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From Stut <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] High load, low CPU and processes in state "devfs"
Date Fri, 13 Jun 2008 21:44:38 GMT
On 13 Jun 2008, at 22:37, Dragon wrote:
> Stut wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I have a problem with one of the web servers I manage. It runs  
>> FreeBSD
>> 6.2, Apache 2.2.8 and PHP 5.2.1. It runs a high-ish number of pre- 
>> fork
>> processes (usually around 240).
>> What basically happens is that during our peak hours in the evening
>> the site becomes very slow as does everything on the server. The top
>> output shows nearly all httpd processes in the state "devfs" and the
>> load is jumping up over 10 but the CPU is 70% idle. There's plenty of
>> free memory, over 4GB, and lots of available disk space.
>> While it's in this state all disk access is painfully slow. I've
>> checked all the drives and the RAID card status and everything  
>> appears
>> to be fine. It also recovers itself after a few hours when the  
>> traffic
>> dies down again.
>> I've spent a lot of today Googling but can't find any reference to
>> this particular combination of symptoms. Does anyone have any ideas?
> ---------------- End original message. ---------------------
> It sounds to me like your system is waiting on disk resources (I am  
> assuming that is what the devfs state is), it is very likely trying  
> to use swap space.
> Now much memory does this system have?
> If it has insufficient memory to keep most things in RAM, it is  
> going to use a lot of swap and that will slow things down  
> considerably.

Oh how I wish it were that simple...

Mem: 1629M Active, 770M Inact, 392M Wired, 68K Cache, 214M Buf, 4791M  
Swap: 8192M Total, 8192M Free

No swap in use, plenty of free memory.



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