Drupal Performance

Node creation and editing slow in Internet Explorer? Here is a solution ...

A client recently asked us for help with a very specific issue. The node edit page was hanging up, but only in Internet Explorer 10, and not in Firefox or Chrome. The client had WYSIWYG editor enabled.

This automatically pointed to a front end issue, not a server issue.

So, we investigated more, and found that the underlying issue is between Internet Explorer and JQuery with a large number of items to be parsed.

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High server load because of repeating queries too many times

One of the suboptimal techniques that developers often use, is a query that retrieves the entire content of a table, without any conditions or filters.

For example:

SELECT * FROM table_name ORDER BY column_name;

This is acceptable if there are not too many rows in the table, and there is only one call per page view to that function.

However, things start to get out of control when developers do not take into account the frequency of these calls.

Here is an example to illustrate the problem:

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Common Issues and Solutions for Dealing with Cloud Computing and VPS performance issues for Drupal

The bulk of Drupal hosting for clients that we deal with is on virtual servers, whether they are marketed as "cloud" or not. Many eventually have to move to dedicated servers because increased traffic or continually adding features that increase complexity and bloat.

But, there are often common issues that we see repeatedly that have solutions which can prolong the life of your current site's infrastructure.

We assume that your staff, or your hosting provider, have full access to the virtual servers, as well as the physical servers that run on them.

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Drupal 7.x and Pressflow pitfalls can reduce your site's performance

Over the past few years, we were called in to assist clients with poor performance of their site. Many of these were using Pressflow, because it is "faster" and "more scalable" than Drupal 6.x.

However, some of these clients hurt their site's performance by using Pressflow, rather than plain Drupal, often because they misconfigured or misused it in some way or another.

Setting cache to "external" without having a caching reverse proxy

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When boost slows down your Drupal site ...

The Boost module is often a great help with speeding up web sites of small to medium size and/or hosted on shared hosts.

It works by writing the entire cached page to a disk file, and serving it entirely from the web server, bypassing PHP and MySQL entirely.

This works well in most cases, but we have observed a few cases where boost itself becomes a bottleneck.

One example was when 2bits.com were called to investigate and solve a problem for a Fortune 500 company's Drupal web site.

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Abuse Drupal Best Practices at your own peril: Poor Performance

In the Drupal community, we always recommend using the Drupal API, and best practices for development, management and deployment. This is for many reasons, including modularity, security and maintainability.

But it is also for performance that you need to stick to these guidelines, refined for many years by so many in the community.

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Yet another Denial of Service (DoS) attack

We recently wrote on a botnet attack hammering web site causing outages.

In the past few days, we have seen another Denial of Service attack on a client's site.

The symptoms were a complete outage of the server, with very high CPU usage, and high load average (over 900 in some cases!).

Upon investigating, we found that this is caused by the following hits:

75.145.153.237 - - [22/Jul/2012:19:55:07 -0400] "POST / HTTP/1.1" 500 539 "-" "-"

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Botnet hammering web site causing outages

We had a site for a client that was stable for close to two years, then suddenly started to experience switches from the master to the geographically separate slave server as frequently as twice a week.

The site is an entertainment news site, and its articles get to Google News on occasions.

The symptoms was increased load on the server, a sudden influx of traffic causing over 800 simultaneous connections all in the ESTABLISHED state.

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