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Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

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  • Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

    I have a web app with two servers, each with 4 instances of Classic Alpha Anywhere. The app is in use 24 hours a day with worldwide customers.

    Right now, I use AlwaysUp to restart all instances on Friday night, 6:30 PM EST. We notify all our users of this standing policy so this is an expected maintenance period that I often use for other things as well.

    I think in the past it's been recommended that instances be restarted once a day but that would just kick off too many uses throughout the week - I can't do that.

    We've generally been getting by with the once-a-week maintenance. But now our user base has grown enough and the instances are used heavily enough that I believe the instances need restarting more than once a week. Memory usage on all of them is climbing past 1500 MB. This is a good indication that problems are about to develop, and sure enough I start to get a few complaints for the day or so before the maintenance period.

    So, I have a couple options:

    1) Simply schedule a 2nd maintenance period during the week, or
    2) Set AlwaysUp to restart instances when memory passes a certain point.

    #2 would be best, but I'm still not satisfied. I'd like to find some way to allow or cause an automatic restart, but only if there are no active sessions on the instance.

    And that's the kicker - I don't know if this can be managed.

    So, I'm looking for a graceful way to automate instance restarts, without randomly kicking off logged-in users.

    Any thoughts on how to manage this?
    -Steve
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

    I think the safest thing to do is declare a maintenance schedule to all users: At 12am a restart will occur lasting 7 minutes (or less). I think if becomes a known timeframe users will accept it without concern. If the need is only once a day set a preferred time, and notify your user base.
    NWCOPRO: Nuisance Wildlife Control Software My Application: http://www.nwcopro.com "Without forgetting, we would have no memory at all...now what was I saying?"

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    • #3
      Re: Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

      Alpha has had a long standing memory usage/leak problem (my opinion only). As evidence of this many of us use AlwaysUp to manage this issue.

      Not sure what version you're running but in today's pre-release notes Alpha mentions (in the bugs section) about another memory leak that was fixed. Not sure if this is your issue or not.

      Ashampoo_Snap_Friday, January 31, 2020_12h39m26s_001_.png
      Mike Brown - Contact Me
      Programmatic Technologies, LLC
      Programmatic-Technologies.com
      Independent Developer & Consultant

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      • #4
        Re: Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

        Steve, with the Classic Application Server there is no way for you to restart only when there are no active sessions.

        This another case where the Application Server for IIS excels and will solve issues for you. IIS Application Pools have a number of conditions you can use to trigger a restart, restarts are automatically overlapping so there is no interruption in service, and session state is maintained through the restart so there is no need at all to wait until there are no active sessions. I know you have a lot on your plate like most developers do, but this is one of several concerns that it would take off of that full plate for you.

        -Lenny

        Lenny Forziati
        Vice President, Internet Products and Technical Services
        Alpha Software Corporation

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        • #5
          Re: Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

          If you are (mostly) getting by with once a week, then going to 7 times a week is way overkill. One more maintenance period on Tuesday should be enough. How do you allocate users to server instances? Some kind of load balancer? If you can assign your users by time zone, then your maintenance could be midnightish by hemisphere. Or if server 1 would have a Tuesday maintenance and server 2 a wednesday maintenance, users could connect to the other server on that day if they can choose.

          Quickest and easiest solution, if you are going to throw money at the problem, would be to convert one of the 4 server licenses to an 8 server license and add instances.
          Pat Bremkamp
          MindKicks Consulting

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          • #6
            Re: Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

            Steve, take a look at the Monitor tab of Always up. You can try the using the following options:

            1. Every Day at XXX time (but stagger each of your 8 instances by, say 15 minutes)
            2. But only if the following conditions are met:
            a. It has been idle for at least XX minutes (we used to use 10 minutes)
            b. Keep trying for 60 minutes

            This worked well for us, even during our busy period spikes. However, we were primarily US based so could stagger this from midnight west coast time on.

            I know you're more global so it may not work as well for you but I'd start here and see if it helps.

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            • #7
              Re: Automatic instance restart, but with no current sessions

              Thanks for the good discussion. I think we'll try Jay's approach first.
              -Steve
              sigpic

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