Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #425: More errors
By Norma Dee (norm0908)

#1: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Sep 18, 2013

Getting lots of these lately:
ERROR: Unable to connect to database DBI:mysql:database=pbn;host=mysql.webpbn.com as pbn.
Anybody else?
#2: Kristen Vognild (Kristen) on Sep 18, 2013
Yep, I have. I usually see it as a sign that I should be doing something more productive. :)
#3: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Sep 18, 2013
Well..............there's that.
#4: Jan Wolter (jan) on Sep 18, 2013
I've seen that too, but haven't investigated it yet. It's rather a worrisome error, because it suggests that the web server sometimes isn't able to talk to the mysql server (two separate computers). That means either (1) transient failures in Dreamhost's internal network are occuring, or (2) the mysql server is crashing and rebooting periodically. Neither of these would be the fault of my software, probably. Either would be a problem I'd need to iron out with Dreamhost.
#5: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Sep 21, 2013
It seems to be down for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes at a time. Sounds like rebooting.
#6: Jan Wolter (jan) on Sep 25, 2013
I'm been corresponding with Dreamhost Tech Support.

They haven't a clue.

I thought it sounded like a reboot too, but the logs pretty clearly establish there have been no reboots. Though they only seem to half understand their own logs.
#7: Jan Wolter (jan) on Sep 29, 2013
Since the Dreamhost people were so clueless, I put some additional logic in so that when this occurs, I automatically run a bunch of tests and log the results.

It looks like there are periods of time when communication between the web server and the database server get about 600 times slower than usual. Nothing goes down, but things get slow enough that connection requests time out before they are completed.

No I'm hoping with more documentation of the problem, I can spur Dreamhost into action. This is entirely their issue. My software can't make pings get slow.
#8: Jan Wolter (jan) on Sep 30, 2013
Dreamhost is still clueless. They now seem to be willing to admit that it isn't my imagination, but they don't know what it is or how to fix it. They proposed moving the database server to a different machine, in the hopes that random changes will fix things.

What I'm going to try instead is migrating webpbn to a single server configuration instead of a two server configuration. I don't think at this time that the usage of webpbn is high enough to really need two servers. If I put mysql on the same computer as the webserver, I think I'll have plenty enough CPU and memory, and will eliminate all network delays between the two computers, so I may actually get better performance at a lower cost.

So I'm working on getting mysql set up on the other server. When I'm ready, I'll need to shut webpbn down for a while while I copy the data over and reconfigure things.
#9: Jan Wolter (jan) on Sep 30, 2013
So I've accomplished the reconfig. I'll give it some time to see if this performs better or worse.
#10: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Sep 30, 2013
I've lost several puzzles I was trying to make due to the error problems. If the trouble persists would it be possible to keep the puzzles being created separate until they are finished then move them into the main program? We used to do this in the accounting dept. where I worked.

Also, would it be possible to do a save while you are making a puzzle that doesn't involve leaving the page where you are creating your puzzle? And while I'm dreaming, maybe an auto save feature???
#11: Jan Wolter (jan) on Sep 30, 2013
The puzzle design environment does need a complete redesign.

I hope the new configuration will be more stable. It should be if I didn't mess anything up. But since I needed to do a fresh mysql install from scratch, and I haven't done one of those for about 15 years, the chances of a screw up are non-trivial.

It would be possible to do some kind of temporary storage of puzzles when mysql is down, but it would be complicated, and I'd rather fix mysql so it doesn't go down.
#12: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Sep 30, 2013
I thought my suggestion might be too much of a problem or that there would be a better solution, but hey...like they say, you don't know unless you ask. Thank you for responding.

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