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    Starting Over - Server Config



      Starting Over - Server Config

      Your post

      I am at my wits end with Filemaker Server Advanced 10.  I have posted an issue multiple times about the filemaker service crashing about once a week every week when a scheduled script runs.  It is a script that runs every half an hour and usually works great so I don't believe it is related to the script.  I have also disabled the script schedule so it doesn't run at all and in about the length of time of the filemaker crash usually occurring filemaker server would stop accepting new connections at all.  


      So something is definitely not working right, I have formatted and re-installed everything multiple times. Still have the same problem.


      Here is my question:

      I am going to start from scratch again.  I am on an Oct Core Mac Pro with 8GB of ram.  I am running a 4 hard drive raid 10 setup with a seperate hard drive for the OS.  I am using MacOS 10.5 (not server).  


      What version of the OS should I install? 10.5.4, 10.5.6, etc...  Should I upgrade to 10.6?

      Do I need to update Java?  Which version of Java should I be running?  How do I check the version?


      There has to be people that their filemaker server runs rock solid right?  This doesn't happen to everyone does it? 


      I just need this to work reliably for once and have been un-able to make that a reality as of yet.  Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.   




        • 1. Re: Starting Over - Server Config
             Do you ever reboot the server?
          • 2. Re: Starting Over - Server Config
               I used to reboot the server every time this would happen.  Then a week later it would happen again.  I don't reboot the server anymore because it doesn't seem to help at all.  I just start the admin console and click on the button to start the database server. Then everything works great again (for another week or so).  How often is a regular interval for re-booting a server?  My RedHat webserver never gets re-booted.  Heck, my iMac at home hasn't been re-booted in 3 months.  Should a filemaker server need to be re-booted once a week?  
            • 3. Re: Starting Over - Server Config
                 It's not Mac or Linux, but all the Windows servers we put out reboot every night.
              • 4. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                Are you narrowing it down to the script causing a crash? Or the known bug where FM would not de-allocate the client connection?  Some folks have reported that FMS10 would sometimes not deallocate conn from clients, thus after it hit the max limit, the server crashes.


                In our company, we have actually seen this several times where the last message in the log is someone can't connect because the max 999 clients have been connected to the server. We have about 30 client machines and restart the server twice during the work week at night.

                • 5. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                  Interesting, I was not aware of the connection bug.  I take it there is no fix for that?  That is the exact problem I have if I disable my scheduled script.  The weird thing is it takes about the same time to materialize as when filemaker server crashes if the script is enabled.  I wonder if it is the same bug just different symptoms.  Maybe when the maximum client count is reached and then the script tries to run (does this use a client slot?) instead of just refusing the connection it crashes.


                  It still seems ridiculous to restart a production server even once a week.  I run nightly imports and backup routines that would make that difficult.  Does everyone experience the connection bug where filemaker server does not close unused connections? 

                  • 6. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                    Production machines are great to reboot every night - frees up memory and all kinds of good stuff.

                    Any decent server takes less than 10 minutes to reboot.


                    Typically we run an rsync local backup, reboot, then stop our specific services, backup to tape, start services again. 

                    • 7. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                      How do you automate the stopping of the filemaker services for the scheduled shutdown?  I am on a mac, should I use applescript?



                      • 8. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                        the fmsadmin (FM server program) program to disconnect all users and close all the files

                        • 9. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                          MikeyG79 wrote:

                          Production machines are great to reboot every night - frees up memory and all kinds of good stuff.

                          Intriging info, I've got two Windows servers and they've been hosting FMP files via FM Server (not advanced) for over two months straight without a restart. (My backups can back up the files to external drives without shutting down FM server). They've run flawlessly except the Windows Server 2008 machine has hung up twice during a scheduled back up. (Once 2 months ago and once the month before that.)


                          Your post has me wondering if I should train some folks on how to restart these machines (they're still in use when I leave and have to be started before I arrive or I'd do it myself.)

                          • 10. Re: Starting Over - Server Config
                               Scheduled Task - then you don't have to train anyone.
                            • 11. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                              Ordinarily that would work. But we have some "emergency" files uploaded to each server that are kept closed. (Each server can shoulder the whole load if the other server "dies" simply by opening the extra files.) When the system restarts all the files are opened and this could result in users accessing these "emergency" files by mistake. I haven't found an automated method for closing these files.


                              (Note: I'd much prefer to have one server host all the files and put emergency backups for all of them on the second server to use as a "fail over" system, but haven't convinced my boss to let me do this.)

                              • 12. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                                I think I will implement a bi-weekly restart and see if that helps.  I appreciate your help on this.  I still think there is a bug here that filemaker needs to fix, but I guess that is just the way it is for now. 


                                One more question:

                                Is it safe to use the fmsadmin stop command before closing the database files or should I use fmsadmin close and then fmsadmin stop once the files are closed?  I was under the impression that the stop command will safely disconnect all users and close the database files first but I just wanted to make sure.



                                • 13. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                                  Check your crash log to see what was the last action before things crash, that'll be able to tell ya if it's the script or connection bug. 


                                  As far as reboots goes, if anyone uses odbc for other db sources,  we have noticed a bug where odbc data are not cleared when FM is restarted.  You have to restart the whole server to clear lingering connections.  Not a major issue,  but it's one of those thing take make the case for restarting the server on at least an occasional basis.

                                  • 14. Re: Starting Over - Server Config

                                    The last action always appears to be the script that I run every 30 min.  The thing is I run it every 30 min. so why would it work fine every other time and then randomly about a week after the last crash it happens again.  I suspected it was the script at one point in time so I disabled the script schedule and then the connection bug kept occurring in the same timeframe.  I would suspect that both issues are related to the connection bug. Besides, all my script does is check a few records in a table and if criteria is met in one of the fields it sends a simple email using data from that table.  It maybe only sends 2-3 emails a weeks so it is not like it is overloading anything.


                                    On a side note I have experimented with stopping filemaker server using the fmsadmin command line utility and then restarting the computer but then when the server restarts and I use the fmsadmin to start all my databases the web publishing engine doesn't work.  It says it is on and running but my website doesn't load and I need to click stop and start again in the admin console to get it working again. (does anyone know of an fmsadmin command to start and stop the web publishing engine?) 


                                    It seems like I am doomed to have my server crash every week.  I just can't believe more people aren't having these kinds of issues.  I am not doing anything out of the ordinary here and Filemaker Server is the only thing installed on this computer. 


                                    I have the macos crash logs for filemaker server if anyone knows how to decipher those or cares to take a look.  I would be happy to paste them in a message or post them somewhere. 

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