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  1. #1
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    What is considered normal server load?

    Hello, a certain host I've been with for over 6 months now experiences what I would consider always very high server load. The server load is normally around 4-6ish, rarely below that. A few times a day it spikes to around 12ish, sometimes even more. The server has 4 cpus. Is this just some really big time overselling? They had downtime once for 2 days when a server crashed, and after that the server load has been really high, when before that it was normally around 1-2, and in the 0.50s

  2. #2
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    It's not that high, however 4-5 isn't considered low either.
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  3. #3
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    Ok thanks. I just worry that the server is gonna crash every time I see the load going really high (has been at 20 before, although rarely)

  4. #4
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    Is not extremely high but you may notice some slowdown on the process, this is not fixed though, you can get really high loads without any slowness too.
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  5. #5
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    Have you sent a ticket to their support to let them know? I'm not saying that they aren't paying attention, but if they haven't had any problems, they may have missed watching its load.

  6. #6
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    I believe anything below 2 means the server load is considered low.



  7. #7
    As you said the server has 4 CPU's. This means that anything under a server load: 4 is good to see.

    I wouldn't worry to much about 4-6 as the load number. However, 20 is not good. So maybe bring this to your hosts attention.

    Keep in mind that other factors besides for CPU usage factors into the server load number you see. Such as I/O wait time, ect.
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  8. #8
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    Average Server Load on Linux is not just worked out by the Current CPU usage, the average load can increase due to I/O wait via either hard disk read and writes or network activity.

    If your site's are still performing ok and the load is under 2 x CPU Count then you should be ok, however it may be best to pop your hosting company a support ticket altering/asking them.
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  9. #9
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    Well, I usually like to keep my servers under 1, but it depends.

  10. #10
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    It all depends on what the load is caused by. Also in my tests, I am getting twice the performance from a single Xeon 5310 quad verse a Q6600 quad at the same load values. So the load can be quite different depending on the CPUs, RAM and type of drives. Just a generic answer but just trying to show that that load may not be a bad thing at all but it could be.

  11. #11
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    I think the server load under 1 is great, however each server is different.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjohnson3757 View Post
    I think the server load under 1 is great, however each server is different.
    For a server to be at its max speed it should be anywhere from 0.00 - 0.99
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  13. #13
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    Server load means nothing; do your sites load fine? If they don't, then leave, if they do, then stay. Ignore server load, it can mislead.

  14. #14
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    A high load is a warning sign. But it's not much more than this. If performance is affected, do ask the host to investigate. 2 days downtime is bad, no matter how you look at it. There should be a very serious explanation behind it, and detailed measures attempting to avoid it from happening again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasycPanelXL View Post
    For a server to be at its max speed it should be anywhere from 0.00 - 0.99
    Seems it depends on how many CPU's are used. Since he said it is a 4 CPU sever Anything around 4 is normal IMO.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldcdc View Post
    A high load is a warning sign. But it's not much more than this. If performance is affected, do ask the host to investigate. 2 days downtime is bad, no matter how you look at it. There should be a very serious explanation behind it, and detailed measures attempting to avoid it from happening again.
    it was, they said a server issue, credited everyone $10 as a compensation. Seems to be good now, although seems a tiny bit slow every once in a while when it spikes to around 10.

  17. #17
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    Yikes, just logged into Cpanel and saw this:
    Server Load 25.38 (4 cpus)
    I messaged support, they said its the automatic back up system which scans for changes in files, is this normal? Only for a few minutes though...

  18. #18
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    It depends, backups can spike it... but if they are doing backups during the day, I'd hope they are using something like R1Soft or something that has a very small footprint.

    If backups make the cpu jump to 25 in the middle of the day, it's generally a bad idea to do them as your customers will notice
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by EditDNS-Tyler View Post
    It depends, backups can spike it... but if they are doing backups during the day, I'd hope they are using something like R1Soft or something that has a very small footprint.

    If backups make the cpu jump to 25 in the middle of the day, it's generally a bad idea to do them as your customers will notice
    Agreed. If possible to see a load average over a longer time period (5-15min) then it would be a lot more meaningful than one instant reading.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by EditDNS-Tyler View Post
    It depends, backups can spike it... but if they are doing backups during the day, I'd hope they are using something like R1Soft or something that has a very small footprint.

    If backups make the cpu jump to 25 in the middle of the day, it's generally a bad idea to do them as your customers will notice
    Yeah they are using R1Soft, problem is anyone can make a R1Soft back up, so it happens a fairly large amount of times per day.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott1995 View Post
    Yeah they are using R1Soft, problem is anyone can make a R1Soft back up, so it happens a fairly large amount of times per day.
    r1soft by itself shouldn't spike up loads to 25s.

  22. #22
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    Correct, R1 is very lightweight.
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  23. #23
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    There is really no way to tell you what is high but this is how our company figures what is a high server load for our clients. All of our servers have at least QuadCore (4 CPUs) + 8GB Ram, we never want to see a server load above 4.00, yes 4.00 is not high but we follow the rule of every CPU we have we do not want to see a server load go beyond that. However, one of our servers did have a server load of 8.00 before and that was due to a MySQL issue and there was really no server slowness, but for the most part if we see a server load of 4.00 or greater we monitor that server closely and see what is going on that is causing that serer to have that server load.

