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From "Jones, Keven" <>
Subject [users@httpd] Number of httpd process spikes
Date Thu, 28 May 2009 15:44:12 GMT

The number of httpd processes on my web server is at times spiking for no apparent reason.
I have setup
Monitoring and as an example:
Ps -ef |grep httpd|wc -l returns:

260 at 8:40
332 at 8:41
403 at 8:42
570 at 8:43
564 at 8:44
449 at 8:45
332 at 8:46

Here are the numbers just before 8:40 and right after 8:46
05/27/09-08:39:01 AM
05/27/09-08:47:01 AM
05/27/09-08:48:01 AM
05/27/09-08:49:01 AM

And the server normally has any where from 60-100 httpd daemons at any time. Then randomly
it will begin the spike. No specific day or time.

We are not experiencing an increase of visitors to the server at the corresponding times.
We know this because we have setup monitoring of the firewall
That records all traffic to that server.

My apache version is Apache/2.2.9 running on RedHat Linux 5.2
My apache httpd.conf is:

Timeout 120
KeepAlive Off
MaxKeepAliveRequests 100
KeepAliveTimeout 15
<IfModule prefork.c>
    MinSpareServers 5
    MaxSpareServers 10
    StartServers 5
    ServerLimit 1024
    MaxClients 1024
    MaxRequestsPerChild 20

The MaxClients and ServerLimit had to be moved up because we were experiencing major latency
on the site when they were at the default values of 256.
We do utilize tomcat as the application server of which there are 4 separate linux servers
that run tomcat and 2 additional linux servers serving as db servers.

I really could use some help in determining what is causing these very random and very dramatic
httpd process spikes.

Thanks for any help!

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