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Sudden problems with ASP pages

     
2:14 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi - very desperate linux/apache person here, hoping someone can help me with a weird windows problem - or at least point me in the right direction to figure it out!

There's a website that I "inherited" that's running on win2000/IIS 5 (dedicated server) - some pages on that site are dynamic pages - asp classic/vbscript.

The site has been humming along for ages. Nothing has been changed. Patches are up to date, no OBVIOUS signs of malicious activity (aside from the usual thwarted attempts).

Recently, processing of asp pages has slowed to a snail's pace - literally! At first I thought this was isolated to pages sending mail, but further testing has shown that is not the case.

Here are the symptoms I have been able to confirm:

1) Initial page loads seem to be OK, whether it is an asp or a static html page.
2) The problem occurs when an asp page calls another - either a different page or a post back to the same page. The process hangs and almost always times out.
3) If you try to load another asp page while this other process is hanging (new browser window), THAT page won't load until the previous process either completes or times out.
4) However, during this time static pages will continue to load with no noticeable problem - even very large ones.
5) A few asp pages appear to be unaffected. The only thing that might be "different" about these pages is that they are very simple - like a form with one field or option that does a database lookup and returns the appropriate data.

As an experiment, I tried doubling the IIS timeout from 90 seconds to 3 minutes - these pages are STILL timing out!

I'm pulling my hair out over this one! Anyone have any ideas where to look? Suggestions for the next steps to take in troubleshooting and fixing the problem?

[edited by: MamaDawg at 2:16 pm (utc) on April 27, 2009]

7:03 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is it an Access database?
7:19 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Nope MySQL.

Database isn't a common thread among the pages having issues - some of them write to the database but others just collect form info and mail it to the appropriate person.

7:38 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Can you access the site over a local network connection instead of from an outside connection.

If the site is normal when viewed locally then this can really help to narrow down the culprit.

Another thing to try, look over an ASP page that you know is giving you issues, then look at every call it makes to other ASP methods, DB conns and query executions and record the order of operations.... once you have it all mapped out try manually executing each piece of logic as a stand alone method and see if you can pinpoint where the "bottle-necks" are

9:57 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Demaestro...

I Tried one of the "problem" pages from the server itself - same slow response, definitely not normal!

Interestingly, I was able to load one of the "good" asp pages locally while the first process hanging, which may be significant (when I do this remotely every asp page will hang until the first times out).

The code is very straightforward, but I'll try to get more granular with the testing. I believe I have ruled out mail OR the database as a problem - it's happening both on pages with no mail-related code and on pages with no database code.

It MAY even be happening before the page code is being executed - the other day I think it timed out on a test page that should have returned a syntax error.. (need to retry that).

Weird that this would happen all of a sudden - everything's been running untouched and trouble-free for a VERY long time.

[edited by: MamaDawg at 10:06 pm (utc) on April 27, 2009]

12:43 am on Apr 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If it is possible to watch the processes along with their memory CPU usage on the server that may give something away as well.

Sounds like IIS may be the culprit but hard to say.

2:24 am on Apr 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

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can you bring up a DB monitor to see if any stored procs or sql calls are what's hanging it? This will give you a good starting point of where to look next. If procs are taking a while to execute, you probably have an index/key issue.

If not, check disk space/ram. Running low on either will definitely slow things down.