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    FileMaker Server 11 large hosting - best practices and investigations

    BenoitJolly

      Hi everybody,

       

      Here is a discussion we started in San Diego with some of the FBA's. We restart it after

      having faced problems on one of our servers doing hosting.

       

      It is mainly addressed to those of you doing "large hosting" in order to

      share our best practices about :

      - Investigating the source of a problem when the server fails

      - Maintaining your servers in good health

       

      To start with this discussion, here is the situation we had.

       

      Description of the server :

       

      Mac X Serve with 2x 2,8GHz Quadcore Intel Xeon

      Two 300Go SAS DDHD (in redundancy RAID mode)

      3 partitions on this disk system :

      - System (holding the programs and the OS) => 75Gb free

      - Data (well named, it holds the FM databases) => 73Gb free

      - Backup (well named too) => 3Gb free

      MacOSX Server 10.6.8

      FileMaker Server Advanced 11.0.4

      2x1Gb RAM (which was the main bottle neck of our configuration) -> Upgraded

      to 10Gb

       

      Load of the server :

      110 databases (100Mb each)

      70 simultaneous FMPro Users (usually)

      Some CWP (around 40) requests every 5 minutes

       

      Observed problem :

       

      The server had been working without a problem for months.

      Regularly the "adminserver" service had to be restarted in order to be able

      to use the Console ("fmsadmin restart adminserver"), but this is a "known

      stack issue" on FileMaker Server 11 which is observed on many servers we

      met. Except this problem, we had no other issue with the machine.

       

      The load had not changed significantly between few months ago and the time

      we started to get failures. It started by WPE falling once every two days.

      We had to manually restart the WPE. Later, we had then massive failures on

      the server (one on the first week, and then it increased to 2 crashes in the

      same day)

       

      We knew for a while that we were short on RAM (2Gb), we went up to 10Gb. It

      gave a second breath to this server and prevented it (until now) to fail

      again.

       

      But here comes the main concern, since the load of the server did not grow

      in the timeframe : we wonder what made the server behave correctly for

      months and then degrade slowly.

       

      Here are the questions we would like to address in this discussion :

       

      1) What do you monitor on your servers ?

      What should one monitor/investigate to have a clue about what happened

      between few months ago and the day we face troubles. (I repeat that in our

      case we did not have a significant growth of the databases size, of the

      number of users or so.)

       

      2) Do some of you plan a complete reboot of their servers (once a week,

      once a month etc) ? Do some of you plan a nightly restart of the WPE (or

      WPC) on their servers ? Did you get success doing so ?

       

      3) Do some of you schedule a complete reinstall of their servers ? We

      met some hosting companies doing so once a year. Is it a common behavior on

      your side ?

       

       

      Thank you in advance for your participation to this discussion.

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