Looking for troubleshooting tips.

Paul Halliday paul.halliday at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 14:58:35 UTC 2009

I use Freebsd as the base for my network monitoring sensors. These
machines run a netflow probe, act as a netflow collector and spool
full content data from a snort process FIFO that is bound to a span
port. During peak hours this can be 100MB saturated, its connected to
a GB intel NIC on the box (there is a separate uplink).

In the background numerous little scripts run to produce summary data.

The basic template for these systems has been the same for the past 4
years and things have worked great. Recently, one of these machines
started to become a little laggy and I can't seem to identify the

This system has always seen a lot of packet loss, I expect this though
as it is a busy site but this has never affected its performance. Can
an overloaded NIC cause serious performance issues like those I am

This is a recent top:

last pid: 98870;  load averages:  1.54,  1.41,  1.31 up 1+01:57:10  11:50:24
142 processes: 2 running, 139 sleeping, 1 zombie
CPU states: 30.9% user,  0.0% nice, 15.0% system,  1.7% interrupt, 52.4% idle
Mem: 450M Active, 328M Inact, 168M Wired, 33M Cache, 110M Buf, 3700K Free
Swap: 2048M Total, 5112K Used, 2043M Free

7.0-RELEASE FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE #0: Sun Feb 24 19:59:52 UTC 2008

To be honest, I don't know which counters are important. Is there
anything specific I should be concentrating on to determine the cause?


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