Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Crashing Moodle

Last week, the Moodle server crashed. The initial problem - a line in the config file for the Apache Web server changed. Ta and I still don't know WHY this line changed.

Ta's techie notes follow below:
Here's the events and what was done:

On Tuesday, Moodle crashed due to configuration file change
on Apache.

(this is a standard file name within the server for most Moodle installs - yours may vary - Wendy)

Someone uncommented this line from the configuration file
#tb LoadModule ssl_module modules/mod_ssl.so

Now Apache loads which drives the website

Today, Wendy made some minor changes, and the server crashed. Unfortunately, in the services for Windows, Apache and Mysql were set to manual mode instead of automatic start on Server boot. So, after setting those services to automatic - Apache and Mysql should automatically start after a server reboot.

Our audit trail showed an internal IP address which turned out to be the server itself.

Ta fixed the problem, but since the crash - the server now has a habit of not finding the page as I do simple tasks: adding files, importing courses, running files. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing consistent. Most of the time, if I get out of IE and get back in, I can log back in and continue what I am doing. But I have also had to go directly into the server and restart the Apache2 service or the Moodle CRON job.

I'm writing this because I have crashed the server for the 3rd time today. This is bad.

1) I am the only person currently on the server. So what happens when I get 100 hits at a time?

2) My end-users have little patience with technology and I envision phone calls at 2am wondering why they can't get to the tutorials.

Ta and I's current conclusion: our Apache2 install is unstable. We don't know why. I fear it may be our recycled hardware. Ta and I are still researching the issue and Ta will be putting a query on the Moodle Boards.

Any thoughts / ideas are welcome.

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