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Thread: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

  1. #1
    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    We have looked at all of our logs but they do not show any errors. Our Alpha App server memory just climbs up a little at a time all day until it stops responding at around 1100 mb and we have to restart it.

    This in turn kicks off any user that is on it. We have checked on the normal things like our physical servers, plenty of power there. We only have around 20 users at a time using it and that is spread over three servers.

    Any idea's

    I know this is an old problem that is all over the forum but this really needs to be solved.

    Thanks for your help.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    After a harrowing month of Alpha investigating the same kind of issue we've been having, below is finally what they sent me yesterday. So far, it looks like that dll file may have been the issue but today will be the true test. I'd like to know if you have that dll file too, just for my own curiosity.

    From Alpha:
    "After extensive investigation and testing, we may have found a source of a "leak". Look in the application server folder for a file named "A5ACLib.dll" If it has a date stamp of 11/3/2014, please delete it. There is a problem in that file that appears to prevent proper memory cleanup, which will appear as a leak. If the file is missing, you shouldn't see any issues.

    The change won't be applied until the server restarts. After a restart, please monitor the memory. If memory is more stable, you can then turn off the raw log as we won't need that information. "
    Carol King
    Developer of Custom Homebuilders' Solutions (CHS)
    http://www.CHSBuilderSoftware.com

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    "Certified" Alphaholic mikeallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Our file has a date of 9/14/2014. We're running on build 2446-4365...the last official update from October 1. Are you running on the same build? I ask because of the date discrepancy. This problem has been on going for years (hence the use of Alwaysup) so despite the date being in September I think we may delete (or move) this file anyways.

    ScreenShot_2014.12.12_001_.png
    Mike Brown - Contact Me
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    "Certified" Alphaholic kingcarol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Yes, I am running on a later build installed shortly after 11/3/2014. So it could just be that my build had a later date. Please post back results after you delete it. I'm still curious.
    Carol King
    Developer of Custom Homebuilders' Solutions (CHS)
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    I have that file in my Alpha directory. I was not experiencing any issues, although I have 32GB of ram on that server and far fewer users than many others. I renamed it in case it is a mistake to delete it for me. My physical memory usage was at 3.6GB. After I rebooted it dropped to 2.7GB I will keep an eye on it.
    Win 10 64 Development, Win 7 64 WAS 11-1, 2, Win 10 64 AA-1,2, MySql, dbForge Studio The Best MySQL GUI Tool IMHO. http://www.devart.com/dbforge/mysql/studio/

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    Former Alpha Employee JerryBrightbill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    This memory issue ONLY applies to pre-release builds after 11/3/2014 (after build 2509). The last release build 2446_4365 (released on 01 OCT 2014 09:15 AM) does not have this problem.

    If you are running the production release, (2446), you don't have to do anything.

    As stated in the pre-release, the pre-release builds should not be used in a production system. If you are using a pre-release build after this date in production to use a feature in the builds and fix a critical problem, please contact us using the bug reporting email and we can send a link to the older file.

  7. #7
    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Frank, it is not the physical server memory that is the problem. We are talking about the Alpha application server memory.

    After watching our servers for the last three days and running monitoring software on it, we find that it does not matter what component or action our users take, the memory slowly creeps up and at around the same time on all servers everyday they must be restarted. This continues to be a huge problem for my 70 clients because when we re-boot the App server it kicks all of them off.

    We have sent in the logs and have deactivated the component that was causing the long rendering time but the memory still creeps up. It looks like the app server software just does not release it ever and that is a big problem. Our app is just grids and UX’s with very little customized code. All of the customize code we do have was written by programmers sent to us by Alpha.

    We do not have that much traffic as it is and while watching the memory in the task manager you see it raise every time a user does anything. Now at times it may go down a few MB’s but overall it just keeps raising. The servers we have are very high end and have plenty of power all around and memory and never have any problems.

    We also drained the Load Balancer for one of the nodes when the memory reached about 800mb and let it set for 6 hours. The sessions were all gone but the memory never went down at all.

    Also we cut way down our session time out and that did not help at all. We also cut the keep-alive to 10 connections.

