Query Cache defeats Serverzilla

So a few days ago, my big mean MySQL server started having problems that were very hard to explain. It was slowing down, taking a minute to run queries that usually take a few seconds, and Linux load averages were in the teens, despite having quiet disks (less than 0.1% cpu IO wait time) and plenty of RAM (128G for about 200G of data total…).

The developers were stumped. The other systems guys were stumped. So was I. But it still seemed ok. We found all sorts of things to point fingers at, but nothing made sense.
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