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I have an Apache 2 server running with PHP 5, prefork MPM and eAccelerator. It communicates with a Mysql server.

It serves ~200k requests per day and it usually works fine with 20 to 30 apache processes at a time (according to ps aux).

My problem is that the server sometimes starts behaving weirdly. Suddenly, the number of live apache processes starts to increase and reaches the max-clients limit (150) within an hour. Which then causes the server to stop responding.

I haven't found anything in the php error log, nor in the Apache error log. So I am completely stuck with this recurring problem.

Any idea how I may further investigate / what I should look at to understand what this is due to?

Thanks a lot.

For your info, here is a TOP command when I have the problem:

top - 19:06:49 up 122 days, 12:29,  1 user,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.02
Tasks: 207 total,   1 running, 206 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  2.4%us,  8.6%sy,  0.0%ni, 87.4%id,  1.2%wa,  0.1%hi,  0.3%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   2047128k total,  2019136k used,    27992k free,   652188k buffers
Swap:   522104k total,     2624k used,   519480k free,   634604k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
    1 root      20   0  4012  876  596 S    0  0.0   0:02.02 init
    2 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
    3 root      RT  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:06.06 migration/0
    4 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:22.98 ksoftirqd/0
    5 root      RT  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:07.24 migration/1
    6 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:39.13 ksoftirqd/1
    7 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   5:03.63 events/0
    8 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   7:13.57 events/1
    9 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 khelper
   90 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:17.12 kblockd/0
   91 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:26.48 kblockd/1
   93 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kacpid
   94 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kacpi_notify
  171 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 ata/0
  172 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 ata/1
  173 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 ata_aux
  174 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 ksuspend_usbd
  179 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 khubd
  182 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kseriod
  228 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   3:07.19 kswapd0
  229 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 aio/0
  230 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 aio/1
  235 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 xfslogd/0
  236 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 xfslogd/1
  237 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 xfsdatad/0
  238 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 xfsdatad/1
  239 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 xfs_mru_cache
  924 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_0
  926 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 scsi_eh_1
  986 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 kpsmoused
  998 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 rpciod/0
  999 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0   0:00.00 rpciod/1
 1001 root      15  -5     0    0    0 S    0  0.0  22:30.98 kjournald
 1144 root      16  -4 16820  936  384 S    0  0.0   0:33.32 udevd
 2076 www-data  20   0  210m  17m  10m S    0  0.9   0:08.18 apache2
 2154 www-data  20   0  210m  16m 9708 S    0  0.8   0:02.26 apache2
 2208 www-data  20   0  210m  14m 7864 S    0  0.7   0:03.32 apache2
 2224 www-data  20   0  210m  14m 7504 S    0  0.7   0:05.80 apache2
 2289 ntp       18  -2 23352 1328  940 S    0  0.1   4:14.85 ntpd
 2302 www-data  20   0  210m  16m 9860 S    0  0.8   0:03.18 apache2
 2351 www-data  20   0  210m  16m  10m S    0  0.8   0:05.22 apache2
 2353 www-data  20   0  210m  15m 9312 S    0  0.8   0:00.58 apache2
 2354 www-data  20   0  209m  16m  10m S    0  0.8   0:02.16 apache2
 2355 www-data  20   0  209m  16m  10m S    0  0.8   0:01.80 apache2
 2367 www-data  20   0  210m  14m 7792 S    0  0.7   0:00.88 apache2
 2438 www-data  20   0  210m  16m 9.9m S    0  0.8   0:02.24 apache2

and here is the result of PS AUX :