    If anyone has any ideas that would lead us in the right direction that would be great. Thanks.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Wow 70 users I can't come close to compare with that. I am not sure of the difference between physical server memory and Alpha application server memory. My machine has only alpha servers on it 1 - v11 and 1 - v12. 5 - users. I don't see any way to specify a limit for the application server so I assumed they can use as much physical ram as needed. I can keep the server up and running for weeks, actually for months before a recent run of updates and have never had any issues with memory. I have looked at the physical memory usage on my alpha server and it does not go above 4GB. I wish I could offer you some suggestions but it will be a while before I will have that many users if ever.
    Win 10 64 Development, Win 7 64 WAS 11-1, 2, Win 10 64 AA-1,2, MySql, dbForge Studio The Best MySQL GUI Tool IMHO. http://www.devart.com/dbforge/mysql/studio/

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    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Frank, not sure if you are looking at the right memory. See my screen shot.Ashampoo_Snap_2014.12.15_15h17m43s_006_.png
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Hi Reed,

    I have been in your situation many times, and even though everybody trying to help me suggested the problem was somewhere in my application, 95% of the time was an internal issue with the A5 webserver.
    Download the latest pre-release, re-test all your grids/ux and any report you have in your developer environment, if everything works fine, update your webserver with the same version of the pre-release and publish all your files.

    About the warning of not using the pre-release in production, just ignore it with caution. Fixes from Alpha Team are in a form of pre-release unless the issue may be a DLL or some other file they may send you so you can update your production, but basically we have no choice other than to use/test the pre-release if you have an issue you cannot properly identify.

    Again, take time to test the pre-release before updating your production server, and since pre-release can change daily, make sure you download the patch for both, your development and the production webserver.

    Good luck!!! I sincerely hope this will fix the memory leak issue, it is a very frustrating situation.
    Edhy Rijo
    Progytech
    (Computer Consultants)
    The makers of CardTracking.Net
    www.progytech.com

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    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Thanks Edhy but we have tried that many times with no luck.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Hi Reed,
    What version of the pre-release are you using? build 2529-4392 with no problem now. Also I use Always-Up to reset the AA web server daily at 4:00am.
    Also do you have any component with custom code that may be opening data connections and may not being closed properly?
    Last edited by Progytech; 12-15-2014 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Ask last question.
    Edhy Rijo
    Progytech
    (Computer Consultants)
    The makers of CardTracking.Net
    www.progytech.com

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    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Hi Edhy,

    It does not matter the build number for us. It happens no matter what. I also use Always-up but the problem is when it re-boots, it kicks out all my users and that is bad.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Hi Reed,
    Quote Originally Posted by reedallenbrown View Post
    It does not matter the build number for us. It happens no matter what.
    Believe me, it does matter, a lot actually!!!
    If you think it does not matter because you have tried several versions, then the issue is most likely in your application or your environment.

    When I first was surprised with memory leaks, I didn't know much about how AA works and tried basically everything, got help from several users in this forum, those were really dark days with my customer and their end users complaining all day long with these issues, I almost lost my faith on AA, but with the understanding of Jerry Brightbill and the Alpha Dev team, they were able to ping point the memory leaks with windows dump files I created and since them it has been pretty stable for me. Be aware that this may change per application due to the many features in AA which may not be used in all applications.

    Anyway, if you want to share your current version and willing to try with the current pre-release, you may at least remove that doubt, and then concentrate in your application design or environment.
    Edhy Rijo
    Progytech
    (Computer Consultants)
    The makers of CardTracking.Net
    www.progytech.com

  15. #15
    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    I have tried the last pre- release with the same problem. We just have grids and a few UX's, no big deal. Memory just climbs all day then we have to restart it.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    There has to be something, I would recommend you move your application to another server on a different host and see if the situation persists. Especially since this is just a few grids, and a few UX's. I would at least try it as something has got to be causing this issue for you, if it persists from there then it is either A5server or the grids and UX's.

    Now the grids and UX's cannot exists without the Alpha server so the next logical choice is to remove the grids and UX's
    Start with 2 halfs, test each half and figure out which half see an increase in memory growth usage.
    So in short it can only be a couple of things and after that the ball is in the court of the offender...

    I know you said the server cannot be at fault but the ONLY way to really test it is to move it to another host - fresh server install. send it to a friend.
    Unless you just give up on Alpha you cannot eliminate that - after that it's time to hunt down the grid or UX and it may be that there is a setting in one of the components that is causing the leak in the server...no fault of your application!

  17. #17
    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Thanks Charles but we have several servers and it happened on all of them. Way too many grids and UX's to tear each one apart.
    Last edited by reedallenbrown; 12-16-2014 at 01:04 AM.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    "Certified" Alphaholic CharlesParker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Well, all I am saying is you gotta start somewhere...or you'll get nowhere fast!

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Agreed.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

  20. #20
    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    This has been happening for years and I also use the AlwaysUp approach. In fact, I am concerned about going to the IIS version since it may prevent me from automatically restarting AA every night.

    I've been seeing improvement in a number of areas with the most recent releases. Numbers vary from application to application, but the web server used to have an initial memory usage around 63,000, and now it starts at 49,000, so the starting point is much improved.

