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Random High Server load.

Guest JasonA

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Hi Everyone,

I have one site on my VPS using CC4, fully patched. Every once in a while (once per week), the site spontaneously will bring my server to an absolute crawl. Server goes from 0.1 up to 154+ and everything grinds to a hault. I can see that the user that the site is installed under is spawning multiple php instances, but beyond that I don't have a way of getting more information. I can suspend that user's account, and the server goes back to normal load. The question is, why does this keep happening?


1) Reboots make no difference, when the site comes back up, it is keeps hogging the processor.

2) There is no increase in traffic to the site (no DOS attacks).

3) Spoke with the site owner, and they are not editing anything in admin.

Has anyone else seen this issue, I'm stumped.



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Perhaps your tell-a-friend page is being abused by spammers? is there any change in email traffic during this period?

I checked email activity during that time and there are no anomalies or spikes.

I did some further experimentation - I setup my firewall to block all but my IP address from their site (to ensure I was the only one in). Then, I ran top from the terminal and surfed the site simultaneously. With just me in there, the CPU spiked to 40-50% with average surfing. My next step will be to backup the site to my test environment and run from there. If it does the same thing, I'll be absolutely convinced that there is something wrong with the site itself.

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