root         1  0.0  0.0   4012   876 ?        Ss   Jul09   0:02 /sbin/init
root         2  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [kthreadd]
root         3  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:06 [migration/0]
root         4  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:22 [ksoftirqd/0]
root         5  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:07 [migration/1]
root         6  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:39 [ksoftirqd/1]
root         7  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   5:03 [events/0]
root         8  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   7:13 [events/1]
root         9  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [khelper]
root        90  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:17 [kblockd/0]
root        91  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:26 [kblockd/1]
root        93  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [kacpid]
root        94  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [kacpi_notify]
root       171  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [ata/0]
root       172  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [ata/1]
root       173  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [ata_aux]
root       174  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [ksuspend_usbd]
root       179  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [khubd]
root       182  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [kseriod]
root       228  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   3:07 [kswapd0]
root       229  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [aio/0]
root       230  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [aio/1]
root       235  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [xfslogd/0]
root       236  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [xfslogd/1]
root       237  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [xfsdatad/0]
root       238  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [xfsdatad/1]
root       239  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [xfs_mru_cache]
root       924  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [scsi_eh_0]
root       926  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [scsi_eh_1]
root       986  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [kpsmoused]
root       998  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [rpciod/0]
root       999  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09   0:00 [rpciod/1]
root      1001  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09  22:30 [kjournald]
root      1144  0.0  0.0  16820   936 ?        S<s  Jul09   0:33 /sbin/udevd --daemon
www-data  2076  0.2  0.8 215288 17796 ?        S    18:15   0:08 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2154  0.0  0.8 215328 16688 ?        S    18:16   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2208  0.1  0.7 215300 14632 ?        S    18:17   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2224  0.1  0.7 215284 14572 ?        S    18:17   0:05 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
ntp       2289  0.0  0.0  23352  1328 ?        S<s  Jul09   4:14 /usr/sbin/ntpd -p 

/var/run/ntpd.pid -u 106:114 -g
www-data  2302  0.1  0.8 215296 16712 ?        S    18:18   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2351  0.1  0.8 215300 17120 ?        S    18:19   0:05 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2353  0.0  0.7 215284 16124 ?        S    18:19   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2354  0.0  0.8 214996 16844 ?        S    18:19   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2355  0.0  0.8 214944 17400 ?        S    18:19   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2367  0.0  0.7 215040 14376 ?        S    18:19   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2438  0.0  0.8 215324 16920 ?        S    18:20   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2442  0.1  0.6 215056 14188 ?        S    18:20   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2443  0.0  0.6 214500 13316 ?        S    18:20   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2444  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S<   Jul09  16:13 [kjournald]
www-data  2447  0.1  0.8 215292 16704 ?        S    18:20   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2448  0.1  0.7 215288 14636 ?        S    18:20   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2517  0.0  0.3 211632  7316 ?        S    18:21   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2519  0.1  0.9 215208 18496 ?        S    18:21   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2521  0.1  0.7 215300 14380 ?        S    18:21   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2524  0.1  0.8 215320 16392 ?        S    18:21   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2595  0.1  0.8 215296 17244 ?        S    18:22   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2597  0.0  0.6 215296 13984 ?        S    18:22   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2661  0.1  0.7 214720 15920 ?        S    18:23   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2662  0.0  0.4 212688 10088 ?        S    18:23   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2663  0.0  0.6 215280 14220 ?        S    18:23   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2665  0.0  0.7 215312 14528 ?        S    18:23   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2667  0.0  0.8 215292 16724 ?        S    18:23   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2668  0.1  0.8 215292 17396 ?        S    18:23   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2669  0.0  0.6 215276 13868 ?        S    18:23   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2671  0.0  0.7 215284 15720 ?        S    18:23   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2720  0.0  0.6 215100 13268 ?        S    18:24   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2724  0.0  0.5 214540 11880 ?        S    18:24   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2725  0.0  0.5 214772 11824 ?        S    18:24   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2726  0.0  0.6 214952 13204 ?        S    18:24   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2729  0.0  0.7 215204 16216 ?        S    18:24   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2777  0.0  0.7 215292 16212 ?        S    18:25   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2782  0.0  0.0   3852   548 tty4     Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 tty4
root      2783  0.0  0.0   3852   548 tty5     Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 tty5
www-data  2784  0.0  0.7 214736 16152 ?        S    18:25   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2785  0.0  0.0   3852   548 tty2     Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 tty2
root      2786  0.0  0.0   3852   548 tty3     Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 tty3
root      2787  0.0  0.0   3852   548 tty6     Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 tty6
root      2788  0.0  0.0   3852   548 ttyS0    Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 ttyS0
www-data  2791  0.1  0.6 215288 14092 ?        S    18:25   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2792  0.0  0.6 214944 13728 ?        S    18:25   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2794  0.0  0.7 214500 15344 ?        S    18:25   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
syslog    2834  0.0  0.0  12284   736 ?        Ss   Jul09   1:56 /sbin/syslogd -a 

