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IIS7 Web Administrator Advices: Server Timeout and maximum connections

Posted on 2014-02-06
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Last Modified: 2014-02-28
Every afternoon around noon to 3 we are getting errors on our website when we are doing crud operations on the database.

When we are creating or updating, the error is:
Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

Another recent error that we hadn't ever seen is this:
Transaction (Process ID 61) was deadlocked on lock | communication buffer resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction.

We recently got about half a million more users to the web application and I suspect it is because many are using it after lunch.

I checked the database maximum connections:
Select @@MAX_CONNECTIONS
And it is: 32767 which seems ample.

I have nothing in the web.configuration file regarding the maximum users.

I did read that you can add something like this to the web.config:
    <system.web>
        <applicationPool maxConcurrentRequestsPerCPU="100" maxConcurrentThreadsPerCPU="0" requestQueueLimit="5000"/>
    </system.web>

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Also, if I look at the task Manager on the server it shows right now (no problems now):
Physical Memory (MB)
total: 15867
cached: 997
Available: 6759
free: 5777

Kernal Memory (MB)
Paged 188
Nonpaged 34

System:
handles 16093
threads 733
processes 54
up time: 1:23:31:31
commit (gb) 9/30

We are hosted on Rackspace using sql server 2008 and windows web server 2008 R2 Enterprise.
Service Pack 1.

system: Quad-core AMC Opteron(tm) Processor 2374 HE 2.49 Ghz (4 processors)
installed memory RAM: 15.5 GB
system type: 64-bit os

What advice do you have? Should I put something in my web.config for maximum concurrent connections? And if so, what?
What is the default maximum users and would not having enough cause this problem on saving in the dbf? How can I find out the maximum users on the web application?

Is this even a web.config issue or is it a database issue?

Thanks!
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Question by:BobCSD
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Expert Comment

by:Marten Rune
ID: 39860992
You seem to have a system thats being loaded, so it needs to be configured correctly.

1. Disks, do you have dedicated disks for
  a. Logfiles
  b. TempDB
  c. Datafiles
2. TempDB, is it one file, or do you have multiple, i e 8 or so
3. Deadlocks occur, do you handle them correctly,
    See: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Development/MS-SQL-Server/SQL_Server_2008/Q_28362500.html#a39853064
4. As in the post on 3., you need to examine your deadlocks. Whats causing them, do I need a index, is there a better way to accomplish the dataoperations than currently being used. What does the execution plans look like for the deadlocked processes. Enable traceflag 1204 and 1222. and start to examine whats going on.

Before this check the errorlogs on the sql (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/966659) and check windows application/system logs

Regards Marten
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Author Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39865597
1. Disks: How do I find out this information on whether I have dedicated disks?
2. TempDB: how do I find out?
3 & 4. Deadlocks: we haven't received a deadlock error except for the one on the day that I wrote this. So that is not a concern. I am more concerned now about the fact that we are losing our connection to the database.
Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

I have checked database error logs and windows/system logs and none of them coincide with any errors or warnings during the time period that these loss of connections are occurring.
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Expert Comment

by:Marten Rune
ID: 39865665
in a SSMS Query window type:
sp_helpdb YourDBName
look att the physical location of the files for .LDF = logfiles, and .MDF/.NDF for data.
sp_helpdb TempDB
check how many files, and how big they are, and if they are on a dedicated disk.

Sounds like it's time to look at the IIS servers logs, and application log for that machine (it's  not the same I hope).

Regards Marten
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Author Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39865832
The first return is:
Status=ONLINE, Updateability=READ_WRITE, UserAccess=MULTI_USER, Recovery=SIMPLE, Version=661, Collation=SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS, SQLSortOrder=52, IsAutoCreateStatistics, IsAutoUpdateStatistics, IsFullTextEnabled

The second is:
filegroup: primary
size: 2360320 KB
maxsize: unlimited
growth 1024 KB
usage:
data only

The third is:
dbfname_log.ldf
filegroup:
NULL
size:
388544 KB
max size:
2147483648 KB
growth:
10%
usage:
log only

The .mdf and .ldf are on the C drive.


