Just to close the loop on this issue - we doubled the RAM on our server to 
32GB and allocated 8GB to memcached.  So far we've gone 2 weeks without any 
problems so it appears it was memcached that was thrashing.

Thanks for all the input.


On Thursday, September 12, 2013 5:27:39 AM UTC-7, Paul Fee wrote:
> MaxRequestsPerChild of 4000 should be fine.  I happen to have mine 
> configured to 3000.  I didn't find the root cause of my server's lock ups, 
> at the time I noted increased memory use by Apache.  A few months of 
> evidence shows the change to be effective.  BTW I'm running RB 1.5 on an 
> old Ubuntu release, so my problems may well have been fixed in more recent 
> versions.  I expect you've got server issues different from mine, but 
> MaxRequestsPerChild shouldn't do any harm.
> On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 4:19:17 PM UTC+1, Steve wrote:
>> Thanks Paul, that's helpful. We're using the prefork MPM.  Do you think 
>> 4000 is too large a number for MaxRequetsPerChild?
>> --Steve
>> On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:15:35 AM UTC-7, Paul Fee wrote:
>>> Your httpd.conf suggests you've got mod_status enabled.  Therefore visit 
>>> the /server-status URL on your web server.  This should cause Apache httpd 
>>> to provide a page that summarises the status of all its workers.  That may 
>>> help you understand why you've got more httpd processes than expected.
>>> Also, I've found the MaxRequestsPerChild directive to be useful on an 
>>> installation of mine that would lock up occasionally.  Your config shows 
>>> the directive set to 4000 for the prefork MPM, but 0 (infinity) for the 
>>> worker MPM.  Check which MPM you're using (execute "httpd -V") and ensure 
>>> that MaxRequestsPerChild is taking effect.  The config file contains a set 
>>> of MPM tuning directives, duplicated for prefork and worker, make sure the 
>>> required configuration is actually active.
>>> -- 
>>> Paul
>>> On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:36:59 PM UTC+1, Steve wrote:
>>>> I see the 'server cache' information in the admin page.  It shows the 
>>>> memory usage at around 150MB, so clearly 64MB was not enough. 
>>>>  Unfortunately, the load average once again climbed over 100 and I had 
>>>> close to 200 apache processes running.  It's baffling.  Can you guide me 
>>>> on 
>>>> how to limit the number of apache processes and threads?  I've attached 
>>>> the 
>>>> apache httpd.conf file.
>>>> Thanks Christian.
>>>> --steve

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