I have 2 low-traffic wordpress websites on a Debian 7 VPS (1G RAM, 1G SWAP, Dualcore 2.4GHz CPU). Between 5 and 10 days, kjournald hangs, the kernel reports and I/O error and the filesystem (ext3) goes to read-only and an inconsistent state. This obviously requires a reboot and manually running fsck. I've set vm.dirty_ratio to 5, but other than that I'm at loss to what to do. The CPU load never goes over 3, the memory is stable (350 to 450MB used) and sufficient, the 1 GB swap isn't used and the only thing running on the server is apache (mpm-worker), php-fpm, mysql, fail2ban, proftpd and a backup script that uses tar/gzip to store the webserver folders to another folder on the same partition of the hard disk. I'm at loss to what could cause such high I/O so that it hangs for more than 120s. Any help is highly appreciated!

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The problem was solved when the provider applied updates to Xen. The issue was caused by a conflict between the Xen host and the linux guest running 3.2.0 with an ext3/4 filesystem. Here's the bug report from Debian: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=688441

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