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we need help on a FreeBSD 8.0 RELEASE server on production that is failing to respond in a timely fashion to any input. The server has a cPanel installed on it, and because of this we had to rebuild the GENERIC kernel with the option quotas enabled, however, the server was already running with some slowdowns even before doing any of this. We were seeing in dmesg "Approaching limit on PV entries.." so we changed these kernel variables, kern.ipc.shm_use_phys=1 and vm.pmap.shpgperproc=1400. The Apache server responds perfectly until n requests, and then suddenly begins lagging for like 5-10 seconds, then starts responding again.

You can clearly see below that the first time the server took more than 4 seconds to respond to the ls on /var/log, and the second time it responded in a timely fashion.

We have already googled everywhere but cannot find anything that could help us. Any advice or suggestion will be strongly welcome.

[root@apollo /var/log]# time ls
auth.log                exim                    sendmail.st.10
auth.log.0.bz2          lastlog                 sendmail.st.2
auth.log.1.bz2          lpd-errs                sendmail.st.3
auth.log.2.bz2          maillog                 sendmail.st.4
auth.log.3.bz2          maillog.0.bz2           sendmail.st.5
auth.log.4.bz2          maillog.1.bz2           sendmail.st.6
auth.log.5.bz2          maillog.2.bz2           sendmail.st.7
auth.log.6.bz2          maillog.3.bz2           sendmail.st.8
auth.log.7.bz2          maillog.4.bz2           sendmail.st.9
chkservd.log            maillog.5.bz2           setuid.today
cpupdate.env            maillog.6.bz2           setuid.yesterday
cron                    maillog.7.bz2           stunnel-4.15-build.log
cron.0.bz2              messages                userlog
cron.1.bz2              messages.0.bz2          wtmp
cron.2.bz2              messages.1.bz2          wtmp.0
cron.3.bz2              messages.2.bz2          wtmp.1
dcpumon                 messages.3.bz2          xferlog
debug.log               messages.4.bz2          xferlog.0.bz2
debug.log.0.bz2         messages.5.bz2          xferlog.1.bz2
debug.log.1.bz2         mount.today             xferlog.2.bz2
debug.log.2.bz2         mount.yesterday         xferlog.3.bz2
debug.log.3.bz2         pf.today                xferlog.4.bz2
debug.log.4.bz2         ppp.log                 xferlog.5.bz2
debug.log.5.bz2         quota_enable.log        xferlog.6.bz2
debug.log.6.bz2         restartsrv_err.log      xferlog.7.bz2
debug.log.7.bz2         security                xferlog.offset
dmesg                   sendmail.st             xferlog.offsetftpsep
dmesg.today             sendmail.st.0
dmesg.yesterday         sendmail.st.1

real    0m4.352s
user    0m0.001s
sys     0m0.000s
[root@apollo /var/log]# time ls
auth.log                exim                    sendmail.st.10
auth.log.0.bz2          lastlog                 sendmail.st.2
auth.log.1.bz2          lpd-errs                sendmail.st.3
auth.log.2.bz2          maillog                 sendmail.st.4
auth.log.3.bz2          maillog.0.bz2           sendmail.st.5
auth.log.4.bz2          maillog.1.bz2           sendmail.st.6
auth.log.5.bz2          maillog.2.bz2           sendmail.st.7
auth.log.6.bz2          maillog.3.bz2           sendmail.st.8
auth.log.7.bz2          maillog.4.bz2           sendmail.st.9
chkservd.log            maillog.5.bz2           setuid.today
cpupdate.env            maillog.6.bz2           setuid.yesterday
cron                    maillog.7.bz2           stunnel-4.15-build.log
cron.0.bz2              messages                userlog
cron.1.bz2              messages.0.bz2          wtmp
cron.2.bz2              messages.1.bz2          wtmp.0
cron.3.bz2              messages.2.bz2          wtmp.1
dcpumon                 messages.3.bz2          xferlog
debug.log               messages.4.bz2          xferlog.0.bz2
debug.log.0.bz2         messages.5.bz2          xferlog.1.bz2
debug.log.1.bz2         mount.today             xferlog.2.bz2
debug.log.2.bz2         mount.yesterday         xferlog.3.bz2
debug.log.3.bz2         pf.today                xferlog.4.bz2
debug.log.4.bz2         ppp.log                 xferlog.5.bz2
debug.log.5.bz2         quota_enable.log        xferlog.6.bz2
debug.log.6.bz2         restartsrv_err.log      xferlog.7.bz2
debug.log.7.bz2         security                xferlog.offset
dmesg                   sendmail.st             xferlog.offsetftpsep
dmesg.today             sendmail.st.0
dmesg.yesterday         sendmail.st.1

real    0m0.001s
user    0m0.001s
sys     0m0.000s
[root@apollo /var/log]#

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Interesting symptoms. Does top have anything noticeable? –  Chris S Aug 25 '10 at 17:13
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1 Answer

Apparently, we solved the problem setting "KeepAlive Off" in httpd.conf. It does make some sense because we were seeing lots of httpd@127.0.01 requests, thus, because the server has 8GB of RAM, everything, including the console, is running pretty well- or perfect. We do not know if this problem is related to cPanel or not yet, nor if this is the final solution.

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