/var/lib/named/dev/log -u syslog
www-data  2844  0.0  0.6 214672 12664 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2846  0.0  0.6 215032 13896 ?        S    18:26   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2849  0.0  0.6 215292 13008 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2854  0.0  0.6 214864 13616 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2856  0.0  0.0   8120   576 ?        S    Jul09   0:00 /bin/dd bs 1 if /proc/kmsg of 

/var/run/klogd/kmsg
klog      2859  0.0  0.0   4776  1504 ?        Ss   Jul09   0:00 /sbin/klogd -P 

/var/run/klogd/kmsg
www-data  2860  0.0  0.6 214736 13280 ?        S    18:26   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2861  0.0  0.5 212932 12060 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2868  0.0  0.6 213220 13240 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2870  0.0  0.5 212672 11384 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2871  0.0  0.5 214968 11788 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2872  0.0  0.6 212884 12916 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2873  0.0  0.6 214952 13564 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2874  0.0  0.4 212044  9556 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2875  0.0  0.6 212872 12304 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2876  0.0  0.6 215320 13596 ?        S    18:26   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2877  0.0  0.7 212088 14368 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2878  0.0  0.6 212896 12352 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2879  0.0  0.6 215304 13088 ?        S    18:26   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
bind      2884  0.0  0.4  68808  9820 ?        Ssl  Jul09   3:18 /usr/sbin/named -u bind -t 

/var/lib/named
root      2896  0.0  0.5 210968 10356 ?        Ss   Nov03   0:40 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2909  0.0  0.0  50900  1168 ?        Ss   Jul09   0:07 /usr/sbin/sshd
www-data  2935  0.0  0.7 215288 14552 ?        S    18:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2936  0.0  0.5 212292 11552 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2937  0.0  0.7 215276 16336 ?        S    18:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2938  0.0  0.7 214976 16196 ?        S    18:27   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2939  0.0  0.5 215172 12168 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2940  0.1  0.8 215288 16876 ?        S    18:27   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2941  0.0  0.6 214728 13228 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2942  0.0  0.5 212716 10548 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2943  0.0  0.3 211628  7260 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2944  0.0  0.5 214992 12252 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2945  0.0  0.6 214520 12832 ?        S    18:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2946  0.0  0.5 212640 10536 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2947  0.0  0.6 214992 12836 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2948  0.0  0.6 214852 12508 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2949  0.0  0.6 213220 13472 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2950  0.1  0.6 215288 13900 ?        S    18:27   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2951  0.0  0.5 212604 10904 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2952  0.0  0.6 214872 12620 ?        S    18:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2953  0.0  0.7 215288 16076 ?        S    18:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2954  0.0  0.5 212592 10260 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2956  0.0  0.6 215016 12824 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2957  0.0  0.6 214980 12556 ?        S    18:27   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2958  0.0  0.3 211628  7328 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2959  0.0  0.6 215280 13756 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2960  0.0  0.6 214980 13856 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2961  0.0  0.6 214900 12372 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2962  0.1  0.6 215196 13824 ?        S    18:27   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  2963  0.0  0.6 214852 13096 ?        S    18:27   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      2972  0.0  0.1  66404  2248 ?        Ss   Jul09   4:34 sendmail: MTA: accepting 

