top - Load average


 
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# 1  
top - Load average

Hello, Here is the output of top command. My understanding here is,
the load average 0.03 in last 1 min, 0.02 is in last 5 min, 0.00 is in last 15 min.

By seeing this load average, When can we say that, the system load averge is too high?
When can we say that, load average is medium/low??

15:18:58 up 404 days, 17:54, 1 user, load average: 0.03, 0.02, 0.00
225 processes: 224 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states: cpu user nice system irq softirq iowait idle
total 1.2% 0.0% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 97.9%
cpu00 0.5% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 98.4%
cpu01 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 99.0%
cpu02 4.1% 0.0% 1.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 94.2%
cpu03 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 99.8%
Mem: 5907464k av, 5875112k used, 32352k free, 0k shrd, 156876k buff

I would appreicate if any one can answer for this. Thanks
# 2  
A rule of thumb that I've heard bandied about:
If the load average frequently exceeds the number of CPU's by 10-15% over a 15 minute period, the average load is too high, and you might want to look into augmenting or replacing your system.
# 3  
Quote:
Originally Posted by avronius
A rule of thumb that I've heard bandied about:
If the load average frequently exceeds the number of CPU's by 10-15% over a 15 minute period, the average load is too high, and you might want to look into augmenting or replacing your system.

Thanks for the info and appreicate your response. But can i say, the minimum load averge is 0.0 and max average load is 100? Please let me know.
# 4  
This will depend on what the information is to be used for.

Min is 0.0 and max is (total number of CPUs) *1.1 or *1.15
ie:
min 0.0 max 1.1 (1 cpu)
min 0.0 max 2.3 (2 cpu)

Your mileage may vary.
# 5  
Thank you so much for your immediate reply. Here is my output of top command. I have only four CPU and it is showing 5.50 load average.
It should be less then 4*1.15 => 4.6 But is showing more now. Is this possible? Please let me know. This is LINUX server.

Quote:
17:54:21 up 59 days, 19:54, 3 users, load average: 5.50, 4.03, 4.01
310 processes: 304 sleeping, 6 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states: cpu user nice system irq softirq iowait idle
total 36.2% 0.0% 41.3% 0.0% 0.2% 0.0% 22.0%
cpu00 21.3% 0.0% 51.3% 0.0% 1.1% 0.0% 26.0%
cpu01 25.4% 0.0% 54.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 20.3%
cpu02 55.1% 0.0% 27.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.8%
cpu03 42.8% 0.0% 32.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 24.0%

Quote:
18:02:41 up 59 days, 20:02, 3 users, load average: 6.34, 4.92, 4.38
304 processes: 303 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU states: cpu user nice system irq softirq iowait idle
total 15.3% 0.0% 44.5% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 39.7%
cpu00 7.1% 0.0% 59.9% 0.1% 0.5% 0.3% 31.7%
cpu01 21.2% 0.0% 37.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 40.8%
cpu02 11.9% 0.0% 39.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 48.7%
cpu03 21.2% 0.0% 40.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 37.7%
Mem: 11819656k av, 11786464k used, 33192k free, 0k shrd, 72668k buff
8937992k actv, 1711768k in_d, 265320k in_c

Last edited by govindts; 09-23-2008 at 04:03 PM..
# 6  
Once the number exceeds the total number of processors, this means that there are cpu requests waiting for cpu time. It does not mean that the system is operating at 110%, but merely that there are more requests than can be handled in the time period specified.

Over the course of n minutes, this may return to a manageable level for the server, or may continue. If you find that your host is consistently overloaded, you may need to look at augmenting your host (replacing existing CPU's with more/faster CPU's, adding more or faster memory), or replacing it with a more powerful system. Other options include offloading some of the processes to another server, but this may result in more i/o waits, potentially affecting performance in other ways.
# 7  
Quote:
Originally Posted by avronius
Once the number exceeds the total number of processors, this means that there are cpu requests waiting for cpu time. It does not mean that the system is operating at 110%, but merely that there are more requests than can be handled in the time period specified.

Over the course of n minutes, this may return to a manageable level for the server, or may continue. If you find that your host is consistently overloaded, you may need to look at augmenting your host (replacing existing CPU's with more/faster CPU's, adding more or faster memory), or replacing it with a more powerful system. Other options include offloading some of the processes to another server, but this may result in more i/o waits, potentially affecting performance in other ways.

Thanks for your response. I agree with you. I get this High average load since last two weeks. I see there are lot of CPU idle time. CPU idle time is always 40%. My confusion is, if the CPU is idle, why the average load is going high. Any thoughts...

Thanks and appreciate your response.
 

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