What causes downtime and what to do

Hi everyone,

As a fast learning VPS newbie i will like to ask everyone on their take on what are the “most” important things that usually cause server downtime? And also what are the steps a VPS server newbie need to take in the event that the server is down?


Downtime can be caused by any number of things…

From simple things like a site / server miss configuration right through to a catastrophic failure at the data center your server resides at.

The most common problems tend to be relating to hardware or connectivity failure however, normally, on a VPS these are out of your hands and there is little you can do about it.

If your server is down, and it is that crucial to you, make sure you have an alternative means of contacting customers - for example, a twitter they know to check for support / status updates. Or a blog / status page hosted elsewhere.

Two common causes of vps failure:

  • using the default apache httpd.conf which will use more memory than typically available under load, which then results in apache getting killed

  • using cheap oversold openvz based vps

First step on a web server being down might be to login via ssh to check what processes are running (or not) and then if necessary restart them

u said using default apache httpd.conf
i am using Cpanel so should i be worried about that?
Also i am using a VPS server with powerful specs and parent hardware.