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Thread: Zimbra Open Source on a Virtuozo VPS

  1. #1
    pst
    pst is offline Junior Member
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    Default Zimbra Open Source on a Virtuozo VPS

    Hi,

    my host installed some Virtuozo update last night. Now the Zimbra server does not start anymore.

    The error was java complaining about not beeing able to start the vm because of too less heap space.

    The vm does have about 400mb of RAM, and I know that this is not supported... but it worked for months now. And the system does only handle 3 Users, so performance was fine all the time.

    My host told me, that the update fixed a bug which allowed a vps to take all the servers memory and that is why now my zimbra does not have enough anymore.

    Investigating the issue further, i noticed that even the debian jdk package after installing is not able to start the vm. Is there any known issues with java and the virtuozo update? I guess I am not the only one running a zimbra on a virtuozo vps.

  2. #2
    dspillett is offline Loyal Member
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    If it is purely a general Java issue then here might not be the right place to ask, but I might have an idea of what is causing the problem.

    I have little experience with Viruozzo, I use a mix of VMWare and UserModeLinux for virtualisation, but I think that Virtuozzo is one of the VMMs that supports burstable memory. This can be a pain for some memory hungry tasks as they often see your burst limit and not the current memory limit. If for instance your VM has 400Mb guaranteed RAM and is allowed to burst to 800MB if no other VM on the host is using the free RAM, components like the JRE and mysql may see the 800Mb and try to use a fair chunk of it. If they try use more than 400Mb in total when there isn't any free floating memory on the host this will generate an error.

    If this is what is happening, then there are three possible solutions:
    1. edit the config of the various components to try force them to use less memory even though they see more - if your VM can sometime allocate more and the kernel thinks it needs it then the extra will most likely get used as cache/buffers so I don't think that you'll not be wasting a resource
    2. ask your host to set your guaranteed and burst RAM limits to the same value (it could be that you previously didn't have the burst facility, and the host has given it to you as they have upgraded their product range - if that is so then they may turn it off again if you tell them it is causing you trouble)
    3. find a host that does not use RAM bursting (IMO it isn't a great idea anyway, unless you control both the host and all the virtual machines on it...)


    In any case, it is worth asking your host what changes they made in the recent update, even if all they tell you is "we upgraded from version X to X.1" as that will give more clues as to what has changed that might upset Zimbra's components (and therefore more idea of how to address the issue).
    Last edited by dspillett; 10-02-2007 at 02:03 PM.

  3. #3
    pst
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    Thank you for your reply.

    By investigating the issue further yesterday we came to the conclusion the problem you describe, is the one we have. After telling the host the jvm problem they fixed it by giving us more RAM... that was what the support ticket said. I don't know how that might have worked or if it propably only was burstable RAM. In fact top never shoes more then the 400mb. Neither does free.

    Our problem was simply that even just calling java sometimes did not bring up the usage info but an not enough heap space error. Which of course made using zimbra a little difficult.

    All in all I am not to happy with the whole VPS thing. It's a high price you pay for the little less money...

    EDIT: Typos

  4. #4
    dspillett is offline Loyal Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pst View Post
    All in all I am not to happy with the whole VPS thing. It's a high price you pay for the little less money...
    How much do you pay for a 400Mb VM, and what sort of disc space do they give you? (if it is not impertinent for me to ask!)

    I use a couple of linode.com's small VMs for a couple of low-load tasks (secondary DNS, simple web services), but they have plans that should be big enough for a small Zimbra install. So far have found them very reliable, and they use UserModeLinux which is one of the reasons I went with them (I use UML on my own machines so I'm more familiar with the ins-and-outs of it, and it doesn't support dynamic RAM sizing which is something I consider a bad idea in shared VPS environments). I'd not use them for anything above a very small Zimbra setup though - the IO throttle *will* bite you if you do.
    Last edited by dspillett; 10-03-2007 at 05:07 AM.

  5. #5
    JoshuaPrismon is offline Zimlet Guru & Moderator
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    I've had to migrate my virtual box (xen,not VPS based) up over the last few years to 512MB RAM.

    Might I suggest a real hosting provider? In particular, I have used cari.net to great success.

  6. #6
    dspillett is offline Loyal Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaPrismon View Post
    I've had to migrate my virtual box (xen,not VPS based) up over the last few years to 512MB RAM.
    A Xen VM *is* a VPS/VDS - "virtual dedicated server" and "virtual private server" are just the hosting insutry's marketing terms for "virtual machine".

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaPrismon View Post
    Might I suggest a real hosting provider? In particular, I have used cari.net to great success.
    Aye. You need to be careful who you pick and make sure you have a good backup plan, as you often see cheap server providers fall over leaving their clients "stranded", but there are quote a few places that offer real servers with 512Mb RAM for $50/month or less.

    Straying off-topic a little further: how do you find Zimbra on 512Mb? I noticed a difference in responsiveness even for my very light usage (a small number of light users) between allocating 512Mb and 768Mb. I did bump it up to 1Gb, but for the load I currently put on it I didn't notice any benefit so knocked it back down for now.
    Last edited by dspillett; 10-03-2007 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Typo

  7. #7
    dwmtractor's Avatar
    dwmtractor is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dspillett View Post
    Straying off-topic a little further: how do you find Zimbra on 512Mb? I noticed a difference in responsiveness even for my very light usage (a small number of light users) between allocating 512Mb and 768Mb. I did bump it up to 1Gb, but for the load I currently put on it I didn't notice any benefit so knocked it back down for now.
    I know a real hardware environment and a virtual server are apples & oranges in a lot of ways, but I found that Zimbra ran reasonably well on 512 MB on a standalone Pentium III 1.4GHz machine with only a few (<5) users, but by increasing the ram to 2.5 GB I found the performance to be visibly improved as measured by (1) faster loading of web clients and (2) less use of the swap file even as I added many more users.

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