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  1. #1
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    What are good LOAD AVERAGES for a host?

    Using the "uptime" command, my host shows load averages of 4.65, 4.55, and 4.95.

    Is that...

    1. excellent
    2. above normal
    3. normal
    4. below normal
    5. lousy

  2. #2
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    Below 1.0

    [edit] also run top and see what process is using so much resources.
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  3. #3
    Our server's for managed shared solution's stay around this load average: 0.04, 0.30, 0.27. We use p4 2GHz server's with 1gb ram. So yes I would say below one is what it should be to be considered the best.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Originally posted by RackNine
    Depends on the server. You probably want a load average below 2.5, but 4.5 wouldn't be all that bad if the server had multiple processors and a bunch of RAM.

    Sincerely,

    -Matt
    agreed, i've even seen servers (namely at another very popular host) with avgs between 6-10 and are still able to handle it..

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by johnallen
    Below 1.0

    [edit] also run top and see what process is using so much resources.
    So, I take it that load averages around 5 are lousy. I thought they should be less than 1, but didn't remember.

    What causes them to be so high? Too many users on a server?

    I'm off to run the top command now to see if I can see what's happening.

  7. #7
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    chrisb, it depends on the server specs.... do you have them?

  8. #8
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    yeah.. top will show what processes are running and how much cpu / mem it's using.
    Dot Simple LLC
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  9. #9
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    5. lousy
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by chrisb


    So, I take it that load averages around 5 are lousy. I thought they should be less than 1, but didn't remember.

    What causes them to be so high? Too many users on a server?

    I'm off to run the top command now to see if I can see what's happening.
    Top from root and then "k" the hogging processes.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  11. #11
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    I can't get the top command to work, but here are the server specs.

    Server Information

    Processor Info
    Processor #1 Vendor: GenuineIntel
    Processor #1 Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) III CPU family 1266MHz
    Processor #1 speed: 1266.098 MHz
    Processor #1 cache size: 512 KB

    Processor #2 Vendor: GenuineIntel
    Processor #2 Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) III CPU family 1266MHz
    Processor #2 speed: 1266.098 MHz
    Processor #2 cache size: 512 KB

    Memory Information
    Memory: 3996600k/4063168k available (1284k kernel code, 66180k reserved, 376k data, 216k init, 3145664k highmem)

    System Information
    Linux jupiter.net 2.4.18 #1 SMP Tue Jun 25 10:49:31 MDT 2002 i686 unknown

    Physical Drives
    hdc: CDU5211, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
    hdc: ATAPI 52X CD-ROM drive, 120kB Cache, UDMA(33)
    Current Memory Usage
    total used free shared buffers cached
    Mem: 3997096 3809452 187644 0 254388 2573912
    -/+ buffers/cache: 981152 3015944
    Swap: 1052216 130816 921400
    Total: 5049312 3940268 1109044
    Current Disk Usage
    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda5 2.0G 197M 1.6G 11% /
    /dev/sda1 38M 9.2M 26M 26% /boot
    /dev/sda9 306G 11G 280G 4% /home
    none 1.9G 0 1.9G 0% /dev/shm
    /dev/sda7 29G 9.1G 18G 33% /usr
    /dev/sda6 29G 2.7G 24G 10% /var

  12. #12
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    Chris,
    That is a dual proc server so a load of 5 while not being great isn't really that bad, but it could be slightly better.

    Use this command to see how many sites are on the box
    ls /home |wc -l
    -Steven
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  13. #13
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    Originally posted by insiderhosting
    Use this command to see how many sites are on the box
    Ummmmmm -
    /dev/sda9 306G 11G 280G 4% /home
    And that has an exact effect on the load of the server, how??

    Oh no, not this argument again.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  14. #14
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    When was this taken? If this was at 2 AM on a Saterday morning PT, then I would say this isn't the best. If this was taken at 2 PM on a Monday, then this would be fine. This server is pretty beefy in terms of RAM and CPU.

