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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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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
    Join Date
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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
    Join Date
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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
    Join Date
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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
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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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
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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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
    Join Date
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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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    Mar 2009
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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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    Mar 2009
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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
    Join Date
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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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    Mar 2009
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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.

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