Six Tips to Prepare Online Retail Servers for Cyber Monday - Slide 2

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Check free disk space for logs. Increased traffic will see an increase in the log size, and this can quickly use up any remaining space. You can start by checking the amount of space your logs are taking up by running

du -sch /var/log/

and then check how big the partition is by running

df -h

“You will need to allocate additional disk space to your log partition, which can be changed back after the busy period,” explains Steve. “Assign a partition to the logs to avoid server freeze. If the partition fills, the application will continue to respond but logging will cease.”

If the server has been built using LVM, operators can see how much space is free to assign to partitions by running

vgs

Logs should also be rotated more frequently — weekly rather than monthly, for example. Review the logrotate settings by typing

less /etc/logrotate.conf

Online retailers should also check the logs for any warnings. Some default builds of services such as PHP have all levels of logging enabled by default. A quick way to check is by running the following command

grep warn /var/log/httpd/*

As well as checking for warnings, ForLinux recommends keeping several copies of the logs and making sure the rotate happens after the stats have been run, otherwise log entries will be lost.

Cyber Monday, the busiest day of the year for online sales, is fast approaching and with time running out, ForLinux, one of the UK’s leading providers of open source hosting and IT support, is reminding Internet retailers to perform essential server maintenance or potentially miss out on bumper sales.

Monday, Nov. 28th, is the date when the Internet industry predicts Internet transactions to reach their highest level ever, with sales predicted to top the £1028m* spent online last year.

Steve Nice, technical director at ForLinux, has been advising his clients to prepare for Cyber Monday for several months. "It’s crucial that online retailers prepare for the upsurge in traffic that happens on Cyber Monday. Time is running out to make sure servers and applications are ready to withstand the demand. With so little time left to prepare, we’re encouraging online retailers to follow our six last minute tips: check your logs, bandwidth, database, RAM, Apache configuration and reboot."

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