Do I need to upgrade?


I have had a virtual cloud server with Storm on Demand for about two and a half years now. The server comes with 2 GB RAM, 1 CPU, 150 GB HD. You can see the specs [url=]here; it is the second one down.

I’m running a Drupal site. It’s been going very well until now, but for the past few weeks, my Web server has hanged every single day just about, and often more than once per day. If not caught in time, the load of the server will rise to 40+. I and the host have tried everything we can think of, but nothing seems to be helping.

There don’t seem to be any rogue modules or anything like that, and anyway it’s been fine up to this point.

We’re getting about 7,000 visits daily, as far as I can tell from my access logs.

I’m trying to avoid upgrading, but will as a last resort. No money is made the site so I’d prefer to keep it as low cost as possible. I’ve have to pay about $40 extra to upgrade.

So, firstly, can you think of anything I might be missing to alter? The host has been making most of the tweaks. They’ve optimized MySQL, Apache, PHP settings, and the whole nine yards. I’ve enabled anonymous caching in Drupal.

Secondly, do you think I need to upgrade? I’m really not sure how much 2 GB RAM and 1 core can accomplish, so perhaps it’s just a matter of resources.

Your help is appreciated.


I’m not a Drupal user but I’ve heard that it’s another memory hog.

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Aside: No, that’s not an affiliate link. I will never know (unless db comes back and posts) whether he even tried the link and I will never get anything for it. It’s simply a recommendation worth investigation.



Thank you, but I’m quite happy with my own host. We’re just trying to figure out the best configuration for my site. I’ve been with my host for over two years, and am quite happy with them. :slight_smile:

Even if you’re happy with them you may want to change if you want to avoid those peaks. Upgrading always help… or maybe further investigation is needed… which processes take so much RAM? When do they start? How many pages are served/user conected when that happens? Of course, if you could even know what those visitors where doing even better. Or maybe Drupal needs to be upgraded… or even downgraded (maybe your vesion is too high and take too many resources and with a previous version you could do as well)

Thank you, but again, we won’t be changing. None o fit is their fault; they are just trying to help me figure it out, and have gone completely above and beyond what is necessary.

All I am wondering is from your experience, does it sound like a server as mentioned in my OP should be able to handle a site like this?


If you have not done any changes (other than text) on your site, ie adding additional modules, creating new database queries and complex joins. then it has to be something with the configuration or hardware of your server. I would export your Drupal app, you database(s) and such and I would get the host to nuke my VPS and reinstall fresh. I’d then reinstall Drupal from scratch and then import your configuration. If it runs smooth after this, then it was a configuration problem. If it still hangs then there is more likely a hardware issues: bad RAM, Network Card, RAID controller, capacitors bursting on the motherboard… Then I’d ask to move to another server or switch hosts if they don’t want to play ball.

The problem that you face is that you don’t know if a bad cache, a tweek the host did with security packages, or a configuration they made from a security standpoint are causing your problems. So you need to cross off some of the variables. Before you reinstall Drupal you can ask your host to provide a list of changes; security fixes, kernel updates, cpu changes … this may help point to what change may be causing this.

Moving to a different package you will be going through the reinstall anyway, so you might as well try reinstalling in your existing VPS package; especially if it was working for you in the past.


My experience with Drupal is limited but I had my own share of solving weird high peaks in all type of computers… It takes long time and lots of things to look at and there’s no guarantee that you find the problem.

But sometimes, an upgrade of a software cuases extra work of the computer for various reasons… it was design for bigger, higher capacitites machines or this version does certain regular tasks or connects to internet regularly when the previous one didn’t… If there’s been an upgrade recently and the problems started recently after the upgrade, maybe it would be good to go back to the previous situation.

Yes, there are many modules installed. I am going to try to remove some unnecessary ones.

I think really all it is is the number of users, which seems to have gone up recently.

BTW it’s not a VPS, it’s a cloud-hosted server, but it has a full CPU and everything, so it has more resources than a VPS.

Do you or your host have any cpu logging or bandwidth logging enabled on your node? If it is the number of users then the CPU could be getting overloaded. The network connection might not be able to keep up, but this will normally just time people out not hang the machine. If RAM get used-up due to simultaneous connections and you don’t have adaquate swap room or the swap can’t keep up then this could hang the machine.

Removing some modules may reduce some strain on the CPU and will reduce RAM, so it may be a stop-gap solution before you have to upgrade.