A Brilliant App Optimization/Monitoring Tool – New Relic!

Almost 24 hours ago, one of my friend referred to me an interesting offer from ‘tutplus’

http://dev.tutsplus.com/articles/get-a-free-year-of-tuts-premium-by-trying-new-relic–cms-12

It seems Tutplus either affiliated or owned a new App optimization tool named “New Relic”. My primary objective was of course to get the free Tut+ Premium for a year and the Nerd T-shirt, and whats hard in deploying a PHP App Monitoring tool in one of the server! So I started.

The deployment of the tools are fairly easy. I am not really in the Mobile App thing, so I had chosen the PHP Web App monitoring tool. The deployment is well instructed. Its a RPM based installer for RHEL based releases, pretty clean and simple. Once the installation was done, it added a shared object in my PHP interpreter and started grabbing data. Out of a surprise, I started seeing details that are really cool. Things like “Errors” and “Stack Trace” are the finest invention of this tool. The Stack trace gives you reports like “strace” which is my favorite tool of linux debugging facility. The basic advantage of this feature in New Relic is, it saves the data and post you as a token in the dashboard of new relic. Now, isn’t it brilliant? I sorted almost 23 major bugs in client’s account since I have installed the monitor. Database monitoring also includes some exceptional features that are not usually available in App Monitoring/Optimizations tools I had used before.

Unfortunately, the tool is free for 2 weeks. Since then, the “Pro” version comes with 150$ a month per host. The price is certainly high, but the result is truly amazing, looking at the features and performance of the tool.

At the end of all, I had my Tut+ premium for one year for free of charge and a nerd T-shirt on the way to my home 😀

If you haven’t tried it, you can try it now. If you are an android developer, you can add the code in your app, and monitor your App for 14 days for free, and get a Tut+ premium for free for a year.

Just for a record, I am not affiliated with neither Tut+ nor New Relic. The link should not contain any affiliate url.

Happy troubleshooting!

Form Spam

I have monitoring this thing for long. It is really becoming a headache now. It continuously consuming a lot of CPU and Mysql resources for no reason. Form Spam like wordpress comment spam, directory registration/submission spam, forum spam consumes around 33% of the total CPU usage of a day in one of Mellowhost’s old server according to my calculation a couple of minutes ago. This consumption is pretty huge and grows as the server grows.

For some reason due to the development of auto scripts installer like Softaculous and Fantastico, users tend to try each script and leave them unattended. This keeps leaving form exploits for the botnet attackers. A wordpress blog without akismet is potentially threatened to form spam attack. Most of the phpbb forums contains no protection at all on the initial installation. These let the auto bot spammers to post their links in unattended forums/blogs to gain backlinks from their perspective.

This is not eventually only harmful for the server in realtime but also threaten the reputation of the shared IP. I have been working to try to develop a protection server wide to stop these spammers, but every attempt seems inadequate.

In many cases, it is hard to control or check manually as resellers add users and the users add many addon domains. It grows almost everyday. It is advised for every user, not to keep unattended blog/forum/script. It is always better to add some “Captcha” in all sort of registration form. Nowadays, spammers have broken the Captchas as well. Some people have already started some solution called Random questions. But anyway, there should be something like verification in the registration and the comments shouldn’t be allowed without registration. You can also add the Akismet plugin which is available for almost all the blogs and forums. It drastically reduces the number of spam and acts pretty quickly.

Protecting form spam is not only good for the server, but also good for your sites reputation. If you are hosting an unattended blog script inside one of your main site, than it may receive a serious damage of reputation in SEO if the unattended blog is regularly spammed by malicious users. So, check now, if you have any unattended script inside a folder, you should probably double check and delete it if it is not essential or protect it from auto botnets.

Improving MySQL database performance!

Most of the shared hosting users use different content management system for their websites. There are different types of content management systems. These content management systems use mysql database most of the time. A CMS can have degraded performance when the user’s database gets fragmented. Mysql Database fragmentation appears when you make lots of changes on your database cause lots of writes and updates. Periodically, these changes cause memory fragmentation on the database, mostly MyISAM storage engine performs tremendous slow on a fragmented condition! This tutorial should have the advises for shared hosting users, how often they should defragment their databases and how!

Continue reading “Improving MySQL database performance!”