I host several WordPress sites using a Google Compute Engine instance as the apache webserver. Twice recently, a site has gone down, throwing fatal PHP errors that were resolved by resetting the webserver. In both cases, the debug log indicated that there were single characters transposed in the code, even though the code was actually fine. For example, the error thrown was "Call to undefined method GFCommon::load_gf_sext_domain()" when the code actually read "...load_gf_text_domain()" (a "t" had been replaced with an "s").

In another example, the error thrown was "Trait 'WebSharks\CometC`che\Pro\Traits\Shared\ReplaceUtils' not found" but the actual code read "Trait 'WebSharks\CometCache..." (an "a" had been replaced with a "`").

In both cases, simply resetting the server solved the problem, at least temporarily. What could be causing this? Should I just clone the instance and hope for the best? Thanks.

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    This has nothing to do with the fact that your server is running on GCE. Rather, this has everything to do with something going awry on your server, which is corrupting data. Check through your logs for evidence of filesystem corruption. – EEAA Jun 6 '17 at 18:14
  • @EEAA is there no possibility that this is bad hardware? If this was AWS I'd say stop and start the instance, rather than restart, as stop/start moves you to new hardware. It might be worth finding something similar on GCE. It's almost certainly not that, but it's easy to rule out. – Tim Jun 6 '17 at 19:50

After checking the logs I'd be looking at:

  • possible system issues (run the usual diagnostic tests to see whether you can narrow things down. Could be hardware or software related. I've seen some strange NIC issues that have cropped up that sound a bit like what you're talking about)
  • possible malware (you never know). This is particularly the case if it comes down to an automated attack bot or else a human doing it and it feels like it crops up at a very rigid or regular set of time periods
  • trying to isolate things as much as possible to narrow the search/problem space as much as possible. I'd clone it and take it offline, if that works clone it and stick it on another GCE engine, and then move on upwards... If the website is small try one of the free hosting websites out there and see whether or not the problem occurs there as well. It feels like you could be searching for a needle in a haystack if you don't do this

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