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The Server is EC2 Instance, it stands for saving files to NAS (NFS) from HTTPD.

The processes like flush-0:32 consume over %90 of CPU and load average: 65.50, 64.02, 66.59.

According the graph, it's increasing every day while initial load average was ~ 1.01, 2.02, 1.80 on 4 cores. I have added another similar Instance under Load Balancer and its CPU Utilization is only about %6 ATM.

What do these flush processes do exactly?

Maybe we should turn off NFS attributes cache if clients need only to write data?

Could that be because of packet fragmentation?

Here is some stats of nfsstat -s -4:

=================================================================
Server 0:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
715054137   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
993       0% 715053143 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 143229323  6% 78092765  3% 36693816  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
3486926   0% 0         0% 0         0% 679872421 28% 158406682  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 95872524  4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
78173920  3% 0         0% 46442107  1% 1668      0% 715044032 29% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
7110      0% 42081145  1% 9116904   0% 0         0% 7026      0% 1257      0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
14        0% 81591622  3% 81659244  3% 0         0% 21028018  0% 3244      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3244      0% 0         0% 114086560  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 1:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
307172153   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
427       0% 307171725 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 58451998  5% 32717934  3% 15557564  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
1424670   0% 0         0% 0         0% 291829363 28% 67959378  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 41790934  4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
32741459  3% 0         0% 18993781  1% 75        0% 307167167 30% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
3108      0% 18598329  1% 3892199   0% 0         0% 742       0% 2         0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
3         0% 34142743  3% 34166131  3% 0         0% 8963430   0% 1449      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
1449      0% 0         0% 54628017  5% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 2:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
53026598   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
89        0% 53026508 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 9605179   5% 5472897   3% 2633853   1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
231276    0% 0         0% 0         0% 50395149 28% 11903036  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 7528324   4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
5477948   3% 0         0% 2760996   1% 15        0% 53025580 30% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
633       0% 3566001   2% 673466    0% 0         0% 11        0% 0         0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
2         0% 5704253   3% 5709223   3% 0         0% 1526967   0% 292       0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
292       0% 0         0% 10439844  5% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 3:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
63045403   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
121       0% 63045280 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 11504749  5% 6504139   3% 3119453   1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
271128    0% 0         0% 0         0% 59865633 28% 14058385  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 8852565   4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
6521385   3% 0         0% 3365913   1% 15        0% 63043988 30% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
874       0% 4209822   2% 791702    0% 0         0% 6         0% 0         0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
9         0% 6775367   3% 6792509   3% 0         0% 1811226   0% 409       0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
409       0% 0         0% 12368747  5% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 4:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
817288490   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
1204      0% 817287285 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 164320609  6% 89471711  3% 42448842  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
4101436   0% 0         0% 0         0% 778155935 28% 180629867  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 109104313  4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
89598740  3% 0         0% 53534516  1% 9727      0% 817288175 29% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
8020      0% 46348481  1% 10773529  0% 0         0% 100880    0% 12342     0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
80        0% 93709338  3% 93712518  3% 0         0% 24303185  0% 3352      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3352      0% 0         0% 127464001  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 5:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
804660319   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
1204      0% 804659114 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 161331719  6% 88318366  3% 41571552  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
4090384   0% 0         0% 0         0% 764533960 28% 177969216  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 107385644  4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
88321805  3% 0         0% 54307425  2% 444       0% 804647492 29% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
8353      0% 45980723  1% 10410930  0% 0         0% 88471     0% 440       0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
21        0% 92410970  3% 92412629  3% 0         0% 23733174  0% 3688      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3688      0% 0         0% 125268800  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 6:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
795385017   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
1204      0% 795383812 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 158633282  5% 87331357  3% 41400927  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
4080179   0% 0         0% 0         0% 756063664 28% 176355823  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 106692513  4% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
87333398  3% 0         0% 53591273  2% 187       0% 795371861 29% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
8367      0% 45030006  1% 10352133  0% 0         0% 80473     0% 151       0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
28        0% 91411943  3% 91413728  3% 0         0% 23629833  0% 3707      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3707      0% 0         0% 124033436  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 7:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
801916264   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
1204      0% 801915059 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 161888929  6% 88285947  3% 41212864  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
4069479   0% 0         0% 0         0% 762072130 28% 177131560  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 106437411  3% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
88288337  3% 0         0% 54779036  2% 191       0% 801903449 29% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
8225      0% 45488312  1% 10259565  0% 0         0% 76243     0% 177       0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
4         0% 92355900  3% 92357993  3% 0         0% 23515286  0% 3558      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3558      0% 0         0% 123741908  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 8:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
804732833   1          1          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
1204      0% 804731628 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 161428939  6% 88340891  3% 41568432  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
4085332   0% 0         0% 0         0% 764396486 28% 177796853  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 107176837  3% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
88342790  3% 0         0% 54344886  2% 187       0% 804720008 29% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
8226      0% 46219141  1% 10381361  0% 0         0% 83380     0% 160       0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
0         0% 92426602  3% 92428282  3% 0         0% 23736349  0% 3554      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3554      0% 0         0% 125088530  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 

