Creating Effective Web Applications


More Cleaning

12 10 2007, Michiel van Vlaardingen on PicturePush

Lately PicturePush was becoming slower and slower  and loads of the server higher and higher without a clear cause: the amount of users did not rise significantly at the days it slowed down. However some apache processes were using an insane amount of memory (relative to the others) 

Yesterday I noticed something strange in the log files: an image that took ages to serve, created by a user named Zx54feyszlFc, but it was only a small jpeg of 100 times 100 pixels.  However, opening it myself it did not stop loading either.   I found out that it was 27MB in size. A quick look through our database showed there were hundreds of these files.  After restarting apache, within seconds, multiple of these files were requested again. Based on the naming of the files (...xvid1, etc), it were parts of movie downloads disguised as jpg files.

After removing all these strange files and the corresponding users, our server load dropped significantly and PicturePush is immediately much more responsive again.   From now on we will monitor this more closely and hope to prevent it in the future.

And to continue yesterday's cleanup, I've also changed the homepage of FlexLists to give it a more professional feel. 

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