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The number of apache processe grows quickly to the maximum

Need help, suggestions and comments.

     
4:54 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just from recently, the number of apache processes grows quickly to the maximum.
The server resources are used up when the number grows.
To make the apache work, I had to use a crontab to kill apache processes
periodically every minute.

I haven't made any server setting changes for long, and haven't made
significant changes for website contents. It doesn't seem there is dramatic access increase from the internet.
So I really have no idea where to start to check about the trouble.
Using top command, I can see CPU usage is quickly going up to around 80%
and down to 10% or 30% when all apache processes are killed.

Most of all, I think I need to know whether it is a overload issue, or
a software or hardware trouble issue, or a bad traffic or malicious traffic issue. But I'm not an apache expert at all.

My website uses php4 and MySQL DB for years. It has been ok.
The number of processes is normally around 24 or up to 30.
The number goes much high when there is simultaneous access to
a few pages at the same time from a single ip host.
Another info is, the number of processes still grows though more
slowly, when MySQL service is turned off.

Can you please give me any suggestions or comments or any help?

2:11 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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posts: 56
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Hey Jo555,

this problem has doubtless been covered with some variation of 'have you checked the logs for...' too many times to take seriously.

Each of the components you say may be a part of the problem are capable of keeping fairly extensive logs of their activity...

If logging is off for any component you come to find yourself needing the log for then please google using example:

how to turn logging on for mysql

read the logs, bound to be something in one or more of them that reveals what the problem really is and most often if you google (ie, search using google) using the error string straight out of the log file (minus date/time stamp and local paths or URLs) the best solution is usually in top three results.

Sounds like a doozy, but also seems like you aren't delving deep enough - I'm betting that if you delve deep enough to post enough info for someone on here to 'really help' you then you will happen to know or figure out how to fix it easily enough if you try.

Did you try very hard at Google:

too many apache processes
lamp too many processes

Pretty sure they turn up some great results for the problem you describe.

Good luck,
robsoles.

12:45 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Nov 14, 2006
posts:36
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Thanks robsoles for the reply and your encouragement.

I just couldn't understand why the issue is occuring now, not earlier and not later.
I'm not good at server admin, so I couldn't dig into details quickly.
Then what I could do is try to logically think it through.

After reading your reply, I tried to do something.
I checked about apache processes online and accidentally tried
changing the value of KeepAliveTime.
Things are much better now, just with such a small change.

I'm going to put more RAM on my server and hope that will fully resovle my issue.

[edited by: Jo555 at 12:47 pm (utc) on Jan. 29, 2008]

9:18 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Jan 23, 2008
posts: 56
votes: 0


Jo555,

Unless your traffic has suitably increased, which your o/p doesn't entirely suggest, it is strange that you need to change the keep alive timeout to get your system more operable.

I hope it goes away for you, but I think you probably should research this problem a little more to make sure it does - more RAM is easily filled I'm afraid.

Regards,
robsoles.

 

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