=================================================================
Server 9:

Server rpc stats:
calls      badcalls   badauth    badclnt    xdrcall
800961003   0          0          0          0       

Server nfs v4:
null         compound     
1204      0% 800959798 99% 

Server nfs v4 operations:
op0-unused   op1-unused   op2-future   access       close        commit       
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 161394704  6% 88264733  3% 41642226  1% 
create       delegpurge   delegreturn  getattr      getfh        link         
4098314   0% 0         0% 0         0% 761225542 28% 172733291  6% 0         0% 
lock         lockt        locku        lookup       lookup_root  nverify      
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 102217363  3% 0         0% 0         0% 
open         openattr     open_conf    open_dgrd    putfh        putpubfh     
88272429  3% 0         0% 53937975  2% 467       0% 800948292 30% 0         0% 
putrootfh    read         readdir      readlink     remove       rename       
8312      0% 45893437  1% 10409370  0% 0         0% 83127     0% 478       0% 
renew        restorefh    savefh       secinfo      setattr      setcltid     
35        0% 92369729  3% 92371221  3% 0         0% 23772628  0% 3637      0% 
setcltidconf verify       write        rellockowner bc_ctl       bind_conn    
3637      0% 0         0% 124997490  4% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
exchange_id  create_ses   destroy_ses  free_stateid getdirdeleg  getdevinfo   
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
getdevlist   layoutcommit layoutget    layoutreturn secinfononam sequence     
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
set_ssv      test_stateid want_deleg   destroy_clid reclaim_comp 
0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 0         0% 
share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 15 '11 at 4:44

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
How much is too much? –  larsmans Dec 14 '11 at 10:37
    
since the question is about a kernel bug reporting the kernel version would have helped. –  Dmitri Chubarov Jul 29 '13 at 7:12
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

flush processes are responsible for managing writeback of dirty pages to the filesystem they came from. They should never take up much CPU; most of their time is spent waiting for disk (or network for NFS and the like). If you're seeing high CPU usage from a flush process, it might be a kernel bug - try rebooting, this should clear the state.

share|improve this answer
    
Hi! What are dirty pages? Yes, I just terminated failing Instance and the others are operating normally ATM. –  Roman Newaza Dec 16 '11 at 1:03
    
Dirty pages are portions of files that are cached in memory, have been modified in memory by some process, but have not yet been written back to disk. Normally this write happens in the background, unless the amount of dirty pages is too high, free memory too low, or the program explicitly asks - when the write happens in the background, it's flush's job to actually trigger this write. –  bdonlan Dec 16 '11 at 3:24
    
Thanks a lot bdonlan! –  Roman Newaza Dec 16 '11 at 3:37
    
what if I run echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches to flush pagecache, dentries and inodes? –  Roman Newaza Jan 4 '12 at 3:41
    
@RomanNewaza this will only drop caches that are not locked or dirty. flush typically doesn't do anything with non-dirty caches, so I doubt it'd make a difference (and this will severely hurt performance on a server until the caches re-warm) –  bdonlan Jan 4 '12 at 13:44
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