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I've been wrestling with this problem for few days now.

Apache works fine. Then suddenly starts timing out.

There is nothing in the error log.

Few more things: - I've gone so far as to reinstall the box. - The codebase has not been touched in months. - I've done the speech test so I know it's not a bandwidth overload problem - Restart apache does not necessarily fix the issue, even temporarily (only thing that does is random attempts)

If you can guide me to tools that can help me figure this out or if you know any specifics I should see, appreciate it.

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Apache timed out inexplicably and you re-installed the OS? Can you log the server-status when the system load goes up and post a redacted version of it here? Would you punch yourself in the head until you pass out? If not, then don't re-install the OS every time something dies a few times.. its basically the same thing. – Tim Post Oct 26 '09 at 18:08
Apache or apache2? Operating system, and version? Type of site, type of load, anything useful at all? More information definitely better in a situation like this. – Zayne S Halsall Nov 29 '09 at 10:33
You'll get more helpful answers if you specify your apache version (not just whether it's apache2 but also minor version numbers), and some specs of the box: operating system and version (linux distro if you're on Linux), allocated memory, etc. You might add a tag for the server OS. Maybe the platform of the site (PHP? Rails? Flat files?) Then users can help you look at potential trouble spots, e.g. checking load when it's timing out, checking the server logs, etc. – pjmorse Oct 8 '10 at 19:30

I'm guessing you're on Linux. Can you give the Apache and kernel version as well as architecture? Also, in httpd.conf turn LogLevel to Debug, start Apache with -e Debug, and provide netstat -tupan , sar -q 1 10 and ps -aux output the next time things time out and you're ready to restart?

Can you let us know what MPM you're using as well? Ie, prefork, hybrid, worker.

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Are you sure the timeout isn't external to Apache, e.g. networking or firewalling?

In cases when you cannot connect, are you able to connect from the server back to itself, either on the IP address or localhost? You could try telnet localhost 80 to see if you get a TCP connection.

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Did you check dmesg infomaration ?

I have same problem - apache just hangs, with no reason... I use M/Monit to control if httpd process is alive, and restart when there is no connection.

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This could be a bad Apache module. In fact this just happened to me in my local development environment (XAMPP). Apache did NOT like the version of the PHP MySQL module I was trying to use and would segfault and timeout in the browser.

PHP worked fine, and it would only segfault when I used a mysql/mysqli function.

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You can try to add a line to crontab like telnet 80, and see if the hang continues, to exclude the timeouts at least

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