The TempDBF:
on C Drive:
tempdb.mdf
templog.ldf

tempdb.mdf:
primary
160384 KB
unlimited max size
10% growth
data only

templog.ldf
filegroup: NULL
768 KB
maxsize: unlimited
10% growth
log only

All are on C drive.
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39865861
Also, I checked the IIS logs for this website and here are the most recent entries. This same IP has been hitting our site since the log began around 2:00 am. Notice it also shows a time of 20:00:00 and it is only 3:00 now, (14:00:00) so I don't know how they are showing 8:00 PM already.

Also, they trying to hit php files and cgi which don't exist on our server. This is a spammer? hacker? But it wouldn't cause the dbf to lose connection, right?

2014-02-17 07:09:31 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /helpdesk/index.php - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 9
2014-02-17 07:09:31 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /cgi-bin/index.php - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 2
2014-02-17 07:09:31 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /scripts/index.php - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 2
2014-02-17 07:09:31 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /index.php - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 2
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /login_form.php - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 4
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /Copyscape/ - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 4
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /store/ - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 4
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET / - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 403 14 0 3
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /cgi-bin/ - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 3
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /scripts/ - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 4
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET / - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 403 14 0 4
2014-02-17 07:09:32 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /drupal/CHANGELOG.txt - 8080 - xx.xxx.xxx.132 Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+MSIE+9.0;+Windows+NT+6.1;+Trident/5.0) 404 0 2 3
#Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5
#Version: 1.0
#Date: 2014-02-17 13:10:57
#Fields: date time s-ip cs-method cs-uri-stem cs-uri-query s-port cs-username c-ip cs(User-Agent) sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status time-taken
2014-02-17 13:10:57 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET / - 8080 - 222.186.25.44 Mozilla/4.0+(compatible;+MSIE+4.01;+Windows+98) 403 14 64 630
#Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5
#Version: 1.0
#Date: 2014-02-17 20:47:23
#Fields: date time s-ip cs-method cs-uri-stem cs-uri-query s-port cs-username c-ip cs(User-Agent) sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status time-taken
2014-02-17 20:47:23 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /manager/html - 8080 - xxx.xxx.224.219 Mozilla/3.0+(compatible;+Indy+Library) 404 0 2 729
2014-02-17 20:55:58 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /script - 8080 - xx.xxx.122.93 curl/7.15.5+(i386-redhat-linux-gnu)+libcurl/7.15.5+OpenSSL/0.9.8b+zlib/1.2.3+libidn/0.6.5 404 0 2 48
2014-02-17 20:55:58 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /jenkins/script - 8080 - xx.xxx.122.93 curl/7.15.5+(i386-redhat-linux-gnu)+libcurl/7.15.5+OpenSSL/0.9.8b+zlib/1.2.3+libidn/0.6.5 404 0 2 46
2014-02-17 20:55:58 yyy.yyy.yy.174 GET /hudson/script - 8080 - xx.xxx.122.93 curl/7.15.5+(i386-redhat-linux-gnu)+libcurl/7.15.5+OpenSSL/0.9.8b+zlib/1.2.3+libidn/0.6.5 404 0 2 56 

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Marten Rune earned 500 total points
ID: 39865945
Well you really shouldn't have the SQL utilizing the one C drive.
This means that your Os, your Pagefile, Your TempDB files, your Database datafiles and most important you database log files (those requires the fastest disk of all) all fight for disk I/O Resources. You really ought to at least put in 2 more drives, one for data+tempdb and one for logfiles. Or better yet Three drives.

What about memory, have you looked at this, and yes the perform volume maintenance task rights in the secpol.msc, has it been granted to the account running the SQL?

You seem to have the Classic next next next installation. It's not optimized at all, and I wouldn't be suprised if it runs as the system account (wich means, if the SQL gets compromised, the intruder owns the server).

