I've scoured the web but I can't find out what MaxSpareServers are in Apache MPM prefork..
The MaxSpareServers directive sets the desired maximum number of idle child server processes. An idle process is one which is not handling a request. If there are more than MaxSpareServers idle, then the parent process will kill off the excess processes.
Great, but what causes a spareserver to be created? More importantly, when does a spare server go away? I understand that minspareservers are created gradually after the server is started..
How do maxspareservers relate to maxclients?
Basically I'm at a bit of a loss on how best to configure Apache.. there's a lot of documentation out there but it isn't that clear.