Recently, I have purchased standard VPS plan from HostMonster for my blog. It receives around 10K visits per day. I've optimized my blog theme and images and I am also using caching plugins to minimize the server load on my server. At the moment, server stats are as follow (non-peak hours)
In peak hours, the server load goes above 1 which is currently 0.57. I don't have much knowledge about server load. Is a server load of around 1 okay? When should I upgrade my package? Any suggestions will be appreciated greatly.
There are several closely related concepts of server load. I am guessing here that server load refers to "load average", which is, broadly speaking, the average number of processes demanding CPU attention over a period of 1, 5, and 15 minutes (as per the "uptime" or "top" command).
The following is a general rule, it does not always hold, and there are architectures such as power series / AIX where this concept has an entirely different meaning: a system is "fully loaded" (but not overloaded) if the load average reaches a value that is equal to the number of cores/threads available.
In your case, if you have access to 1 core/thread, a load average of 1 would indicate you are fully using your CPU. If you had 4 cores/threads (NB I use these terms interchangeably despite the fact that they don't mean the same - but inside a VM you will often not notice the difference as cores can be sliced further, or restricted in processing power), a load average of 3 would mean you are using 75% of your computing power - in which case your host might want to talk to you as you might be "stealing" CPU power from others in a fair share model (again, there is more to that, so this is just a general guideline).
A more detailed insight can be obtained from using "vmstat" - it can show run queue, memory, and I/O bottlenecks on a more granular timescale, and in more detail. Its manpage can be found here for example: http://unixhelp.ed.ac.uk/CGI/man-cgi?vmstat
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Thank you so much Oz, now I'm clear about this. Then I might need to upgrade as the I'm using only 1 core at the moment and in peak hours, the server load reaches 1 and status turns red. Thank you so much again for the explanation. It was extremely helpful in making me understand about server load. I read an article on Wikipedia about this, but that confused me
Thank you for the reply. In peak hours, "Server Load" icon gets red and load is shown around 1. I read somewhere that the server load up to 3 or 4 is normal. Can you clarify me about this please?
A server load of 3-4 is acceptable for cPanel based installations (It's based on their guidelines that this and below is ideal). I would say a server load of around 1 isn't an issue really (I am also sure your host would be contacting you if they thought it was high also!)
ozfingwe gives a great explanation on how to monitor it. Using the top command is a great start, when loads appear high, see what process's are grabbing the available resources and look into possible reasons why.
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