But this doesn't seem to be your primary problem. What does netstat -ls give? How does connectivity look?

Regards Marten
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Author Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39865986
real quick. I put  my memory in the very first message.

I'll look at the rest of your message now.
thanks!
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Author Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39865988
>>Well you really shouldn't have the SQL utilizing the one C drive.

Does the fact that this is a cloud server hosted at Rackspace change anything here? it's not really a C drive? I dunno.
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39865996
I'm I'm to run:
netstat -ls

from the cmd, it provides a list of valid commands, -ls not being one of them.

??
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Author Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39870689
any response? netstat -ls isn't a valid command?
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Expert Comment

by:Marten Rune
ID: 39870785
Sorry use:
netstat -an
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by:Marten Rune
ID: 39870790
is there any SYN_SENT or FIN_WAIT or WAIT_CLOSE?
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39870937
there are:
LISTENING
ESTABLISHED
TIME_WAIT
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by:Marten Rune
ID: 39870967
Thats normal
I was looking for SYN_SENT and/or FIN2_WAIT

What does the IIS logs say???
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39871066
This is in the log file that is found here for today's date and these errors have occurred intermittently several times this morning:

C:\inetpub\logs\LogFiles\W3SVC8080
#Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5
#Version: 1.0
#Date: 2014-02-19 03:39:37
#Fields: date time s-ip cs-method cs-uri-stem cs-uri-query s-port cs-username c-ip cs(User-Agent) sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status time-taken
2014-02-19 03:39:37 yyy.yyy.76.174 GET /manager/html - 8080 - xx.xxx.12.206 - 404 0 2 563
#Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5
#Version: 1.0
#Date: 2014-02-19 06:54:18
#Fields: date time s-ip cs-method cs-uri-stem cs-uri-query s-port cs-username c-ip cs(User-Agent) sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status time-taken
2014-02-19 06:54:18 yyy.yyy.76.174 GET / - 8080 - xxx.xxx.158.174 - 403 14 0 600
#Software: Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.5
#Version: 1.0
#Date: 2014-02-19 08:59:44
#Fields: date time s-ip cs-method cs-uri-stem cs-uri-query s-port cs-username c-ip cs(User-Agent) sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status time-taken
2014-02-19 08:59:44 yyy.yyy.76.174 GET /manager/html - 8080 - xxx.xxx.15.128 Mozilla/3.0+(compatible;+Indy+Library) 404 0 2 597 

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Expert Comment

by:Marten Rune
ID: 39872585
You have a error 403 there, it's interputed as "forbidden" se:
http://247pearsoned.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/647/~/http-401,-403,-or-404-error

You can turn on a more extensive logging in IIS. Id go along on that path.

Regards Marten
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Author Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39874120
How do I turn on more extensive logging?

Plus, also, I don't see how getting a 403 error in my logs is indicative of the entire database server shutting down and losing connection?

The original report is:
>>we are getting errors on our website when we are doing crud operations on the database. When we are creating or updating, the error is:
Timeout expired. The timeout period elapsed prior to completion of the operation or the server is not responding.

Perhaps you're at a loss how to proceed with this and I don't blame you if you want to bow out. It's been a nightmare for us as well. :(

thanks!
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by:Marten Rune
ID: 39874336
I'm not bowing out yet. I might but not yet.

Lets aproach this logically.
I'm gonna present a plausible theory, and then some questions.

I could imagine two scenarios. One the SQL cannot do the CRUD operations, i e it's failing. This is extremely rare. Now examine the errorlog file on the sql (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/966659). You state NO corresponding events. Well the errorlog WILL show if SQL reboots. If you cut of the Power, then on the next startup the errorlog will have entrys about starting, right. Now look to see if there are corresponding crashes or not.

a). If there are, then we'll need to figure out why and fix this
b). If not (this is my guess), then SQL is doing it's job, but the IIS has a timeout that it reports as a faulty SQL.

