My Drupal 6 site has been running smoothly for years but recently has experienced intermittent periods of extreme slowness (10-60 sec page loads). Several hours of slowness followed by hours of normal (4-6 sec) page loads. The page always loads with no error, just sometimes takes forever.
------Edit----- Updated Question:
How can I troubleshoot this problem?
- windows task manager
- apache and windows logs
- Firewall packet capture
Windows Server 2003
Apache/2.2.15 (Win32) Jrun/4.0
PHP 5 MySql 5.1
Cold fusion 9
Vmware virtual environment
DMZ behind a corporate firewall
Traffic: 1-3 hits/sec avg
No applicable errors in apache error log
No errors in drupal event log
Drupal devel module shows 242 queries in 366.23 milliseconds,page execution time 2069.62 ms. (So it looks like queries and php scripts are not the problem)
NO unusually high CPU, memory, or disk IO
Cold fusion apps, and other static pages outside of drupal also load slow
webpagetest.org test shows very high time-to-first-byte
The problem seems to be with Apache responding to requests, but previously I've only seen this behavior under 100% cpu load. Judging solely by resource monitoring, it looks as though very little is going on.
Here is the kicker - roughly half of the site's access comes from our LAN, but if I disable the firewall rule and block access from outside of our network, internal (LAN) access (1000+ devices) is speedy. But as soon as outside access is restored the site is crippled.
Apache config? Crawlers/bots? Attackers? I'm at the end of my rope, where should I be looking to determine where the problem lies?
Attached a waterfall chart from webpagetest.org showing a 15 second load time, I've seen times as high as several minutes. And again, the server runs fine much of the time. The green areas indicate that the browser has sent a request and is waiting to recieve the first byte of data back from the server. This is certainly a back-end delay, but it is puzzling that the CPU is barely used during this slowness.