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From Timothy Martin <>
Subject [users@httpd] guidance on how to track down crazy apache processes
Date Wed, 12 Aug 2009 00:14:08 GMT
I've googled  until the cows came home, but I can't for the life of me  
find a good method to figure out what's going on with my server. Help/ 
Input on what's happening given my description below would be great,  
but honestly I'm just looking for a method to figure it out on my own!

What's happening:
	As far as I can tell, i get some moderate rapid requests from some  
malware/spiders/crawlers/etc which is of course undesirable, but we're  
only talking about 175 requests a second. Most of the requests are for  
php documents, wordpress in particular. If i take down the wordpress  
site the problem does appear to stop, but it's not clear if it's  
because of PHP or simply that once the requested urls are no longer  
present the server load is obviously less.

Anyway, despite having the prefork mpm set with a limit of 6, my  
watchdog process (monit) will report process count shooting  up over  
50. I can't figure out how apache is letting itself get so many  
processes spinning out of control. Monit then restarts the server and  
everything is fine again until the next surge of page requests.

The setup:
	Slicehost XEN-based VPS
	Gentoo Linux 2.6.24-23-xen x86_64 Dual-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor
	Apache 2.2.11
	apr 1.3.8
	apr-util 1.3.9
	php 5.2.10
	mysql 5.0.70
	misc other unimportant things

my Prefork MPM is setup as such:
        StartServers            3
         MinSpareServers         3
         MaxSpareServers         6
         MaxClients                      80
         MaxRequestsPerChild     2500

I'd be happy to make more of my configs or any kind of debug output  
available if someone could point me in a direction that made sense.


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