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I have have a Web server Apache installed on Solaris V.10. The server behavior becomes unusual when Apache is started. The CPU usage becomes 96% and slowly the server becomes unresponsive,and when I grep for apache processed, there are more than 216 httpd processes and this rise is not gradual , it spikes in a very short span of time.

However, there is not such significant load on this server, still this behavior is seen

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You should check the Apache configuration file, in either /etc/apache2/apache2.conf or /etc/httpd/httpd.conf (or similar file) and lower the number of StartServers and Min/Max SpareServers, to keep them in check.

Then restart Apache, and check your performance and count.

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