Help: Looking to contact someone running FreeBSD on ESX

Dean E. Weimer dweimer at
Sat Feb 26 00:17:56 UTC 2011

 On Fri, 25 Feb 2011 16:09:31 -0500, Greg Larkin wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On 2/25/11 3:00 PM, Mark Felder wrote:
>> On Fri, 25 Feb 2011 13:15:29 -0600, Greg Larkin
>> wrote:
>>> I haven't used watchdogd(8) ( [1]) before, but 
>>> I
>>> wonder
>>> if it would help you by firing some data logging command (-e 
>>> option)
>>> so
>>> you have some information to go on.
>> That actually looks like a great solution, but I currently cannot
>> recompile the kernel to enable SW_WATCHDOG and take those servers 
>> down.
>> We have identical hardware in a test environment that I can do that 
>> on
>> and hopefully see if we can get a clone of the problematic VMs to 
>> fail
>> there with the watchdogd enabled.
>> Thanks,
>> Mark
> Hi Mark,
> That sounds good, and please post any further information so someone
> else can help you troubleshoot further.
> Here are some other questions for you to ponder:
> - - What appears in the Apache access & error logs just before a 
> freeze
> occurs?
> - - Are you using any unusual Apache config file settings or modules? 
> How
> about for PHP?
> - - Are all of your installed ports up to date?
> - - Have you done any Apache or PHP performance tuning using
> [3] or
> [4] as
> starting points?
> - - Have you enabled a PHP log file to record errors, warnings, etc.
> generated by your application code?
> Hope that helps,
> Greg
> - --
> Greg Larkin
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 I manage 8 FreeBSD virtual servers at work running 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2 in 
 VMware ESX 4.0, they are running Apache2 with PHP, Bind, and Squid, any 
 of the services they are running is all installed from source and kept 
 up to date, as we are required to pass quarterly PCI scans.  So it 
 doesn't speak much of programs installed from ports, but these systems 
 stay very stable, the only issue I have is that after about 8 to 9 
 months of system uptime (services are restarted more frequently for 
 updates) sometimes the network will stop responding until the virtual 
 machine is shutdown and powered back on. (I can't say that any of the 
 windows servers on the cluster ever reach that length of uptime to 
 compare with this)  We have 6 physical servers running with full 
 automated vmotion there is about 80 windows servers runnign on the same 
 systems.  Backed with an ISCSI SAN and 10G Ethernet adapters.  However 
 our internet applications that utilize the FreeBSD servers are 
 relatively low usage, squid is mainly used as outbound proxy for around 
 600 Computer users which is the highest used resource on these servers, 
 primarily between 5am and 7pm, so usage levels may not be near where you 
 are running at.
 I am running vmware tools installed from a VMware workstation 6.5 tools 
 image, I have switched a couple of the systems over to the vmxnet 
 drivers instead of running then as e1000 adapters, but haven't been 
 running them long enough to see if that resolves are problem.  When it 
 does occur the system is completely responsive when connecting to the 
 console though, and can be cleanly shutdown.

 I haven't noticed any issues with VMwawre performance monitoring 
 reporting the systems CPU as hammered when the CPU on FreeBSD shows low, 
 but these systems are much more heavily memory used followed by disk I/O 
 CPU sits idle at most times.  I should also mention that they are setup 
 with 2 vCPUs, perhaps if you are running a signal vCPU something is 
 hanging one vCPU and mine setup is recovering OK because the 
 applications complete using the other until the issue resolves itself.  
 I haven't spent much time looking at historical usage graphs on these 
 since I don't get any complaints about performance.


  Dean E. Weimer
  dweimer at

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