Server Loads Explained
Server Load Explination
When seeing the results of the load averages, they are for the past 1, 5, and 15 minutes.
How to check the servers load?
Method 1 - using the uptime command:
It shows the time since the system was last booted, the number of active user processes and something called the load average.
Method 2 - using the procinfo command:
Memory: Total Used Free Shared Buffers Cached
Bootup: Sun Jul 21 15:21:15 2002 Load average: 0.15 0.03 0.01 2/58 8557
The load average appears in the lower left corner of this output.
Method 3 - using the w command:
Notice that the first line of the output is identical to the output of the uptime command.
Method 4 - using the top command - prefered:
4:09am up 12:48, 1 user, load average: 0.02, 0.27, 0.17
PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT LIB %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
We like to use the top command because it also shows server uptime, memory information and the list of processes that you can sort by CPU usage, etc.
Other system monitoring tools - SIM (System Integrity Monitor)
For more information on SIM please visit the R-fx networks SIM page
What is a good load, bad load and in between?
When your regular average starts to creep up around 2.0 then your server is very busy and you should consider getting another machine or upgrading your hardware. When I say regular average, I mean when the system is idle during the day and isn't processing all your logs or backing up data.
Having an overloaded server can lead to many problems and should always be avoided. I hope this guide was helpful by giving you some more insight to server loads, what to use to monitor them and what is a good and bad load average.
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