PHP dealing with high load spikes.
Posted on 2011-09-13
We have several servers each with arround 50 -80 sites on them. Each site runs an instace of our large ecommerce system.
The problem we are getting is dealing with load on the server, but this seems mainly to be becuase of backups.
The backups start very early in the morning arround 4am, but some days have been continueing running right up till 1 or 2pm. at random times during the backups, the load will spike and the application will not be able to run, but then there are other times when the load is really high and the app can sort of still run, but 1. its slow, and 2. its probably not helping as it may be helping it reach such high loads. Load can spike from 3.4 - 5 right up to 500!
Aside from any ideas of how to fix the issue with the load from the backups, does anyone have any ideas about how the application should handle this. E.g. Should we try to detect the load at the start of the php application, and get it to sleep for a bit till its better, or exit/redirect to a static error page?
I realize that dealing with it at all at the php app it self level seems like avoiding the problem, but i think we may always get spikes in the load anyway from maybe spikes in visitors at random times and so this would help with all cases.
Thanks is anyone has any ideas.