ColdFusion Muse

Sick Server Troubleshooting Part 2 - Things to Try

In step 1 we discussed gathering information. Without getting good information you are shooting in the dark. Make sure you take the time to know the system well enough to make educated guesses about what to try. That's our next step - trying stuff. I started out making a priority list... as in first try A, then B, but it soon became obvious that it wouldn't do to dictate the order in which you would attempt any of these changes.

In fact, some of these changes fall more under the auspices of "best practice" for configuration and you should probably do them regardless of whether they fix your problem or not. Still, if you are tracking a particular issue then you might need to try something, test, and wait for a result. So here are my “things to try” in no particular order. Your experience will have to help you figure out where to go first.

Things To Try

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Sick Server Troubleshooting Part 1 - Gathering Information

I get a lot of calls from folks with dedicated Coldfusion servers who have suddenly developed problems. Usually the server has suddenly stopped responding in a seemingly random fashion. Often the caller indicates that Jrun is "pegged" at 99 percent. If you search through this blog (and many others) you will find a great number of tips and hints on how to attack this problem. The next three posts summarize my own process and give you a quick resource to the posts regarding troubleshooting a sick server.

Keep in mind that there is no substitute for experience. If you are novice at this you will need to get comfortable with the idea that you will spend several hours (sometimes days) working through possibilities. If the server is mission critical and there is money at stake you should consider calling in the cavalry. A troubleshooter is also a unique animal - a "technologist" of sorts. The best troubleshooters have gathered a good deal of knowledge and experience in several areas (app server specifics, database, hardware, networking etc). The best one s are also a special breed that think in a certain way. They make lists, figure out test patterns, know when to make a leap and when to keep digging etc. So with that in mind, let's talk about how to start.

Step 1 is to gather information.

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