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my server loads fine for me.. but not for my coworker

stuck in the middle between my host and his ISP

     
3:44 am on Jun 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Aug 11, 2004
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Hi Everyone,

I hope this is the best board for this issue...

I have a dedicated server (redhat box running Apache)and for the past few months I have been working on various web projects. I'm in the US and my coworker is in India. All has been well in the past.

Starting 2 days ago, our server loads very slow for him. About 10 minutes to load a 50KB web page. It's only sites on my server that load slow. But what's confusing is that everything is fine for me.

My host asked my coworker in India to run a traceroute and ping and send him the results. He said everything looked fine. His ISP says it's not an issue with their service since all other sites load fine.

So I feel stuck in the middle.

Please, can somebody give me a check list of things to investigate. Has anybody heard of a problem like this? I'm not much of a server/network guy so I'm feeling very lost.

thanks,
devy

4:11 pm on June 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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joined:Mar 1, 2005
posts:374
votes: 0


It's only sites on my server that load slow.

Be careful with statements like that; unless you've proven this conclusively be testing, you're making an assumption. For instance, have you had your Indian co-worker try and download files/websites from other servers in the same datacenter as your hosting provider?

The first thing to check is that you have HostnameLookups [httpd.apache.org] off. If things have been working fine up until this point *and* noi changes have been made to your httpd.conf in the last couple of days, this is unlikely to be the cause, but it's best to be sure.

The next thing to do is try and pin down where the problem lies; is it in the application, the server hardware, or the network? Since the site loads fine for you, I'd bet against server hardware. To see if it's an application issue, upload a medium-sized file (about 1 megabyte or so) to your website and have your co-worker download it; be sure to monitor system metrics during this process (free memory, load average, disk I/O rate, etc). If that single file has a slower-than-expected download speed, I'd create a temporary FTP account for him/her and download the same file via FTP. If the transfer rate is comparable to the HTTP download speed (read: far too slow), it sounds like a network issue of some kind. Have your co-worker *upload* the same file to the FTP server; is that also slow, or does the upload rate about what you'd expect?

If the upload and download rates are the same (and far too slow), there's probably a network issue in the mix someplace. You should get a hold of the networking folks for both your co-worker and your hosting provider and ask them to look into it.

If the upload and download rates are drastically different (and assuming both your server and your co-worker are on network links which provide the same speed for upload/download; ethernet does this, but and cable generally do not), it's still most likely a network issue, but it may be possible to verify this one by tracerouting from your server to your co-worker's IP address. A networking tidbit which may not be that well-known is that the route a packet takes from client -> server may be different than the route taken by a packet returning back to the client from that same server; for details on this phenomenon, use your favorite search engine and search for "asymmetric routing".

Hope this helps.

 

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