  24. #24
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    Just another note:

    Server Load 25.38 (4 cpus)

    We would have put that server in front of us and have restarted that server. That is a server handling a little too much processes, accounts, domains, programs, etc. They must have their backup software set at a high priority but it should be set at a low priority because there are websites/accounts, etc. and the client should be responsible for the backup of websites, that is why it should be set to low priority. The hosting company should not be relied on for backups because things do happen but all backups that hosts do should be done at low traffic times and at a normal/low priority to prevent such overload.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigeWeb View Post
    Just another note:

    Server Load 25.38 (4 cpus)

    We would have put that server in front of us and have restarted that server. That is a server handling a little too much processes, accounts, domains, programs, etc. They must have their backup software set at a high priority but it should be set at a low priority because there are websites/accounts, etc. and the client should be responsible for the backup of websites, that is why it should be set to low priority. The hosting company should not be relied on for backups because things do happen but all backups that hosts do should be done at low traffic times and at a normal/low priority to prevent such overload.
    well the thing is I think they are now being extra careful because in late January they had some problem which caused a few days of data to be erased from the server, and they are really trying to keep something like that from happening again.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigeWeb View Post
    Just another note:

    Server Load 25.38 (4 cpus)

    We would have put that server in front of us and have restarted that server. That is a server handling a little too much processes, accounts, domains, programs, etc. They must have their backup software set at a high priority but it should be set at a low priority because there are websites/accounts, etc. and the client should be responsible for the backup of websites, that is why it should be set to low priority. The hosting company should not be relied on for backups because things do happen but all backups that hosts do should be done at low traffic times and at a normal/low priority to prevent such overload.
    GOD! Oh my, would you have to know how many apache process were being run per once? 200?

    And I wonder why people have downtime
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasycPanelXL View Post
    GOD! Oh my, would you have to know how many apache process were being run per once? 200?

    And I wonder why people have downtime
    What? Does not take much processor to run Apache as it is only accessed when someone views a site unlike a backup program that backups all the accounts.

    No since January I only had one outage and that was due to a network upgrade. A server load of 25.00 on a 4 CPU server is high and that causes slowness and downtime not restarting a server as that takes less than a minute.
    Last edited by GigeWeb; 04-09-2009 at 10:58 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigeWeb View Post
    What? Does not take much processor to run Apache as it is only accessed when someone views a site unlike a backup program that backups all the accounts.

    No since January I only had one outage and that was due to a network upgrade. A server load of 25.00 on a 4 CPU server is high and that causes slowness and downtime not restarting a server as that takes less than a minute.
    Is the server around 25 all the time or only when back ups happen?

    I go crazy if any of my servers go over 2 even when back ups are in progress
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  29. #29
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    I am not the one hosting with this company that does not know how to manage their backup solution, I misunderstood what you have said I thought you were telling me that is why my clients have downtime because I would have restarted the server if that server load was 25.00

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigeWeb View Post
    I am not the one hosting with this company that does not know how to manage their backup solution, I misunderstood what you have said I thought you were telling me that is why my clients have downtime because I would have restarted the server if that server load was 25.00
    When a server hits a cpu usage that high you will notice a major lag in your network, whm & cpanel load takes maybe 10-15 sec website loads very slow.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasycPanelXL View Post
    When a server hits a cpu usage that high you will notice a major lag in your network, whm & cpanel load takes maybe 10-15 sec website loads very slow.
    What does that have to do with what I said? I think your confused, this is not my problem, its someone else I thought you were telling me because of the procedure we established for my company.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GigeWeb View Post
    What does that have to do with what I said? I think your confused, this is not my problem, its someone else I thought you were telling me because of the procedure we established for my company.
    Ok I thought you were on a server, or managed the server but anyways my comments are regrading anyone on a server with a server load of 25.35 with 4 cpu's.
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  33. #33
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    Ok, Just wanted to say it happens maybe once a week, other then that it might spike to around 10ish, but 25 happens around once a week (As far as I know, could be happening a lot when I'm not online)

  34. #34
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    It is hard to say what is good load as it depends on too many variables/factors to say anything under X is good and anything over Y is bad.

    Load can be generated by heavy CPU usage or heavy Disk I/O or just about any other bottleneck in the system. A load of 4 to 8 on a quad core server that is entirely CPU usage would be perfectly acceptable where as a load of 4 to 8 on a quad core server caused entirely by Disk I/O would be a *very* bad thing.

    Many times when you see a spike up to 12~20 it can be something such as a backup being created or restored as larger accounts (1gb+) can take time to compress or extract these files and since they generally create a lot of CPU (compression/decompression) and a lot of Disk I/O (reading/writing to the disk) they have a tendancy to cause really short-lived high loads.

    Generally my advice would be to not watch the Load number and as long as your sites continue to run fast and you don't notice it's sluggish. If the site does run noticeably slower then you may want to check the load but I wouldn't advise watching the number as you will quickly drive yourself crazy.
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  35. #35
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    Well it is sluggish when it gets really high, I've asked them and they said they could move me to their newer server with less people on it. Guess it won't hurt to try.

  36. #36
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    Ive seen server loads go as high as 160.2 now thats High :]

  37. #37
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    i feel 4 is normal

  38. #38
    I've often seen server load listed but never really new how to judge the numbers. This shed a lot of light on it. My previous host was frequently around 12 on a 2 cpu server which may help explain a lot!

  39. #39
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    Ok well the server load is now pretty good, it stays around 1-3 most of the time, so I guess it is all good now with that . Should I still request to move to their less crowded server? I was gonna do that, but now not so sure

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by HivelocityJJ View Post
    Well, I usually like to keep my servers under 1, but it depends.
    i agree. more than 1 is dificult, u can raise up fast with a backup on a big account or upgrading.

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