Case b
Question: Can you force the crud crash, if so we need to run a profiler on the SQL server, and see what/and how the IIS is doing it's CRUD operations.

So to recap:
determine if SQL is crashing, do this by examining all your errorlg files (theree should be 5 of them (default that is)).
Come back with the answer to that, now if it's b we need to know if you can force the crash, if this is the case, then we'll run a trace and make it crash. examine the trace and see what was happening.

Come back with answers to these questions!

Regards Marten
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39875412
If I look at the logs by going to MS SQL Server Management Studio, Sql Server Agent, Error Logs....

The last error was 2/19 at 9:25 AM and 9:28 AM.

The only dates showing in the Current log are 2/17/2014. There are absolutely no log entries after that. It appears logging isn't even on anymore. I asked the guy I work with if he turned them off and he said he didn't touch them. Shouldn't there be some logging every day?

How do I turn logging back on?
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by:Marten Rune
ID: 39875463
Quote: "If I look at the logs by going to MS SQL Server Management Studio, Sql Server Agent, Error Log"
No no no, thats the errorlog for the SQL Agent!!!

In SQL Server Management Studio (I'll refer this as SSMS in any further post), choose Management/SQL Server Logs, here you'll find them. Now examine as explained in my previous post, and come back with either errors, or no errors for the times when IIS reports that SQL crashed.

Regards Marten
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39878450
I used the feature to export the log to a file and took out the times from 4:30 to 4:39 PM. During  those times there were 45 people who received error message that the TimeOut Expired because the server was not responding.

Here are the logs for that time. I searched for the word "reboot" or anything unusual and there seems to be nothing.

02/21/2014 16:40:00,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:39:11,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 93.186.122.216]
02/21/2014 16:39:11,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:37:56,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 178.33.85.120]
02/21/2014 16:37:56,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:36:05,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 93.186.122.216]
02/21/2014 16:36:05,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:35:52,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 178.33.85.120]
02/21/2014 16:35:52,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:33:48,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 178.33.85.120]
02/21/2014 16:33:48,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:32:15,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 93.186.122.216]
02/21/2014 16:32:15,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:31:44,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 178.33.85.120]
02/21/2014 16:31:44,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.
02/21/2014 16:31:12,Backup,Unknown,Database backed up. Database: XXX2012B<c/> creation date(time): 2012/09/14(02:27:03)<c/> pages dumped: 298657<c/> first LSN: 23646:157:29<c/> last LSN: 23646:195:1<c/> number of dump devices: 1<c/> device information: (FILE=1<c/> TYPE=DISK: {'C:\DBFBackups\XXX2012B_Hourly.bak'}). This is an informational message only. No user action is required.
02/21/2014 16:29:40,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 178.33.85.120]
02/21/2014 16:29:40,Logon,Unknown,Error: 18456<c/> Severity: 14<c/> State: 8.

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I do notice at this point, that the errors began right after I did my half hour backup of the database. However, I have seen the errors happen 20 minutes later, so I didn't think that had anything to do with my backup.

thanks.
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39878464
>>Question: Can you force the crud crash, if so we need to run a profiler on the SQL server, and see what/and how the IIS is doing it's CRUD operations.

Sorry, no. I can't find a way to force it. It happens when running a sql ad hoc update or when running a stored procedure insert or update. But only during the time that the problem is occurring. I can run it til I'm blue in the face afterwards and it still doesn't error and runs successfully. It does not happen when running a select query.
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Expert Comment

by:Marten Rune
ID: 39878862
What Machines are:  178.33.85.120
and 93.186.122.216?
Are any of these the IIS server, or the SQL Server?

If so, the logon error states that a faulty password is being used. Correct this.

Basically your errorlog should have startupinformation, and then info about backups, and DBCC checkdb integritychecks. Everything else should be investigated and understood.
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39880890
>>02/21/2014 16:36:05,Logon,Unknown,Login failed for user 'sa'. Reason: Password did not match that for the login provided. [CLIENT: 93.186.122.216]

All of these login attempts are hackers, typically from china, trying to log in with the default 'sa' account. They of course fail.