    Also, the session folders are significantly better at cleaning themselves up. The only things that don't clean themselves out right away are the (some uri).jpg files. I use grids that show photos from directories outside the webroot, so these get created ( I think ) to show the photos. I've seen these files from 8:00 am still in the folders at 11:00 pm. They don't get released until the folder is deleted. So, one approach is when the app starts misbehaving to have the employees log out and log in to a different A5 instance. Logging out and logging back in to the same instance doesn't work (see below).

    In my app, it starts misbehaving at about 220,000 (others have said they can climb to 1,500,000 without trouble) so I have gone to 5 server instances, 4 for the 12 employees and 1 for our customers use, and that seems to work just fine.

    I did some testing a couple years ago, and at that time (no tests recently) to try to find a plan for dealing with this, and I watched as I did each task. I found that the memory would grow as each grid or dialog1 (that was before UX) was opened, and some simple grids would release the memory when they closed, but those with my custom code would not. (maybe it's me) The memory would climb by about 60,000, then level out and not climb any more. Closing the browser showed a small amount of reduction, but logging in again would cause it to start climbing again just like the first time.
    Pat Bremkamp
    MindKicks Consulting

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    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Thanks for the information Pat. Not sure what we are going to do. Next step is just to put on line more servers. That way it will take longer for them to re-boot.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Pat, when you say you have gone to 5 server instances, what does that mean? 5 separate Alpha web servers? Or 5 separate actual servers? We have such a big beefy server and are thinking of using virtual servers on it to spread the load. Anyone have any thoughts on best thing to do? My customers really complain about slowdown as more and more users get on.
    Carol King
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  23. #23
    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    I have 5 instances of the web server all running on one physical server.

    You can do this by assigning each instance to a different ip or to a different port. I use different ports. The default port is port 80. You can assign different port numbers, like 81 or 8080 or whatever is a legal port number. This photo shows them running being managed by AlwaysUp.
    Capture.PNG

    You can set the server port number on the Configure Server / General tab for the web server.

    The downside is any port other than 80 must have the port identified in the URL, such as MyDomain:8080/index.a5w. That's why I assign the different ports to employees where I can train them. Port 80 is reserved for customers so they don't need to specify the port.

    Pat
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    On a variation of Pat's suggestion, I have the login on port 443 for all employees but they are redistributed to other ports using a redirect page. So the eyesore of a port number in the url is still there, but you don't have to train them on it.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic mikeallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Carol & anyone else who is interested ....

    This is Alpha's instructions on how to set up multiple instances: https://www.alphasoftware.com/aareso...s-Services.pdf
    Mike Brown - Contact Me
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Mike, that IS interesting to me! Thanks. Do you know if a separate server license in required for each instance?
    Carol King
    Developer of Custom Homebuilders' Solutions (CHS)
    http://www.CHSBuilderSoftware.com

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    "Certified" Alphaholic mikeallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcarol View Post
    Mike, that IS interesting to me! Thanks. Do you know if a separate server license in required for each instance?
    Nope. You will need more IP addresses however.

    I work with Reed and he set us up. We went from 3 app servers (one per WAS) to 9 (3 per WAS).
    Mike Brown - Contact Me
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Hi Reed,

    I used to have that problem with the memory creep, but haven't had that on V12.

    Have you tried working with Zebrahost to host your app? I am don't think they are doing anything specific that they are aware of with regards to this problem, but ever since I went to V12 and windows 2012 servers the problem disappeared. Doesn't happen for one of my clients either. And we both have in total three large sprawling applications with a lot of grids and UX's so if it was specific to how some application component. was configured you would think we would have hit it.

  29. #29
    Member reedallenbrown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    Thanks Scott,

    We have had this problem for years and just a few days ago had to add 6 more IP's in order to spread the problem around somewhat. That seems to help in us having to restart the WAS during the day.
    Reed Brown
    ITOT Solutions, Inc.
    Alpha v12

  30. #30
    "Certified" Alphaholic kingcarol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Memory just keeps climbing up all day on the Alpha App server

    We have setup up multiple server instances now by following the steps in the link below. It is working well, in general, except that randomly 2 or 3 of our 6 server instances will just stop working. They show that they are running, but when accessing them via a web page, we get the message that the web page cannot be displayed. This happens mostly in first few hours of the early morning as users start getting on. They all work after our server reboot but out of the blue some will stop, and not the same ones. Once the problem web servers are manually stopped and restarted, they seem to stay up fine for the rest of the day.

    Does anyone have anything to contribute about why web servers would just stop being accessible?

    https://www.alphasoftware.com/aareso...s-Services.pdf
    Carol King
    Developer of Custom Homebuilders' Solutions (CHS)
    http://www.CHSBuilderSoftware.com

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