  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    ls /home lwc -l returned nothing, but
    ls -l /home lwc OR
    ls /home -l lwc
    RETURNED
    441 3964 28369

    AND
    ls /home lwc
    RETURNED
    440 440 3699

    So, does that means there are 440 sites on the same server?

    This was taken at approx 4 AM CST on a Tuesday morning. I have noticed cgi-scripts executing a little slowly. Now the load averages are around 3 to 3-1/2.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob


    Ummmmmm -

    And that has an exact effect on the load of the server, how??

    Oh no, not this argument again.
    Hey bob,
    Not sure I understand your question, the more sites on the server the more of a load it will cause, especially those that use cgi scripts or other resource intensive scripts.

    -Steven
    http://www.insiderhosting.com
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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob


    Ummmmmm -

    And that has an exact effect on the load of the server, how??

    Oh no, not this argument again.
    You still don't believe that the chances of 1 in 500 sites overloading a server are greater than 1 in 250 do you Bob?

    Gary

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Editor


    You still don't believe that the chances of 1 in 500 sites overloading a server are greater than 1 in 250 do you Bob?

    Gary
    Even though I am American, I have traveled and worked throughout Australia. So when someone here stated in another thread Bob was a Queenslander, it really explained a lot.

  20. #20
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    Believe it or not, I have seen load averages hitting short bursts up to 300% before everything started crashing. I use certain scripts that are meant to crash my servers during testing prior to use. Generally, a server using top of the line hardware and good software can do a sustained 85% for quite a while.

    Before anyone says a server cant hit a load of 300%, I can give a 4 line script that can prove you wrong. I would also say your prob not a very good admin for not exploring ways people can take your machine down so that you know how to stop them. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who knows such codes. The others here that know them, know I am correct..

    Load average will depend on various things such as time of day, etc. There also wannabe programmers who shouldnt be writing scripts, who can cause high server loads with amazingly simple scripts. Be surprised how many of them dont know what a die statement is. Poorly written scripts can continue to loop, forking, "add other terms here", etc, until they use all the ram or too much cpu for too long of a time. It's not unusual to log in and see a load average of 20%, but usually it shouldnt be above 5 for a dual cpu. Anything sustained above that, and the server is basically running off of adrenaline and wont be able to hold it. Like anything, the higher the number, the shorter time it can be sustained.. You could basically compare it to the RPM's of a vehicle engine. Probably a much better analogy, but the best layman's analogy I could think of right now..LOL

  21. #21
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    Yes, we would mostly all have process and load monitors/watchers in place, to detect/kill/alert what's happening where...but in the same way as one domain/script can bring a server to its knees, one of the first considerations must be how many domains/subdomains are going on to a server.

    Cheers

    Gary

  22. #22
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    At the same time, you can have only 5 domains hosted, and one bring it to it's knees. Then again, you could have 500, and never have a prob.

  23. #23
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    Webdude, what does the time of day have to do with load averages? It seems that no matter what time of day it is, there is something causing it.

  24. #24
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    Time of day means that 2PM will have more people accessing the server and user's scripts than at 2AM

    (Usually) That depend on where the primary traffic for that server is coming from. If it's primary traffic is from the U.S. Then anywhere between noon and 8PM (Pacific to Eastern time) could be that machine's highest load time. But if the load is high "ALL" the time, then there's a prob. That would mean there is at least one script that's gone haywire. Running top is the best way to find that, but I believe you said you couldnt run top, right?

  25. #25
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    I would not host with someone if their constant serverload is more than 1.0. From time to time it spikes and it is fine, but normally, it should not be more than 1.0

  26. #26
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    What I meant was that the time of day is irrelevant to the cause of the load average. Does that make sense?

    Anyhow, can someone please look at my ls -l /home wsc RESULTS and tell me how many users are on the server with me? Thanks.

    AussieBob: Thanks for the info. Just curious, what does your load avg run?

