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media temple not happy with mint

I have a standard gridserver account with (mt). they now want to charge me an extra $20/month because they claim that my MySQL usage doesn’t work for them. They’re complaining about one line in the report:

44 Hit:Insert 0.18:1

And the explanation from their Run MySQL Report function:

The other ratio is Hit:Insert. This ratio indicates QC effectiveness. Ideally, the MySQL server should insert a bunch of stable queries into the QC, then get a lot more hits on them. Therefore, this ratio should be heavy on the hit side if the QC is effective. If it is heavy on the insert side, then the QC is not really helping much and it is probably too volatile. Consider a Hit:Insert ratio of 1:1. This practically means that a cached result is only used once before it is replaced. This completely defeats the idea of a query cache. A worse ratio, like 0.34:1, indicates that some results are not even hit before they are pruned or replaced.

My site really doesn’t get that many hits but Mint looks to be the culprit. I contacted (mt) technical support asking if I should stop using mint.

(mt) said this: I have rebooted your container just now. In our experience MINT does indeed cause many problems with sites running in the SmartPool v.2, so this will most likely resolve your issues.

So their response is that I should stop using mint? That doesn’t seem good, particularly about a site that’s “in partnership” with them, whatever that means.

Can anyone offer advice as to how to clear this up and continue using mint? Something I can configure either in mint or (in the limited way that I have access to) in mysql?

I don’t want to go back to google analytics but neither do I want to pay $20 more a month just to deal with a query cache issue on a site that gets, at best, 2500 hits a day (fairly evenly distributed).


And thanks!

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Feb 27, '08 at 05:19 pm

2,500 hits a day is only a little more than 100 hits an hour. There’s no way Mint should be causing a problem (I’m not sure how query caching could reduce the load caused by insert statements). What Pepper do you have installed? Perhaps a third-party Pepper is acting up?

Thank you for the reply! I, too, was amazed. It’s certainly possible that Pepper is the issue. Installed and running are:

Default Backup/Restore Trends iPhone Outbound Fresh View Referrer Rollup User Agent 007 Parsel Popupdaytime Download Counter

I wish I knew more about how to debug the situation on my own, but I’m at a loss as to where to begin.


I did find out a little more from (mt). Apparently, these queries in particular are not getting good performance out of the query cache:

SELECT browser_family, COUNT(browser_family) as total FROM mint_visit WHERE browser_family!=’XXX’ GROUP BY browser_family ORDER BY total DESC LIMIT XXX,XXX;

SELECT referer, search_terms, resource, resource_title, COUNT(referer) as total, dt, img_search_found FROM mint_visit WHERE search_terms!=’XXX’ GROUP BY search_terms ORDER BY total DESC, dt DESC LIMIT XXX,XXX;

(mt) says that “it appears these queries are taking an average of 5-6 seconds to perform which are most likely the cause of your MySQL load and the Burst Container.”

I’m not sure which pepper are responsible for these. I suppose I can start to look through the individual PHP code. (Perhaps the first one is obvious.)

It just seems like there can’t possibly be enough of a server burden to make this much trouble, but apparently there is.

Any help/advice appreciated. It’s been more frustrating dealing with (mt)’s support/tools than mint. I really love mint!

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Feb 28, '08 at 11:48 am

It looks like the Secret Crush Pepper might be the culprit on the first query (but that query is only run when expand a specific visit). The second query would appear to be something from the Searches pane of the Default Pepper but I can’t find that query in the source code. In both cases !='XXX' XXX is always an empty string so maybe it isn’t those Pepper responsible for those queries.

Try turning off “Stagger pane loading” in your Preferences and then adding ?benchmark to your Mint url. The Mint Benchmarks that appear below the footer will tell you which Pepper pane’s queries are taking the most time. (Only the tabs that are active onload are displayed in the Benchmarks so if you change tabs and want to see how long the query took you will have to reload the entire Mint interface after changing the tab.)

OK, now that the month has changed, I’m back to a new MySQL slate with (mt) so I can do more experimentation. I did not receive another notice from (mt) about problems since turing mint off for the last two weeks, so that tends to point further in mint’s direction.

A couple of questions about your last response:

1) I don’t believe I have Secret Crush installed. it doesn’t show up anywhere and isn’t listed as a pane in preferences that I can disable. What else can I do?

2) since the complain from (mt) comes at random times, not when I’m personally looking at mint data, I’m not sure what the ?benchmark will tell me. I need to figure out what’s going on with mint just when my site gets hit. what should I be looking for?

