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httpd.exe causing NIC 98% network utilization

Posted on 2014-01-07
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Last Modified: 2014-01-13
I have a server (Server 2003 Web Edition) that hosts a VNC remote support site using Apache that has been working well for years. All of a sudden, it started what amounted to a denial of service to the other computers on my network. I stopped a lot of services and things were normal. I assumed I had hit on the right thing but not sure what that was. Worked fine for months. Now, after running the latest Microsoft Updates (stupid!) over the weekend, the problem is back again. I have figured out that when the httpd.exe process starts to use CPU, then the NIC shoots up to 98% network utilization and I lose Internet on my network for a couple of minutes. If I manually kill httpd.exe, then immediately things go back to normal.  Problem is, I need the Apache running for the VNC site to work so I can't kill it completely. Help!
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Question by:Profectus
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Manjunath Sullad
ID: 39762444
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Author Comment

by:Profectus
ID: 39762509
No anti-virus on this particular Server. It is used only for the role of hosting the VNC. I'll try the link, thanks. I looked there, and he describes a similar problem, but I cannot relate that fix to my situation.
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Author Comment

by:Profectus
ID: 39762512
Also, I am not seeing an inordinate use of the CPU, just the NIC
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Manjunath Sullad
ID: 39762546
Install Windows System Resource Manager and monitor, It will monitor processor and memory resources to applications, users, Remote Desktop Services sessions, and Internet Information Services (IIS) application pools.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755056.aspx
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Author Comment

by:Profectus
ID: 39762576
That only manages processor and memory, neither of which are a problem, only the NIC popping intermittently at 96-100% of network utilization is a problem. the httpd.exe that is running never gets high on CPU or memory usage. And, it goes away after just a couple of minutes then returns.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39762804
also run TCP View to check how many and what kind of TCP connections that the process is working on. are the connections normal?

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/sysinternals/bb897437.aspx
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Accepted Solution

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Profectus earned 0 total points
ID: 39765173
Here's what seems to have solved my problem. The server has two on board NICs with one disabled and one connected. When trying to “repair” the NIC, I got an error that it couldn’t resolve DNS so I went to the router to investigate. My router has been set up to assign IPs based on specific MAC addresses. I noticed that the address in the router was for the disabled NIC and after making the change, the intermittent spikes in network activity went away. I’m assuming the spikes were caused by the NIC trying to resolve DNS for the Apache Server and failing. Now, why it worked so well before is a mystery to me. I know I switched NICs back and forth the last time I had the problem, but not this time. Thanks for the comments.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39765291
are the two NICs staying on the same subnet?
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Author Closing Comment

by:Profectus
ID: 39776069
None of the things suggested by the experts got at the real problem, which was the Network Card.
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