1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 23, 2013 2:13 PM by gdurniak

    Beachballs !

    gdurniak

      This is a repeat post, since we've found no answer:

       

      There are 10 files running on FMS 10, Mac Mini Server, with 15 concurrent users

       

      All thru the day, the entire office gets periodic beachballs, all at once

       

      Any ideas ?

       

      All the File References are valid, and relative. What could all the Macs be looking for ?

       

      I've seen articles suggesting a DNS problem

       

      The files run fine locally. Could it be a Mac office network thing ?

       

      It seems that if the server were busy, we would get coffee cups, or blinking cursors, not beachballs

       

      greg

        • 1. Re: Beachballs !
          RonSmithMD

          Hmmm. Did you turn off the spotlight indexing on the server?

           

          Ron

           

          Ron Smith, MD, 'The Pediatric Guide For Parents'

           

          Want to know more about me and my family? Take a look at the free ebook about my daughter below.

           

          Forever And A Day For Laura Michelle

          • 2. Re: Beachballs !
            gdurniak

            Do you disable Spotlight entirely, or just exclude the Database Folder from indexing ?

             

            greg

             

             

            > Did you turn off the spotlight indexing on the server?

            • 3. Re: Beachballs !
              ch0c0halic

              Coffee cup is when the FMS cannot get to your request right now. I've rarely seen it since FMP 9.

               

              Spinning colored BeachBall occurs when FMS is slow to respond with the results of the request. Happens a lot if the FMS computer is underpowered. Like not enough RAM and/or the Cache isn't set high enough.

               

               

              So many possibilities.

               

              Can happen during a high usage request, like a report that uses a lot of records. FMS has to get all the records from Disk and that can be slow if you aren't using a Server computer with high speed Disks, for example the 5400 drives found in many 'economical' computers.

               

              If the DNS has a bad entry or the reverse lookup isn't configured correctly it can delay calls to either an IP or a DNS name. Its very hard to troubleshoot this problem.

               

              A bad router or router table. Even though all files and computers are on the same LAN the router could be sending the requests outside and then receiving them back inside the LAN. Usually restarting the router fixes this.

               

              A switch can have a bad port (hardware interfaced where the ethernet is plug in) that slows down all users because one user isn't acknowledging change notifications in a timely manner. Replace the switch.

               

              If this happens at about the same time every day look for possible power brownouts at that time. Possibly a piece of electronics on the power grid starts up at about the same time every day and 'sucks' down the voltage causing network problems. Could be something as small as a Water Cooler on the same power drop as your router or as big as the Air Conditioning.

               

              Check for ground faults on each piece of network hardware. A bad ground on the power plug can throw off the signal to noise ratio on the Ethernet signal.

              • 4. Re: Beachballs !
                gdurniak

                Yes, a lot to check

                 

                I'm still not clear on the "Coffee cup is when the FMS cannot get to your request right now. Spinning colored BeachBall occurs when FMS is slow to respond with the results of the request"

                 

                So Coffee Cup means you can't get in,  and Beach Ball means you are in, but waiting for a response.

                 

                This is a shame, since spinning Beachball also means "I can't find what you just asked for"

                 

                Perhaps many users are getting "in" ( multi threaded ? ) then ALL getting Beachballs waiting for a response

                 

                greg

                • 5. Re: Beachballs !
                  RonSmithMD

                  I think the beach balls are network time outs unrelated to FM client per se, but to either a network saturated with data packets or a server with another process hogging server cycles.

                   

                  Ron

                   

                  Ron Smith, MD, 'The Pediatric Guide For Parents'

                   

                  Want to know more about me and my family? Take a look at the free ebook about my daughter below.

                   

                  Forever And A Day For Laura Michelle

                  • 6. Re: Beachballs !
                    timcimbura

                    I've seen this behavior when Macs are running Time Machine...possibly on the hour. Is that a possibility?

                    • 7. Re: Beachballs !
                      gdurniak

                      I will have them check both Time Machine, and Spotlight.  It is a shame that these utilities offer so few controls. The Beachballs are at random times

                       

                      The only other thing they do different, it that they LOVE working remotely, so 2 or 3 of the 15 users are using either Timbuktu or LogMeIn to control other machines, even within the office

                       

                      I also see they have upgraded to FMS 11

                       

                      greg

                       

                      > I've seen this behavior when Macs are running Time Machine...possibly on the hour. Is that a possibility?

