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Old 07-14-2005, 12:32 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Abq, NM
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 40

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Question HDD activity causes high load

I have a VIA EPIA server (VIA Samuel 2, 600MHz, 256MB DDR RAM) and during times of high harddrive activity (copying big files over the network, azureus checking big files), the server usually becomes unresponsive (time until ssh login appears about ~20 sec worst case) and I get high load averages (up to 6, worst case 8 [then even running uptime takes many seconds]). Overall I get higher CPU activity even for just copying files through samba than I expect.

HDparm says:
tor:~# hdparm -v /dev/hda

multcount = 0 (off)
IO_support = 1 (32-bit)
unmaskirq = 1 (on)
using_dma = 1 (on)
keepsettings = 0 (off)
readonly = 0 (off)
readahead = 256 (on)
geometry = 65535/16/63, sectors = 156301488, start = 0
Distribution is Debian testing, Kernel:
tor:~# uname -a
Linux tor 2.6.8-2-386 #1 Thu May 19 17:40:50 JST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux
I do run a lot of services on the server: samba, dns, firewall, dhcp, apache2, azureus (bittorrent client, in console mode). Azureus is a memory-hog being a java program, ps says it uses 35%. But since I've ran all the other services successfully on 128MB ram before, I don't think this is the problem...

Can anyone help me diagnose what could be causing this?

Thanks a lot!

Old 07-14-2005, 09:46 AM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Distribution: Slackware; Debian; Gentoo...
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just a guess, is your firewall logging? Azureus can generate A LOT of write on hdd if your firewall is logging everything.

Also, take a look at "dmesg", see if you can find I/O errors of things like this. That would probably mean your HDD is dying and is less and less reliable, resulting and errors and lost of performance.

Last edited by Half_Elf; 07-14-2005 at 09:52 AM.


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