Q1 : Is this normal? My memory usage is under 50%, and the system only has 3 websites on the VPS (with Cpanel/WHM).
It appears to be when md5sum is running that I notice it grinding to a halt (at least so far thats the common process i see when its affected, but not when its fine). (Q2) - should md5sum do this, or is there any tweaking abilities that I can do?
That '100.0%id' actually means '100% idle', it doesn't correspond to a particular CPU core. You might want to ask your host how much CPU your VS has available to use, then watch the md5sum process and see where things stand. It sounds a little abnormal for a VPS to become nearly unresponsive when that's the only thing running.
I disabled the md5sum so it only runs once a day, and it didn't help anyway - still excessive slowdowns when its not running. Just becomes very slow and lagging. I've submitted a ticket to my host so we'll see.
I'll try to get those specs next time its really slow.. If I remember right, I think i saw approx 30% wa, 100%id, the rest all 0%... but I'll confirm the next time it happens.. (when it happens, its even very slow logging into ssh)
All cpu in the world wont make a difference if your on single drives, slow drives, or bad arrays. Most people still dont realize your servers only as strong as its weakest link. That always has been and still remains today to be harddrives.
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