Server slow, but CPU, Memory fine

Posted September 3, 2014 23.2k views

This started happening since a few days ago, and I am pulling my hair because I can’t figure out what is causing this. The server is working fine, but it seems to have slowed down because I see that the website is not as responsive as it was before (there is only one bigger website on the server). The cron jobs take 3 times as much to execute as before, and when I try to connect to the server by SSH, it takes a while for me to connect. All in all, things have slowed down in general. The weirdest things though is that CPU and memory usage are actually low and within the boundaries where they were before this started occurring. The bandwidth also seems to be in the normal boundaries.

I am checking the processes running, and I see that Apache and MySql take up most of the resources as before. But again as before, they are in the normal boundaries.

I am really baffled by this and I really don’t know what to do any more. Could someone please help as this is a very important server for me?

FYI, I am running Cent OS 6.5 x64. Thanks!

  • I just went back and forth with the DO support (thanks Ryan and Maurice). It turned out that this was a very easy fix, so just in case someone else encounters this, here is the solution:

    Edit the /etc/resolv.conf file. The contents of this file looked like this for me:


    Instead, contents should be like this:

    When I saved the file, the server went back to normal speed. Hope this helps anyone with the same problem.

  • Would this work for everyone or are these nameserver IPs specific to your droplet?

  • @ D. No, those values are not specific to my droplet, you can use them too.

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3 answers

You would surprised how many command line utilities rely on DNS resolution at this point in time so if you’re /etc/resolv.conf is out of date or has bad entries that are unreachable it can cause the server to feel horridly slow when in fact nothing is actually broken. That’s because it’s querying nameservers and has to wait for the timeouts before it can continue.

  • Can you explain this a bit? Nameservers? What is that conf file?

    • Name Servers - A place where DNS records are stored and these nameservers are updated in a config file called resolv.conf located in /etc/resolv.conf for linux Operating systems.
      DNS - Domain Name Service
      GIving names to physical Ip is what DNS does
      Ex: if there is a website say is hosted on a server called for example,
      If we go the website with name , it looks for server and you get the website

      There are some severs where this dns information tables are located mentioning which name refers to what server Ip (to resolve the name) called name servers.

I got this issue too, but it seems not the DNS matters.