  27. #27
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    ls -l /home doesnt mean anything. That just shows how many directories are in there, not actual accounts. If you can run that command, then you should be able to

    ls -al /home (which means a poorly secured server if you can)

  28. #28
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    Originally posted by Webdude

    ls -al /home (which means a poorly secured server if you can)
    Let's not go there again.

  29. #29
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    Originally posted by chrisb


    Let's not go there again.
    LOL! Well in this case, it's good for your situation

  30. #30
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    You are on cPanel I presume ...

    Within WHM, what does 'Cpu/Memory/Mysql Usage History' under Server Status yield? -- who/what are the big consumers?


    Originally posted by chrisb
    I can't get the top command to work, but here are the server specs.

    Server Information

    Processor Info
    Processor #1 Vendor: GenuineIntel
    Processor #1 Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) III CPU family 1266MHz
    Processor #1 speed: 1266.098 MHz
    Processor #1 cache size: 512 KB

    Processor #2 Vendor: GenuineIntel
    Processor #2 Name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) III CPU family 1266MHz
    Processor #2 speed: 1266.098 MHz
    Processor #2 cache size: 512 KB
    Norm Sherman @ Netacore
    Fast/Reliable cPanel hosting on premium bandwidth
    http://netacore.com

  31. #31
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    Yes it does.. and then you can see what scripts take the most resource.

    What I do when this is a problem, is ask the client to "cut up" his/her scripts into more, smaller ones.


    This brings down server load VERY much, and in your Terms and Conditions you should state that an account hoging resources and ruining the service for others can be removed or suspended until the hogging scripts are "cut up"..

    Works well

  32. #32
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    If it was take on a server running WHM/Cpanel near 1 AM, the load could be caused by the backup script.

    BTW, that load its not bad for a dual processor with 4 GB RAM.
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  33. #33
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    The load average now at 1:15 AM is up to around 6.5.

  34. #34
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    Could be backup scripts and whatever.. they always bog down a server for a while

  35. #35
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    The backup script tend to rise the load

    if you can do a ps aux you'll see some process like this

    root 27801 4.0 0.0 1584 712 ? S 00:20 0:11 tar zcf
    root 27802 89.8 0.0 1716 664 ? R 00:20 5:19 gzip
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  36. #36
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    So, I have 440 users on the same server with me, and a load average of around 6.5. I think it does affect me because my scripts run slow, and I mostly work on my site in the wee hours of the morning.

    However, I don't think I have anything running in the background, and no foreground scripts are running. But, how do I know if it's me or another user causing it?

    Is it something I should ask my host to fix? I doubt if they will oblige, though.

  37. #37
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    Even though it's a poweful box, it's probably a little overloaded - http requests will probably still be pretty quick, but as you mentioned with your scripts, you might find a lag time as they demand the CPU time.

    A load average of 4-5 at peak times would be ok, but sustained that raises even higher is not good.

    I'd speak to your host and mention that you think the server may be overloaded.
    Matthew Russell | Namecheap
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  38. #38
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    Thanks Jedito, I checked my process with the ps -u command and I'm using 0% memory, just as I thought. What specifically should I look for when I do ps aux? That returns a bunch of info.

  39. #39
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    Originally posted by chrisb
    Is it something I should ask my host to fix? I doubt if they will oblige, though.
    They may, but the situation can get out of hand. Drives fill up with unlimited domains/subdomains, loads shoot up, and then a host is faced with trying to shuffle sites out amongst servers to find a happy medium. Clawing back a few percent of space across different servers.

    Good luck with it though.

    Cheers

    Gary

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    I think everybody is missing the a big point and that is how much idle CPU % is avalible, top means nothing servers with this load can run fine untill the idle cpu is all used up then you have problems.

    I have seen many servers with loads more than this and have 40% to 50% of each cpu idle.

    Also many things can count for higher loads such as backups running and if the server is still taking accounts there is alot more activity going on such as FTP and so on than on a server that is not in production taking on accounts.

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