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From Dave Barton <dave.bar...@comodo.com>
Subject [users@httpd] Apache spawning "broken" sub-processes under load
Date Mon, 31 Jan 2011 16:53:00 GMT
Hi,

We've recently had a pretty large increase in the usage of one of our
Wordpress-powered sites. I'm seeing some very odd behaviour and I'm at a
loss as to how to investigate it further. Some of the apache processes
are spawning children with broken CPU usage and time stats (as shown by
ps auxf). I think it might be best just to show some examples;

root      3153  0.0  0.4 304688 12960 ?        Ss   15:26   0:00
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache    3155  0.0  0.1 215864  3816 ?        S    15:26   0:00  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   12135 129895172  4.0 542620 127208 ?  Sl   16:33 21114987:41
\_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   12353 10.6  4.0 729908 127676 ?       Sl   16:34   1:20  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   12875 11.1  3.8 773840 121116 ?       Sl   16:36   1:09  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   13222  9.1  4.1 845240 130568 ?       Sl   16:38   0:49  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   13445 10.5  3.6 725956 114972 ?       Sl   16:39   0:50  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   13582  9.4  3.5 792056 112884 ?       Sl   16:39   0:42  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14148  9.2  3.4 724848 107920 ?       Sl   16:42   0:27  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14253 290358163  3.4 709912 108308 ?  Sl   16:42 21133796:09
\_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14287 431815  3.5 717512 110180 ?     Sl   16:42 19215:48  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14356  9.5  3.5 722780 111908 ?       Sl   16:43   0:24  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14392 324909060  3.9 735640 123796 ?  Sl   16:43 21133795:59
\_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14418  9.6  4.0 781036 128604 ?       Sl   16:43   0:21  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   14952 11.8  2.8 709736 91072 ?        Sl   16:46   0:07  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   15294  8.4  2.5 761932 80584 ?        Sl   16:46   0:02  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   15329 90923337  2.3 695200 73448 ?    Sl   16:46 21153009:43
\_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   15364  7.8  2.3 683200 74408 ?        Sl   16:46   0:01  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   15371  9.3  2.3 694896 74564 ?        Sl   16:46   0:02  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start
apache   15423 15.8  2.3 755896 74888 ?        Sl   16:47   0:02  \_
/usr/sbin/apache2 -D SSL -D PHP5 -D STATUS -d /usr/lib64/apache2 -f
/etc/apache2/httpd.conf -k start

The apache server-status page shows these up as processing requests
correctly (state K, C or R) but with improbably high values in the CPU
column.

If anyone has any ideas where I can start looking (or can just tell me
how to fix it!) it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
-- 
Dave Barton
Senior Systems Administrator
Comodo CA Ltd


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