High Server Load Averages?

Cloude Porteus cloude at instructables.com
Thu Apr 9 21:02:25 CEST 2009

Has anyone experienced very high server load averages? We're running varnish
on a dual core with 8gb of ram. It runs okay for a day or two and then I
start seeing load averages in 6-10 range for an hour or so, drops down to
2-3, then goes back up.

This starts to happen once we have more items in the cache than our physical
memory. Maybe increasing our lru_interval will help? It's currently set to

Right now we're running with a 50gb file storage option. There are 270k
objects in the cache, 70gb virtual memory, 6.2gb of res memory used, 11gb of
data on disk in the file storage. We have a 98% hit ratio.

We followed Artur's advice about setting a tmpfs and creating an ext2
partition for our file storage.

I also tried running with malloc as our storage type, but I had to set it at
a little less than half of our physical ram in order for it to work well
after the cache got full. I don't understand why the virtual memory is
double when I am running in malloc mode. I was running it with 5gb and the
virtual memory was about 10-12gb and once it got full it started using the
swap memory.

Thanks for any help/insight.

VP of Product Development

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