                      • 8. Re: Beachballs !
                        RonSmithMD

                        Hmmm. Check out any other applications that are using their local network. Are they running their own in-house mail server. Are people streaming digital content to their computers (that is a bad one for slowing down networks), do you have gigabit network connections in the office, is anyone else using the local network to jump on your wifi at will, etc.

                         

                        This may not be FileMaker per se though that's where you see the slow-down. If they are accessing remotely outside the network, is the network connection between the network and the internet too slow. Are you using a fast-enough wifi and is it 5ghz or 2.4ghz and are you using 2.4ghz wireless phones in the office too. This can mess up wifi speed in the latter case. Are you using a newer Apple Extreme base station (these are really fast)?

                         

                        I would be fairly suspicious of everything having done and seen all these kinds of problems before.

                         

                         

                        Ron Smith, MD, 'The Pediatric Guide For Parents'

                         

                        Want to know more about me and my family? Take a look at the free ebook about my daughter below.

                         

                        Forever And A Day For Laura Michelle

                        • 9. Re: Beachballs !
                          s

                          Hi Greg,

                          What is your network topology? Are all the machines on a single subnet? Wired or wireless? What other services are running on your server? Are you running your own DNS box or using the ISP's or other?

                          Does anyone ever get the message "Lost connection to host?"

                           

                          The best thing would be to capture and analyze your network traffic using WireShark or similar. (Sorry, I can't help much with that.)

                           

                          If you are familiar with Terminal, you _may_ be able to use ping to determine if it's a network issue or a FileMaker issue.

                          When the beachballs occur, quit FileMaker on one workstation, and ping the server's ip address. (You may want to ping your gateway address instead of (or in addition to) the FileMaker server.) Let it run for at least a few minutes, then stop it with Control-C

                          Each packet is given a sequence number (there should be none missing), and the summary info tells the % packet loss. (see sample output below)

                           

                          --

                          Steve Moore

                          Cumberland, Maine

                           

                           

                          s-97:~ steve$ ping 10.0.75.1

                          PING 10.0.75.1 (10.0.75.1): 56 data bytes

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=255 time=0.436 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=255 time=0.412 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=2 ttl=255 time=0.422 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=3 ttl=255 time=0.416 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=4 ttl=255 time=0.402 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=5 ttl=255 time=0.394 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=6 ttl=255 time=0.367 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=7 ttl=255 time=0.374 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=8 ttl=255 time=0.445 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=9 ttl=255 time=0.437 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=10 ttl=255 time=0.467 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=11 ttl=255 time=0.440 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=12 ttl=255 time=0.456 ms

                          64 bytes from 10.0.75.1: icmp_seq=13 ttl=255 time=0.447 ms

                          ^C

                          --- 10.0.75.1 ping statistics ---

                          14 packets transmitted, 14 packets received, 0.0% packet loss

                          round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 0.367/0.423/0.467/0.029 ms

                          • 10. Re: Beachballs !
                            gdurniak

                            Everyone is on one Switch, wired, with FileMaker Server on it's own Mac Mini Server

                             

                            It appears they use the Google DNS 8.8.8.8.  No reports of connection lost

                             

                            I suggested installing a Network Utility,  but not much interest

                             

                            I will have them PING the server when a Beachball hits. That might be interesting. The Mac Network Utility should work

                             

                            greg

                             

                            > What is your network topology? Are all the machines on a single subnet? Wired or wireless? What other services are running on your server? Are you running your own DNS box or using the ISP's or other?

                            Does anyone ever get the message "Lost connection to host?"

                             

                            The best thing would be to capture and analyze your network traffic using WireShark or similar. (Sorry, I can't help much with that.)

                             

                            If you are familiar with Terminal, you _may_ be able to use ping to determine if it's a network issue or a FileMaker issue.

                            When the beachballs occur, quit FileMaker on one workstation, and ping the server's ip address. (You may want to ping your gateway address instead of (or in addition to) the FileMaker server.) Let it run for at least a few minutes, then stop it with Control-C

                            • 11. Re: Beachballs !
                              BobGossom

                              Greg,

                               

                              This sounds like a server issue. Try to get the users to log exactly when the slowdown happens, then look at the FMPS logs for the same time period. Also examine the OS logs to see what activity is occuring.

