High load on CPU and disk I/O every hour (Apache, MySQL and mod_pagespeed on Ubuntu)

On one of my Ubuntu servers I noticed a significant peak in CPU load (load average, LA) and disk I/O about every hour. At first, I suspected that MySQL was the cause of this, doing some houeskeeping or garbage cleaning.

However, it turned out it was caused by the Apache module mod_pagespeed. The high load occuered when pagespeed was cleaning out it’s cache.

The solution was to locate the cache on tmpfs instead. This was done by editing the file /etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.conf and change the location of the cache by the line (/run is located on tmpfs which is RAM memory):

ModPagespeedFileCachePath "/run/cache/mod_pagespeed/"

Then restart Apache by:

service apache2 restart
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