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Memory leak

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Memory leak

Postby Sally » Tue May 06, 2014 8:06 pm

HI,
Our website seems to be losing memory causing the system to crash regularly. Our IT people say this is likely to occur even if we upgrade our present version of OJS (we use 2.2.2.0 which we haven't upgraded since we started using OJS in Nov 2008). We are told we can upgrade to a more recent version of php as well, but this is still not going to stop the memory leak/loss. They say there is something that only the original designers of the system would know how to fix. Have you any thoughts?
Thanks for any advice you can offer,
Sally
Sally
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Memory leak

Postby asmecher » Tue May 06, 2014 9:56 pm

Hi Sally,

I strongly recommend upgrading both OJS and PHP (depending on how old your PHP is). Avoiding this kind of maintenance will eventually put your system at risk.

Can you describe the symptoms of the memory leak more specifically?

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team
asmecher
 
Posts: 8832
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm

Re: Memory leak

Postby Sally » Tue May 06, 2014 11:46 pm

Hi Alec,

I have copied what we were told:
The server platform and operating system itself is stable. Your website is crashing because of over-consumption of memory by your web application.
The current OS (CentOS v5) and the LAMP (Apache webserver, MySQL database and PHP) platform is stable. It may be an older version (since your site has been running for several years now) but it is stable and reliable (when operated with sufficient resources and configured appropriately for the intended use). The same versions are being widely used for other sites without this kind of memory issues. So the problem most likely lies with the web application itself, or in how it is configured and used. This also means that even if you use the latest versions of PHP, you will most likely experience the same issue.
the site is crashing because of over-consumption of memory resources by your application. The over-consumption occurs because the web server software (Apache) was configured with a set of limits (to prevent memory over-consumption) based on the usage of the site and how your application behaved, _back in 2012_. Obviously things have changed since then and now those settings are no longer appropriate--the memory consumption has increased significantly and those limits can no longer prevent the site from crashing.
So, the key thing to getting your site operating reliably and efficiently is to focus on managing the memory consumption issue and tuning your site for the available resources. This means that you should look at reducing the memory consumption in the application.

We are preparing to go open access so expect a lot more traffic on the website. We will instruct our IT people to go ahead and upgrade PHP, and will have to get an external contractor to upgrade our OJS. But in any case, that does not seem to be a solution to the memory problem.
Can you advise furhter?

Thanks,
Sally
Sally
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Memory leak

Postby asmecher » Wed May 07, 2014 7:12 am

Hi Sally,

Technically speaking, that doesn't sound like a memory leak, which is a specific problem -- it sounds like either inefficient use of memory or a limit that's set too low. (I'd suggest -- ballpark -- that anything below 32M is probably too low.) In any case, your server environment sounds very typical -- with the major exception being your old version of OJS. Many things have changed since that version was released and those will mean a different memory profile. I think upgrading is a good first step, and if further debugging is necessary, that can follow.

Note that OJS 2.2.2 has two known security flaws: bugs #6689 and 6696.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team
asmecher
 
Posts: 8832
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm

Re: Memory leak

Postby Sally » Wed May 07, 2014 8:57 pm

Thanks for this information, Alec. I have copied it and forwarded it to Sheng Gene and explained the 'bugs' one of which we had a lot!

Can you further advise then about the future-should we be upgrading the OJS operating system regularly? If so, how often would you suggest? We also wondered if this upgrading is somehitng that can easily done (as in downloads) or requires technical expertise. Thanks.

Best,
Sally
Sally
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Memory leak

Postby asmecher » Thu May 08, 2014 8:18 am

Hi Sally,

Generally speaking it's a good idea not to fall more than a year or two behind the current "stable" release, and to keep an eye out for security announcements (which we will identify clearly on our recommended patches page for your release). Upgrading does require some general technical know-how, as it involves backing up your files and database, performing some file management on the server, and running an upgrade script.

Regards,
Alec Smecher
Public Knowledge Project Team
asmecher
 
Posts: 8832
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:56 pm


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