connections
www-data  3010  0.0  0.5 214908 11916 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3014  0.0  0.7 214980 14520 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3015  0.0  0.6 214696 14160 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3016  0.0  0.4 212576 10056 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3017  0.1  0.7 215276 14904 ?        S    18:28   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3018  0.0  0.7 215008 15412 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
daemon    3019  0.0  0.0  16416   424 ?        Ss   Jul09   0:00 /usr/sbin/atd
www-data  3020  0.0  0.5 212920 12016 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3021  0.0  0.4 212400 10032 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3022  0.0  0.6 214668 12672 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3023  0.0  0.5 212748 10912 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3024  0.0  0.6 212512 12360 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3025  0.0  0.6 214728 12632 ?        S    18:28   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3027  0.0  0.5 212584 10764 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3028  0.0  0.6 215032 13704 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3029  0.0  0.3 211632  7328 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3030  0.0  0.5 214932 11228 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3031  0.0  0.5 212412 10452 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3032  0.0  0.3 211632  7328 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3033  0.0  0.5 212808 11716 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      3034  0.0  0.0  18600   960 ?        Ss   Jul09   0:47 /usr/sbin/cron
www-data  3036  0.0  0.7 213220 15588 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3037  0.0  0.6 214852 13100 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3039  0.0  0.6 215280 13884 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3040  0.0  0.5 214572 11652 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3041  0.0  0.5 212704 10540 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3042  0.0  0.5 214748 11440 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3043  0.0  0.6 214980 13084 ?        S    18:28   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3045  0.0  0.5 214856 11628 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3046  0.0  0.6 214976 13396 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3048  0.0  0.6 214936 13004 ?        S    18:28   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3049  0.1  0.8 215280 17112 ?        S    18:28   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      3092  0.0  0.0   3852   548 tty1     Ss+  Jul09   0:00 /sbin/getty 38400 tty1
www-data  3101  0.1  0.8 215272 16548 ?        S    18:29   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3102  0.1  0.8 215200 16948 ?        S    18:29   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3103  0.0  0.5 214492 11872 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3105  0.0  0.3 211628  7328 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3106  0.0  0.5 214564 11792 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3107  0.0  0.5 212564 11124 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3108  0.0  0.5 212784 11224 ?        S    18:29   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3109  0.0  0.5 214676 10976 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3110  0.0  0.6 212944 12292 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3111  0.0  0.6 215044 12660 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3112  0.0  0.5 214108 10532 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3113  0.1  0.8 215304 17440 ?        S    18:29   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3114  0.1  0.7 215324 16320 ?        S    18:29   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3115  0.1  0.8 215300 17036 ?        S    18:29   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3116  0.1  0.8 215300 16736 ?        S    18:29   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3117  0.0  0.4 212616  9908 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3118  0.0  0.5 212664 11912 ?        S    18:29   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3119  0.1  0.7 215004 14376 ?        S    18:29   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3120  0.1  0.7 213216 15684 ?        S    18:29   0:03 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3170  0.0  0.6 214892 13844 ?        S    18:30   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3171  0.0  0.6 215292 13384 ?        S    18:30   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3217  0.0  0.6 212952 12344 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3221  0.1  0.6 213120 13428 ?        S    18:31   0:02 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3222  0.0  0.3 211628  7252 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3223  0.0  0.5 212764 10556 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3224  0.1  0.8 215308 17068 ?        S    18:31   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3225  0.0  0.6 215024 14184 ?        S    18:31   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3226  0.0  0.4 212044  9440 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3227  0.1  0.8 215312 17124 ?        S    18:31   0:04 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3228  0.0  0.5 212632 10472 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3229  0.0  0.6 215292 14220 ?        S    18:31   0:01 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3230  0.0  0.3 211628  7252 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3231  0.0  0.5 212880 11144 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data  3232  0.0  0.5 212948 11848 ?        S    18:31   0:00 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
root      5137  0.0  0.1  68100  3108 ?        Ss   19:06   0:00 sshd: root@pts/0
root      5144  0.0  0.0  17628  1880 pts/0    Ss   19:06   0:00 -bash
root      5160  0.0  0.0  14768  1016 pts/0    R+   19:06   0:00 ps aux
root     24640  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    06:50   0:03 [pdflush]
root     30009  0.0  0.0      0     0 ?        S    Nov07   0:00 [pdflush]
www-data 32080  0.2  0.7 215304 15924 ?        S    17:40   0:13 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 32424  0.1  0.7 215308 15004 ?        S    17:46   0:05 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 10 '11 at 3:47

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Check your 'netstat' output to see if anyone's holding open longterm connections to your server. It could be a form of DOS attack, or a misbehaving client. –  Marc B Nov 9 '11 at 16:01
    
Ok, I have checked netstat and there are lots of TIME_WAIT sockets. At any time I have around 250 TIME_WAITs from remote connection (i.e. Google Crawler or some random visitor) and 150 TIME_WAITs related to my mysql server. I'm new to netstat but this doesn't sound good! –  Eric Nov 10 '11 at 7:21
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