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  1. #1

    Mysterious daily huge load spikes by apache...?

    Hi -

    I have an Ensim 3.1.1 system - P4 1.7GHz, 1GB RAM, 40GB WD 7200rpm drive. I've not modified much on the system, mainly only installed Bastille/psad, MRTG, and LogSentry, upgraded glibc, and did a few custom bug fixes (i.e. Mod_jk fix).

    For some reason, several times a day, one or several seemingly harmless apache processes begin consuming massive amounts of CPU... it's always a single process that consume 60-90% cpu, or a few separate ones, each taking 15-20%. I note the PIDs and track them down to the actual responsible files in "server-status" output, and they always seem to be completely harmless files, such as a simple .GIF file or something.

    Here's one example out of a tracked-down PID in server-status from last night:
    31-0 9755 0/24/11286 _ 0.04 219 0 0.0 0.04 19.98 GET /general/s/ra_o.gif HTTP/1.0

    Kill -9 on the processes only works sometimes.... other times it takes "2" stop/starts on apache to rid the system of these things. When it's happening, the load is as much as 15, and the instant I kill the pid(s) or restart apache (twice) the load plummets back down to around 0.30 (and this is a busy server hehe)... so I know it has nothing to do with the "actual load" on the server. I don't have enough stats recorded in MRTG yet to see if it happens daily at a specific time (this is a pretty new box). Also "so far" I've only seen and tracked down PIDs to files that belong to 2 certain sites on the server, and no others - but always like I said, completely harmless files (usually .gif).

    Anyhow I'm hoping someone can advise me on what to do.
    Thanks in advance for your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I would try running strace on the pid to get more info.
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  3. #3
    I'm pretty sure this is some sort of Ensim bug.

    I've encountered the exact same problem as you have on every Ensim server I've had, about 3 so far.

    My apache PIDs were GIF requests as well.

    Check out this thread.

    The only conclusion I have come to is Ensim sucks.

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