                               

                              As others have said, it is most likely something on the server that is tying the server up. Timemachine, virus scans, Spotlight are all possibilitites. FMPS backups can also cause this behavior, particularly on very large files.

                               

                              Bob Gossom

                              • 12. Re: Beachballs !
                                gdurniak

                                I logged Client Usage yesterday, and for 1 minute at 11:08 AM all users had Wait Times of 4 to 40 Sec ( 4 to 40 Million ), and Elapsed Times of 5 Sec ( 5 Million )

                                 

                                I suspect this was a Beachball

                                 

                                The OS System Log shows nothing at that time,  and the hourly backup was done.  Timemachine is off, and Spotlight excludes the Data folder

                                 

                                greg

                                 

                                 

                                > Try to get the users to log exactly when the slowdown happens, then look at the FMPS logs for the same time period. Also examine the OS logs to see what activity is occuring.

                                 

                                As others have said, it is most likely something on the server that is tying the server up. Timemachine, virus scans, Spotlight are all possibilitites. FMPS backups can also cause this behavior, particularly on very large files

                                • 13. Re: Beachballs !
                                  RonSmithMD

                                  It doesn't matter if Spotlight includes the Data folder...turn it off altogether. If it still runs it eats cpu cycles.

                                   

                                  I would make sure there is no other software running on that machine. It isn't running OS X server with software updates set 'on' is it?

                                   

                                  Ron

                                   

                                  Ron Smith, MD, 'The Pediatric Guide For Parents'

                                   

                                  Want to know more about me and my family? Take a look at the free ebook about my daughter below.

                                   

                                  Forever And A Day For Laura Michelle

                                  • 14. Re: Beachballs !
                                    tbraehler

                                    Hello gdurniak,

                                     

                                    this "Beachball" topic is painful.

                                    Reading the thread there are alot of suggestions.

                                     

                                    When OS X is showing a beachball this means that a process (can be an app or deamon) is waiting for an answer but does not get (in time).

                                    This does not mean that the app or deamon is crashed but can be.

                                     

                                    On a network and using a database app like FM a beachball shows up at all users at the same time this could be a connection loss to the server or a very busy FM host.

                                     

                                    The databases in use, are they big? Huge index records? Alot of images, etc.?

                                     

                                    On a "Server" you should not run timemachine for localhost.

                                    Best practice:

                                    Mac Mini Server with 2x HD's same size, OS X

                                    Carbon Copy Cloner installed, disk 1 is the life environment, disk 2 the "cold mirror"

                                    An external disk via USB or Thunderbolt with different partitions.

                                    Configure FM backups nightly at lets say 11 pm

                                    Configure CCC the way that you sync daily at 3am the internal cold mirror, the external disk, lets say three partitions.

                                    Monday, Wednesday, Friday, CCC does a sync at 3am, so you have four backups, bootable

                                    From time to time, I do two times a month, copy all databases to a different computer.

                                     

                                    Check the MacMini HD filesystem by using HD Utility, before stop all services and quit all applications, is the FileSystem OK?

                                    (FileSystem Fragmentation?)

                                     

                                    Check the memory consumption on your server, do you have 4GB RAM, is this sufficient?

                                    Are there other processes using alot of memory?

                                     

                                    For FM, I run FM 11 Server Advanced on a 100 Mbit/s WAN, Frankfurt - Paris with 90 concurrent users on both Mac and Windows on MS Windows Server 2003.

                                    No beachballs, just a lag from loading data.

                                     

                                    When all users get a beachball at the same time, this could be a server or network topic.

                                    Open the Terminal on a client and on the server (at the same time can be useful)

                                    Enter:

                                    sudo tcpdump -i en0 -s 0 -w ~/text.log

                                     

                                    Note:

                                    Your network interface on the MacMini Server must be "en0", if not, enter the right one (Do not use WiFi, cable connection is mandatory)

                                    The Terminal will write a tcpdump to a textfile in your home directory called "text.log"

                                    Try it on a Mac you're using, you will get a result.

                                    There will be alot of unreadable text but also clear text, maybe you can see the issue.

                                     

                                    Do you have a virusscanner running on the server?

                                    If yes, add the database folder to the "SafeZone" that database files fo not get scanned.

                                     

                                    Some thoughts collected.

                                    Hope I could help

                                     

                                    Cheers, T.

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