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It appears to me that rackspace somehow freezes cloud VMs after some idle time. This means the first page request to a php page takes much longer to respond than the subsequent requests.

I am actually querying a machine with wget from a different host now to keep it "alive". But I wonder what frequency would be necessary. Does anyone know the time period after which they send a VM to "sleep"? I guess it would be some minutes.

EDIT: There is no caching involved on the php site.

It just recently moved from another vhost and there was never such latency on the first request.

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3 Answers 3

I'd be very surprised if they do this, I think you're looking at the wrong thing. You're not pinging it (at least not ICMP echo), you're performing a wget, there's a big difference.

I going to assume here that you're performing wget on the PHP that takes a long time to load, therefore keeping it active in any caching you may have in place. If it's in the cache, it will load quicker and therefore you won't this delay, leading you to the incorrect belief that you've successfully stopped Rackspace putting your server to sleep.

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Sorry for misleading you by my sloppy use of the word ping. I thought "pinging wiht wget" would be ok to say much with few words. There is no caching on the php side. What makes you believe they do not freeze instances? I do not mean deep freeze but for instance give processor time or ram to a pool and it would need some time to get it back. If I wrer rackspace I would do this. Resources cost money. –  mit Dec 1 '10 at 19:22

It appears to me that rackspace somehow freezes cloud VMs after some idle time. This means the first page request to a php page takes much longer to respond than the subsequent requests.

Sure? Can it not be that this is done WITHIN the VM? THat the VM puts a non-working website into an idle state. ASP.NET /IIS7 for example, without recofiguration, stops application popols for non-active sites, triggering a costly restart on first request.

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This sounds more like a load balancer or DNS issue. Have to tried wget directly to the IP address of the web server? Are you behind a load balancer?

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