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Service availability?  XML
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sjs



Joined: 19/01/2009 21:58:06
Messages: 9
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Hi everyone!

Being from Germany (and being customer of T-Online) I'm suffering from rather bad service availability (a lot of timeouts) lately. At least since saturday or sunday. I've tested this mostly in the evening hours of CET.

Can anybody confirm this? Is there a (serious?) problem with the GeoNames server(s)? Any forecast for the time needed to fix this?


Kind regards,

Sebastian
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3993
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Hi Sebastian

The server has been overloaded in the last couple of days. We are trying to improve the situation with blocking access for some very heavy users.

Best

Marc

[WWW]
xipher



Joined: 20/01/2009 08:44:44
Messages: 1
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for the record, I've also experienced a lot of timeouts and bad service availability lately.

it would be nice if one could read about service problems as soon as they appear. perhaps the admins could post something about it on the blog?

also, it would be interesting to know what is considered heavy use, and how the blocking works. how do you know if you are blocked? right now I'm getting "connection reset by peer" errors - is the server overloaded, or is this caused by a block?

/claes
Bellinard



Joined: 20/01/2009 10:40:30
Messages: 1
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Hi Guys, same problems here in France. Is there any mileage in offering you another mirror server for this part of the world. I'm sure a number of us would help finance it.

I'm not a heavy user but do rely on the output of the webservice for the rest of my page to load so when it goes down basically I have no website.

What do you think?

Best wishes
Chris
kbechtold



Joined: 29/05/2007 19:21:00
Messages: 4
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Hi Marc,

I'm (GPSies.com) using the webservice of geonames.org about 500-1.000 times over the hole day by the service "findNearbyPostalCodes". I'm a heavy user by definition? Where is the limit? Should I better decide to download the database dumps?

Thank you for your fantastic service!

Best regards from Berlin, Klaus

Klaus Bechtold
http://www.gpsies.com
stratosg



Joined: 20/01/2009 17:38:31
Messages: 4
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My service requests are very few as I am still building the site. I get no error message, the service simply times out A pity because Geonames seemed very reliable until recently.

I wonder if the paid services share the same server? If I had paid for the service I would have been mad by now. But as I have used it freely I can only hope for the best. It used to be a fantastic service and I understand it attracts so many that the server gets overloaded.
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3993
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The problem since yesterday evening is an enormously popular iphone application called iMob. It is hammering the server with > 100 requests per second which has the effect of a DDOS attack. I am trying to get in touch with the developers to have them remove this feature from their application.

Marc

[WWW]
stratosg



Joined: 20/01/2009 17:38:31
Messages: 4
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May I suggest changing the IP + URL (at least temporarily) to get rid of those unwanted hits. I am sure all we programmers gladly edit our code to get access to your services again.

Thank you for your efforts!
mchampion



Joined: 10/11/2008 21:00:47
Messages: 3
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Is there a way (blog/webpage/rss feed) that status could be more easily tracked? I've been noticing slow/unresponsiveness to requests and wasn't sure what was wrong.

The Geonames service is awesome and it would make it even better to know when it is having issues. Thanks!
hirenraval



Joined: 21/01/2009 06:06:55
Messages: 3
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we are having the same issue for last two days.
Is there any solution for this?
marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3993
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I have temporarily removed the ws.geonames.org domain from the dns setting. You can access the server with the domain name ws5.geonames.org

Marc

[WWW]
kbechtold



Joined: 29/05/2007 19:21:00
Messages: 4
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Hi Marc,

thank you very much! The new URL works very reliable and very fast again!

Cheers,

Klaus

Klaus Bechtold
http://www.gpsies.com
WebDesignHero



Joined: 21/01/2009 16:43:41
Messages: 1
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marc wrote:
I have temporarily removed the ws.geonames.org domain from the dns setting. You can access the server with the domain name ws5.geonames.org

Marc 


Will the ws5 be permenant? I am writing a script for a guy who is going to be a light user (<100-200 a day), but I want to know if I will have to send him a new version of the code in a few days or if this will always be a permenant one for the people who came and read the forums to find out what was going on.
erics1230



Joined: 16/10/2008 06:51:57
Messages: 14
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ws5 is now not working either
klockwise75



Joined: 21/01/2009 20:37:05
Messages: 5
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Hi Mark,

please, please consider ito keep alive ws5.geonames.org live for a limited time after ws.geonames.org will be up again.
This could help most of us to avoid another DoS. ( more then two weeks could be nice).
We appreciate your effort and commitment.
thanks again,

marc



Joined: 08/12/2005 07:39:47
Messages: 3993
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I have enabled ws.geonames.org again to try something. But the result is the same and the server was no longer able accept connections, so I have disabled it again.

ws5.geonames.org will remain active for at least a couple of weeks, so you have time to switch back, but it will not be a permanent option.

Marc

[WWW]
Cimm



Joined: 07/07/2008 10:21:14
Messages: 14
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Mark,

First of all: thank you for what you are doing! I don't think we say it enough but if the service goes down you notice how many people depends on this great initiative. Thank you for the hard work!

Now, is it possible to return a status code like "503 Service Unavailable"? I'm modifying my client program to check for ws.geonames.org and if not found to check ws5.geonames.org. It's an installed application so I can't just switch the URL when everything works again. The result is I need to query ws.geonames.org and wait for the timeout before I can check ws5.geonames.org. A decent status code would make it faster to detect the problem reducing the load for all those queries that are waiting for a timeout.

Just an idea...
stratosg



Joined: 20/01/2009 17:38:31
Messages: 4
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Cimm, when you are under attack you can't return anything, including 503

Marc, thanks for the great service. I just sent a small donation through Paypal. Suggest others do the same.
pboctor



Joined: 22/01/2009 19:35:33
Messages: 2
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Marc, the iPhone SDK sends along the application name in the referer. Any chance you can just block iMob?

I also use GeoNames in my iPhone app. This will affect a lot of other iPhone apps too.

I just blogged about this
http://peter.boctor.net/2009/01/22/imob-brings-down-geonames-other-iphone-apps/

Thank You,
Peter
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stratosg



Joined: 20/01/2009 17:38:31
Messages: 4
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pboctor,

Until Marc responds, let me toss in my 2 cents. When the server is overloaded there is no way you can do ANYTHING. That is, no referer checking, absolutely nothing. It is bogged down and doesn't respond. So, the only solution is to change URL which is what Marc did.
 
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