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Subjectsystem lockup issues w/ 2.4.19
Date
I was wondering if anyone here might be able to point me in the right 
direction for a solution to this problem.

About once a month or so (not very regular), one or the other of our Dell
PowerEdge servers goes catatonic. Examining the system in this state, it
seems to exhibit the symptoms of a full process table, in that no new
processes can be started at all. This results in a system that has a
completely unresponsive console, services which answer to new connections
but never do anything, and general frustration as the only sign of life at
all is that it'll respond to pings.

Investigation after a power cycle of the catatonic machine reveals that
processes that had been running at the time of the event (whatever the
event is) either kept running (in the case of services, like syslog) or ran
to normal completion (i.e., reports or other jobs that had been started
earlier). As I said, everything I've gleaned from these systems when
they've gone catatonic suggests a full process table, but I have no proof
of it.

One of these servers (where it's more critical that this not happen) is a
Dell PowerEdge 6600, 4x 1.6GHz Xeon, 8GB ram, dual Broadcom GigE NICs,
PERC3/DC (Megaraid) Raid controller. This system is running SuSE Linux
Enterprise Server 7 (essentially SuSE 7.2 Pro) with kernel 2.4.19 (from
kernel.org) patched with LVM 1.0.5 (sistina) and "10_inode-highmem-2", a
patch recommended to me way back when I was trying to take care of some
LVM/VM issues with bigmem support (which are still unresolved). This is a
production machine, and as such my ability to load new kernels and do
testing is limited, but I can get ahold of it on the weekends.

The other server is our development machine, a Dell PowerEdge 4600, 2x
2.4GHz Xeon, 2GB ram, e100 and Broadcom GigE NICs, aacraid. This system is
also running SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7, kernel 2.4.19 + LVM 1.0.5, but
without the highmem patch.

At this point, I'm looking for any options in resolving this issue. I'm
goign to be contacting SuSE to open a support ticket, to see if they can
help. I'm preparing a 2.4.20 kernel + LVM 1.0.7 which I can hopefully
install tonight on both machines. I'm trying to get my hands on one of Red
Hat's 2.4.20 "bigmem" kernels to see what they include and if maybe one of
RH's kernels might do the job... Any other suggestions would be most
appreciated.

TIA,
Gregory

--
Gregory K. Ruiz-Ade <gregory@castandcrew.com>
Sr. Systems Administrator
Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, Inc.

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