a resource semaphore wait type is typically waiting on a memory grant, check pending/outstanding memory grants in perfmon. That's normally because a query plan has compiled in a "non-optimal" fashion.
You can identify which queries are causing this to occur by running the query below.
You may need to be more selective with youre where clause or add an index, identify the query, go through the tuning process and sort it out.
Production server you say, maxdop to 1 mate, every time. Thats many years of experience talking. Maxdop is a waste of time on anything but pure reporting systems in my experience. Ive seen it grind whole companies to a halt, the default setting pre-2008 is really unsafe, unpredictable and shit. Just turn parallelism off for a more predixctable experience IMO.
--Replacement for master.dbo.sysprocesses
SELECT r.session_id -- new column for SPID
,mg.dop --Degree of parallelism
,mg.request_time --Date and time when this query requested the memory grant.
,mg.grant_time --NULL means memory has not been granted
,mg.requested_memory_kb --Total requested amount of memory in kilobytes
,mg.granted_memory_kb --Total amount of memory actually granted in kilobytes. NULL if not granted
,mg.required_memory_kb --Minimum memory required to run this query in kilobytes.
,mg.query_cost --Estimated query cost.
,mg.timeout_sec --Time-out in seconds before this query gives up the memory grant request.
,mg.resource_semaphore_id --Nonunique ID of the resource semaphore on which this query is waiting.
,mg.wait_time_ms --Wait time in milliseconds. NULL if the memory is already granted.
,CASE mg.is_next_candidate --Is this process the next candidate for a memory grant
WHEN 1 THEN 'Yes'
WHEN 0 THEN 'No'
ELSE 'Memory has been granted'
END AS 'Next Candidate for Memory Grant'
,rs.target_memory_kb --Grant usage target in kilobytes.
,rs.max_target_memory_kb --Maximum potential target in kilobytes. NULL for the small-query resource semaphore.
,rs.total_memory_kb --Memory held by the resource semaphore in kilobytes.
,rs.available_memory_kb --Memory available for a new grant in kilobytes.
,rs.granted_memory_kb --Total granted memory in kilobytes.
,rs.used_memory_kb --Physically used part of granted memory in kilobytes.
,rs.grantee_count --Number of active queries that have their grants satisfied.
,rs.waiter_count --Number of queries waiting for grants to be satisfied.
,rs.timeout_error_count --Total number of time-out errors since server startup. NULL for the small-query resource semaphore.
,rs.forced_grant_count --Total number of forced minimum-memory grants since server startup. NULL for the small-query resource semaphore.
FROM sys.dm_exec_requests r
INNER JOIN sys.dm_exec_sessions es
ON r.session_id = es.session_id
INNER JOIN sys.dm_exec_query_memory_grants mg
ON r.session_id = mg.session_id
INNER JOIN sys.dm_exec_query_resource_semaphores rs
ON mg.resource_semaphore_id = rs.resource_semaphore_id
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_sql_text(r.sql_handle)st
--Is anything timing out
SELECT * FROM sys.dm_exec_query_optimizer_info
WHERE counter = 'timeout'
anyway thats from here, which does a pretty spot on job of explaining resource semaphores.