This seems to be the longest time in ?benchmark:

12.9608 display(Referrer Rollup : Referrer Rollup : Referrers)

Is disabling Referrer Rollup enough, or do I need to uninstall it (if this is indeed the culprit)?

If I disable that, then I see:

4.2937 display(Trends : Trends Internal : Popular)

as the next largest number, but I have no idea what reasonable times are for a standard mint install?


Hi tjtjt!

I realise I have the exact same issue, and MT has pumped my MySql container.

Shuan, I think this is a serious issue, particular if MT is your partner. I also get the same list of slow querys as tjtjt.

Can you advice? I might have to toss my Mint installation as well.

Here is the link to my problem: haveamint.com/forum/troubleshooting/143 … ediatemple

MT has recommend to me that I remove Mint because of the MySql load, I laughed at the irony and moved on. Mint ticks away nicely although it does want to start a fight with Re-Invigorate over uniques!! ;o)

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 13, '08 at 06:16 pm

I assumed you had Secret Crush installed based on the problem queries you provided (they seemed closest to Secret Crush queries). I would recommend uninstalling third-party Pepper and seeing what (mt) has to say (if anything).

Here’s what I think is the problem: (mt)’s grid servers are optimized for reading from the database but Mint is constantly writing to the database. You can’t cache INSERTs and its hard to cache SELECTs when the database is constantly being updated.

As far as “in partnership” goes, that means that I use their hosting. There is very little coordination beyond that.

Hi Shaun,

From what I understand in partnership means they are sponsoring your hosting of this site. Correct me if I am wrong?

Regardless if a MySql blowout is going to happen again this would be one of the biggest ironies I have seen.

I’m not to happy as I will have to either drop the stat package or my host.

Same problem here and looking for a solution. I haven’t had a chance to try and figure the problem out so I opted to just let my hosting charges increase by $20. I’d like to call them and get it back down to the normal fee, obviously.

Using MT here as well.

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 21, '08 at 11:22 am

Guys, try uninstalling any third-party Pepper and see if the database usage goes down. Also, try uninstalling the Doorbell or Refresh Pepper if you have them installed. Both include warnings about their additional server overhead.

Posted on Mar 24, '08 at 11:30 am

I use Grid noticed some peppers like Durations kit performance pretty hard. I run with Secret Crush and it is clear if you turn staggered loading on that it is the long pole in the tent from a latency perspective.

I have noticed the mint include hits for 750ms of load time and removing secret crush doesn’t improve this.

Shaun Inman
Mint/Pepper Developer
Posted on Mar 25, '08 at 01:23 pm

You can identify the specific Pepper (and even queries) responsible for long load times by disabling “Stagger pane loading” and adding ?benchmark to your Mint url. That will add a maroon outlined table of the amount of time each internal process requires to Mint’s footer.

Mike D.
Posted on Jan 24, '10 at 06:19 pm

With regard to the Durations pepper, do NOT install it. It is poorly written and will hit your server every 15 seconds FOREVER as long as someone’s browser is open to your site. My server was getting killed and Dreamhost discovered that “recalc.php” (one of the Duration pepper’s files) was getting hit 800,000 TIMES A DAY (my site only does about 5,000 pageviews a day).

Here’s the worst part, however: even after you completely remove the pepper, your site continues to get pounded by any computers which still have your site open. It’s now been 5 days since I removed this pepper and my site is still getting pounded. I guess people like to keep sites open in tabs for days.

I contacted the developer of this pepper and his only response was that it’s not meant for high-traffic sites and that I should change the defaults. Too late for that. Stay away from this pepper, at least until it’s rewritten.

Third-Party Pepper Developer
Posted on Jan 25, '10 at 02:59 am

I, the developer of the Durations Pepper, also wrote that the time interval can be set to zero on high traffic sites. This will solve all server-load issues caused by my Pepper, but it also reduces the accuracy of the shown results.

Things you don’t understand, are not automatically “poorly written”.

Posted on Mar 10, '11 at 08:22 pm

I’m looking at a $250 dollar hosting charge this month and I think it’s due to the durations pepper.

Is there ANYTHING that can be done to resolve this issue? I’ve completely uninstalled Mint and deleted all files and code from my WP install.

From this thread I’m understanding that as long as it’s cached in people’s browsers I’m going to continue getting charged.

Is this the case. And, again, is there anything at all that can be done?

I simply don’t have the resources for hosting fees like this, but I certainly don’t want to shut down my site.

Thank you all for your help.

Posted on Mar 10, '11 at 08:23 pm

And to clarify, I also am on Media Temple’s Gridserver.

Things you don’t understand, are not automatically “poorly written”.,it really true….

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