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I'm running a set of rails apps on a server under Apache/Passenger. One of the apps keeps getting into a state where the load on the machine gets very high and the machine becomes unresponsive with top showing that most of the CPU time is spent on IO wait but none of the processes are using much time. iowait and ifwait don't show anything out of the ordinary. passenger-status is the most interesting, it shows every single applications process for what I suspect is the problem app (app x in the output below) is occupied with 1 session. I can kill all of these processes and passenger replaces them with no effect on server load, only when I restart apache or the server does load return to normal. Here's the output:

----------- General information -----------
max      = 20
count    = 20
active   = 16
inactive = 4
Waiting on global queue: 22

----------- Application groups -----------
/home/A:
  App root: /home/A
  * PID: 5379    Sessions: 0    Processed: 6       Uptime: 3m 42s

/home/X:
  App root: /home/X
  * PID: 5604    Sessions: 1    Processed: 2       Uptime: 1m 8s
  * PID: 5560    Sessions: 1    Processed: 3       Uptime: 1m 10s
  * PID: 5416    Sessions: 1    Processed: 5       Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5387    Sessions: 1    Processed: 19      Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5571    Sessions: 1    Processed: 2       Uptime: 1m 9s
  * PID: 5408    Sessions: 1    Processed: 6       Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5424    Sessions: 1    Processed: 3       Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5306    Sessions: 1    Processed: 18      Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5553    Sessions: 1    Processed: 1       Uptime: 1m 10s
  * PID: 5612    Sessions: 1    Processed: 1       Uptime: 1m 8s
  * PID: 5394    Sessions: 1    Processed: 4       Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5401    Sessions: 1    Processed: 14      Uptime: 3m 30s
  * PID: 5620    Sessions: 1    Processed: 1       Uptime: 1m 8s
  * PID: 5298    Sessions: 1    Processed: 7       Uptime: 4m 33s
  * PID: 5580    Sessions: 1    Processed: 2       Uptime: 1m 9s
  * PID: 5594    Sessions: 1    Processed: 1       Uptime: 1m 8s

/home/B:
  App root: /home/B
  * PID: 5362    Sessions: 0    Processed: 3       Uptime: 4m 2s

/home/C:
  App root: /home/C
  * PID: 5332    Sessions: 0    Processed: 5       Uptime: 4m 18s
  * PID: 5369    Sessions: 0    Processed: 10      Uptime: 3m 30s
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What happens in this state? Is only Apache unresponsive, or do other non-web-related components become unresponsive as well? Does Apache still respond to non-Ruby URLs? –  Hongli Lai Oct 24 '12 at 0:45

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