Failure While Applyinf Template on Elasticsearch

hi ,

I have an elasticsearch machine with all the default configuration running
on production environment,there is only one node running.

The server was facing high CPU utilization and Memory usage.

So , after googling and reading some blogs, i found that the server was
running with the default settings(1 replica and 5 shards ) so , i tried to
change the settings and made a template for elasticsearch.
But after restarting elasticsearch and logstash with the new template. The
system stopped responding i.e. i was not able to fetch results from the web

When i reverted the change (removed the template), the system still didn't
came up(couldn't search anything).and few of the times i also got out of
memory error.
and after a few attempts of restarting , i got a huge list of Shard Missing
Exception. Though I was able to see them in Elasticsearch Head tool.
Finally i had to rebuild the whole data.

i have attached my setting file. I am not able to figure out what went
and i have a few questions :

  1. Does the change the template changes the current indexes also ?
  2. Was the system, updating itself that's why it didn't show the results.
  3. What lead to the Shard Missing Exception.
  4. In future if i still want to apply the settings change, how can i do it
    without hampering the system.

System Config : 8 core 2GHz Xeon processor , 32G RAM.
Total Size of the data Directory : 2.3T
Elasticsearch Ver : 0.20.2
Logstash Version : 1.1.9-monolithic

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