I only showed you that time frame in the error log to show everything that occurred in the log during the time period when the database was generating Timeout Expired messages to show that nothing special was logged.


In regard to the hackers, they hit the system all the time, even when there are no errors generated. We already tried the theory that they might be hitting so much that it would cause a denial of service, but the site is up when they are hitting as well, and Rackspace says they're not an issue.

Rackspace has also checked their logs and say nothing is causing it on their end. We're just at a loss because the database is constantly timing out intermittently throughout the day and Rackspace says it's not them, but we can't find what else it could be!
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Expert Comment

by:Marten Rune
ID: 39881080
I'm on vacation now.
but I Believe the problem is on the iis side, or on the database, i re missing indexes, bad execution plans or...

now To rule out the SQL id propose a scheduled task job Evert minute that Does a insert in a table, where a column has the default value getdate().
arter the next crash, examinethis table To ser If any anomalities is in there during crash time.

otherwise time for,perfmon on both IIS server and SQL server. When crashed examine perfmon logs.

on vacation but Will take a look Evert now and then.

regards Marten
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39892672
I don't know how to use perfmon but I'll research it. And I don't understand checking for anomalies in the table, since it will  either insert or fail right? I mean if the table only has a column with a date, what kind of anomalies might I find?
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by:Marten Rune
ID: 39892692
Youll either ser a gap or not. It'll Tell you Weather the SQL is responding or not.
you (we) need To figure out If it's the IIS or the SQL thats malfunctioning
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39893265
We finally narrowed it down today.

I had created an activity page, that runs on an endless loop with a progress handler and it runs simple update queries, I guess much like your idea of using the scheduled task job. And it has an error handler that sends me all the data via email when it fails.

Meanwhile, that was running and it failed so I was able to immediately try to find out who was doing what. Short story long...

Okay, shortening it...

Our major client that we added with over a million new records was running two reports at the same time on their entire company and employees and their training. It caused errors on update queries timing out every few minutes.

So I copied the database to a development database. Loaded up the development website and ran those two reports and my activity page while watching the task manager performance on the server.

The CPU usage was up at 100% most of the time and each time it hit 100% it would knock out my activity tracker and time out my update query. Meanwhile the report query continued to run...

I continued to reload the activity tracker and it would go a bit and then timeout again. I was able to reproduce the problem.

I pressed the button for the "Resource Monitor" on the Task Manager and it showed w3wp at around 500,000 (b/sec) total and sqlserver.exe not far behind.

I asked the guy who is in charge of setting up the server with Rackspace if we could increase CPU and he said it was at its max and we need to load balance now. So I guess the first thing he will do is separate the website from the database (they are on the same server). I've never worked for a company that has them on the same server before.

But now I'm concerned about the reporting that if we get more reports all being run at the same time, even with load balancing, what will happen. But that is likely yet another question for another post.

thanks for all your help! I'm going to close this out.
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Author Closing Comment

by:BobCSD
ID: 39893284
thanks for all your responses. this is likely the closest.
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by:BobCSD
ID: 39893291
BTW, you had said that all of sql shouldn't be sharing the same disks, we should have separate drives for each thing. Based on my last post on what is happening, would having separate disks solve this problem, or do we need to go to the load balancing, separating the database from the web server route? If we do separate the web server and database, do we still need separate disks? I don't know if that is even possible with a Cloud.
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This is Part 3 in a 3-part series on Experts Exchange to discuss error handling in VBA code written for Excel. Part 1 of this series discussed basic error handling code using VBA. http://www.experts-exchange.com/videos/1478/Excel-Error-Handlin…
You have products, that come in variants and want to set different prices for them? Watch this micro tutorial that describes how to configure prices for Magento super attributes. Assigning simple products to configurable: We assigned simple products…

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