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This a shared web server for our office and normally runs just fine with a few devs working on it simultaneously.

However, I've recently started working with it using Wordpress and it's XMLRPC API feature and things turned sour. I'm making an iPhone app that requests data from the API, the responses of which are around 5k-8k in size.

The server ends up in the state shown below after sending one batch of API requests. After a few minutes it returns to normal with load averages of, right now, 0.08, 0.81, 0.93


Can anyone diagnose this? I have no clue how to interpret all the columns. Any help would be much appreciated.

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What version of Wordpress is installed? There was an issue up to v2.8. – tyblu Jan 19 '12 at 13:02
According to readme.html it's 3.2.1 – Matt Potts Jan 19 '12 at 13:33
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In the info you posted your problem is that you are running out of memory and so your server starts to swap, a lot. Swapping is extremely slow, so all your applications end up slowing down. You can see this where it says 6124k free in the memory row, and 531316k used in the swap row. Having a low mem free number is fairly common, so you also have to look at 13284k cached number, which is how much of your memory is used for caching, which is also pretty low, meaning most of your ram is in use by programs. What those programs are is hard to tell as your screenshot does not show this information (posting ps aux output would be much better here). However in top, you can press SHIFT+M to sort by memory usage.

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Thanks very much - that advice seems to be on the button. It's a virtual server so we just gave it a virtual "upgrade" from 512MB to 1GB memory and so far swap is at 0k used. Let's hope it stays that way. – Matt Potts Jan 19 '12 at 13:54

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