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So we have a java-tomcat setup running. During an upload onto the platform of a large file (eg, 31mb pdf) the Sophos savscand server process (both of them - there are always 2 running, this is standard apparently) on our RHEL5.5 system bogs down the entire system and consumes 700%+ cpu load.

Until the savscand processes are killed the system is on cpu overdrive.

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I had the EXACT same problem. Large file being uploaded to our App causing cpu load on all cores. Even Rackspace enterprise support couldn't figure that one out. We figured it was something with the uploaded folder being exported as NFS causing Sophos to go haywire. Not the best solution but we ended up having that folder being omitted from scanning . – Tom Geee Feb 26 '13 at 16:28

Without more information you are going to need to open a support request with Sophos. Red Hat support might be able to point out some possible causes, but my hunch is after they review the SOSReport they will be pointing to Sophos. Given the information you gave, my hunch is there is a race condition occurring somewhere.

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