Originally raised on serverfault as this question.
I've got a production openSUSE 11.1 22.214.171.124 Intel server with a standard ipmiutil-2.4.1 installed.
The watchdog is basically a 90 second hardware timer cancelled every 60 seconds from user space by a cron job.
The cause of concern isn't the watchdog reboot itself but the underlying server fault causing it, if any at all. The IPMI watchdog IMO is doing its job to recover the system from an unrecoverable state.
The server appears to have become sluggish/slow. I say this based on 'missed/missing' /var/log/cron, syslog and other application log entries.
This has been happening randomly under load tests. The load is basically SIP traffic to a SIP server. The problem is not readily reproducible but it does happen quite frequently. Its also not deterministic with respect to hardware, time, type of load being run.
I've got volumes of detailed system activity reports i.e. %usr, %nice, %sys, %iowait, %steal, %irq , pgpgin/s, pgpgout/s, fault/s, majflt/s, pgfree/s etc. if needed.
None of the system activity reports indicate something abnormal (although I don't claim to have an exactly trained eye).