Vanilla 1 is no longer supported or maintained. If you need a copy, you can get it here.
HackerOne users: Testing against this community violates our program's Terms of Service and will result in your bounty being denied.

vanilla scales badly? Well established forum *really* slow

rockwaldorockwaldo New
edited April 2009 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I've mentioned this here before, but I'm battling along here with no luck.

My forum is here:

It's been going for a few years now and the discussions have built up quite a lot to be fair (the exact number escapes me at the mo). I have tried various ways of solving the chronic slowdown, namely:
  • Removing all extentions
  • using the optimise table addon to clear history table etc....
  • raising many many tickets with my host
  • Table mantainence, i.e repair and optimise directly with the tables
No joy at all. In fact my host suggest that the forum software just isn't scalable to that extent, and their servers are showing very low utilisation suggesting that it is not they that are the problem. I have no idea what else to try, do I need to move forum software? I don't really want to thats for sure.

I was then thinking of archiving a bunch of posts, but can't find a way of doing that either.

Any suggestions chaps?


  • edited March 2009
    I suppose the problem is with the database? Check the post from Mark about optimisation on the server:
  • Interesting reading! Thanks.

    However, I've followed the steps Mark used and if anything my forum is even slower! GAH!
  • Mark got the help of its provider to find the problem; they enabled the slow query logged and find some query with locking issue.
  • Viewing it as a guest, it loads pretty fast over here... even the thousands comments discussions...
  • Strange, I visited as a guest too and found a discussion already bookmarked???
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    Seems very fast to me. Are there particular pages that are slow?

    If you're finding that it is only slow at particular times, things to look at are:

    1. Are you on a shared hosting solution?
    2. Check your logs to see if you are getting hammered at that time.
    3. Check your logs to see what pages were being loaded when the slowdown occurred.

    I can imagine that a bunch of searches being run and/or search page results being browsed could be a source of slowness.

    I'm looking forward to Vanilla2/Garden to resolve a lot of these issues.
  • Cheers for the feedback chaps/Mark

    1. I am on a shared hosting solution yeah unfortunately. I already have a ded server for my work commitments but its Windows so not really the way forward. They do assure me that the server the forum is hosted on isn't getting hammered at all and is brand new and hardly meeting 50% usage at absolute peak. I've tried moving it to a local server with the same issues so I'm pretty sure we can discount that.
    2 and 3. I don't have access to the logs unfortunately so it makes it all the harder.

    The only thing I can think of is that there is something, maybe extention related, that makes it SO slow for registered users, as I too find it whippet fast when not logged in.

    We do have a few known chunky ones, i.e "who's online" but I have in the past tried disabling ALL extentions with no real improvements...

    Also as an odd side effect, there are definitely a few older threads that simply don't work and hang indefinitely when you try clicking on them from a search. Whether that suggests corruption somewhere I don't know. I've ran all manner of table optimisations and repairs with no errors.

    Roll on Vanilla2/Garden that's what I say, I can't wait. If there is a way of getting on the beta Mark so I can get it tested then please do let me know..:)
  • Good luck. I had to move three times before I found a host that could handle the traffic of my vanilla forum. And over time, I think due to "bad neighbor" on a shared sql server, I'd been getting crappy performance again recently, to the point where I settled on spending extra/month for a standalone sql instance.

    If you disabled all extensions, the only thing I can think of is maybe Emptying your IP_History database container: If you had "Who's Online" running before, it logged IPs to that container. Just Empty it (don't remove the entry completely, just empty it), then run another Repair/Optimize.

    Another thing is that while I have more threads and more posts/page than you do (I like to default to 80/100), you have discussions with *thousands* and *tens of thousands* of posts. I have no idea what happens at that level, as I've rarely had a discussion hit 500, much less 1000 or more. I'm wondering if say Sinking those discussions off the first page might get the first page to load faster? No idea, I'm not back-and-forth with SQL.

    You might have to settle on getting another/better host. I suggest researching places that will offer you your own segmented SQL container. If you shell out the extra cash for that, then you have the added benefit of having their tech support on your fishhook, and you can get them to do more work for you to look into the issue.

    Frex, I used to be on a provider... let's call them ReamHost. They were OK, at first (until I saw the IT sausage being made, and how they abused their storage servers, but that's another topic). Over time, my DB performance became really crappy... and they could not provide any stats or real support to help, just "some guy ran some script and it says that your server is OK. so you must not actually be having a problem, then". Shortly after, I changed providers. And MOST recently, I decided to fork out the extra $20/mo for my own mySQL container: Now i have access to the kind of stats that Mark was talking about, above. And even though I might not understand everything being related in the logs, my provider dows, and since I'm paying extra for the service, they're FAR more willing to help me troubleshoot my own environment than when I was back on the "Everyman Plan".

    So upgrading (either at your own provider, or moving to another provider) might be the ticket.

    Good luck!

  • Ok, a bit more analysis.

    - Removing extentions made no difference.
    - Tracing a front page request we see that there is a delay of between 20-50 SECONDS before any page headers or page information is passed. I can only assume that this is database queries or somesuch.
    - SQL server is apparently still running just fine with no hammering whatsoever
  • Your pages are compressed. How do you compress them? I remember some issue when compressing the page with php. The document size were wrong and caused the page to hang on some few second. That would explain why the sql server seems fine but the page take some much time to load. Removing the compression or not setting length header fixed it.
  • mattmatt ✭✭
    edited April 2009
    I'm a user of rockys forum - wayoftherodent

    The pages are compressed as part of the iphone theme we have installed on wotr. This sped up page loads when it was originally added, almost a year ago now.

    $compressed = ob_start("ob_gzhandler"); //enable gzip
    One sure fire way of getting the forum to hang was to find an old thread with many, many pages and try to view a page near the start of that thread. The SQL involved would always bring the forum to a grinding halt.

    After the reindexing this is no longer an issue.
Sign In or Register to comment.