shut things down just to be deliberately annoying?

During significant events the server gets hammered ... it's only natural.

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#958671 - 09/02/2011 10:13 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: David Simpson.]
bundybear Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/12/2010
Posts: 2366
Loc: Between Bundy and Gladstone
Originally Posted By: David Simpson.
Originally Posted By: bundybear

Invisible people are ones who have the ability to log on but not show as being online. Often that is mods.



Incorrect, the mods are visible when online.


My apologies. I should have clarified that on some boards it may be the mods.

In this case I can see are online I do not know who may be invisible.

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#958682 - 09/02/2011 10:48 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: Andrew Miskelly]
zuldjan Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 16/03/2010
Posts: 120
Originally Posted By: Andrew Miskelly
Hi George,

I'm intrigued to know what you do think happened.

The system log on the machine indicates that it ran out of memory and swap space on Wednesday, and subsequently collapsed in a heap. To exactly what we attribute this hasn't been investigated.

I was on leave (indeed in Queensland) at the time and was oblivious to the problem. If I had have been around things would have been rectified far more promptly than they were so apologies for that. I can understand that it would have been very frustrating at the time.


Might I add that running out of swap space/memory shouldn't necessarily bring a site down, and if it did, I would be looking at my Hosting Provider to increase server specifications.

I'd be more inclined to point the finger at sheer traffic volume, especially if the webserver that this forum run's off is not load balanced.
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#958704 - 09/02/2011 12:22 Re: Site shutdown during severe weather events? [Re: zuldjan]
Andrew Miskelly Offline
Weatherzone Webmaster

Registered: 15/11/2001
Posts: 3149
Loc: Mittagong, NSW
When a server that is under load runs out of physical RAM and begins to swap it's generally fatal because the swapping tends to become thrashing which causes the processing time of each request to blow out and and further incoming requests cause the situation to perpetually worsen.

The most likely cause of the outage is that something load-related ran away with all of the memory and the machine started thrashing and eventually shut down the web server software (the latter appears to have happened at 23:08). Obviously this required manual intervention to rectify. The hosting of the forum is not particularly sophisticated as it's never previously needed to be.

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