Running a phpBB2 board? Get rid of this code, and do it now
About six or eight months ago I started noticing a really weird behavior from my server. It was always related to pages from my largest phpBB2 board. The first symptom was that the server would slow to a crawl. After connecting to the board via the web host manager or via PuTTY (if I could do either) I would see a system load of 50, 90, even 300+ at one point. When I say system load I am talking about the top-line number from the “top” command. In theory with a four-cpu box my system load should never be higher that 4.0, so a load of 300+ is quite… disturbing.
I checked and changed my apache settings. I checked my database settings. I kept checking and checking and tweaking and nothing made a difference. I finally resorted to blocking IP addresses that exhibited this behavior.
I think I may finally have figured out what was causing my problem. Believe it or not, it was some code in phpBB2. More…