This is why I like dreamhost

About a week ago I noticed a sudden spike in my Private Hosting memory consumption. And when I say a spike, I mean a spike

dreamhost ps

Literally within a day I was through the roof and I had absolutely no idea why. I had attributed my previous increase in consumption to a recent traffic increase but a jump like that was ridiculous.

I was fairly certain that this must be a malfunctioning script running somewhere but a quick ps -e didn’t give me any hints. So I turned to Dreamhost support. I fired a quick ticket and got my first reply within 2 days and unfortunately it wasn’t what I wished for.

Basically, the support told me that they cannot know what I am running on my site and thus cannot really help me. I should figure it out myself. Needless to say I was a bit disappointed.

Thanks for the reply Brian but I’m a bit dissapointed. Your reply was basically “we can’t help you. Figure it out yourself” which is a bit of a letdown compared to what I’m used from Dreamhost support.

The thing is, that in the Dreamhost PS information, you mention that 300Mb should be enough for a top 100 blog. I don’t even have a top 100k blog and I do not run any custom code. I run 3 wordpress blogs and 2 galleries and that’s it.

While I can imagine that some plugin is malfunctioning or possibly a site being hacked and running custom code, I’m not an expert on this stuff and without full access it get pretty impossible for me to figure it out.

I can understand that Dreamhost cannot be expected to troubleshoot everyone’s usage, but on the other hand for someone now really knowledgeable this sounds just wrong. From what my point of view, the “usage”, which I cannot verify in any way independently and does not have any visible basis, could just steadily keep increasing to 2000Mb and I couldn’t do anything about it other than just fork out money.

In any case, I’ll see if I can find anything myself

One more day passed and then I had a much better response. Another support person took over and gave me some tips to try as well as some possible command. ps auxe > serverlog

So I gave it a try and, lo and behold, now 4 misbehaving scripts were revealed. One was an instance of my very own complexlife plugin taking up 15% of the ram, while the other 3 where instances of the photodropper plugin, each taking a 10% . Altogether pretty much explained why my usage was so extreme.

So it was time to bring out my good friend -kill- and get me rid of some unruly processes.


Whoop-de-doop, my memory consumption is back to sane levels. This is why it pays to have some good support at your company. I’m happy once more :D


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