What is the system load average?

Kaz Wolfe

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I have a message in my hosting control panel

The system load average is 14.01

This is an automated message notifying you that the 5 minute load average on your system is 14.01.
This has exceeded the 10 threshold.

One Minute - 32.35
Five Minutes - 14.01
Fifteen Minutes - 5.67
What is the system load average? and how to calculate this or how to know my VPS server is overloading?

Thanks
Kaz
 

ExpertHosters

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Of-course the server is overloading. The server load at that point of time was 32.35. Its too high for a VPS. You need to check which process is causing this much load on the server. The server might go down if the load keeps going higher.
 

LJSHost

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Hi Kaz,

The load average is the run-queue utilization averaged over the last minute the last 5 minutes and the last 15 minutes.

The values of these numbers depends how many cpu cores you have on your VPS

Single core example: load average: 0.75(current), 0.14(5 mins), 0.09(15 mins)
Multi core example (4 cores):load average: 3.75(current), 2.14(5 mins), 1.87(15 mins)

The load average should be lower than the amount of cores assigned to your VPS.

You can find out how many cores you have by running: cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep processor
 

Kaz Wolfe

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Hi Kaz,

The load average is the run-queue utilization averaged over the last minute the last 5 minutes and the last 15 minutes.

The values of these numbers depends how many cpu cores you have on your VPS

Single core example: load average: 0.75(current), 0.14(5 mins), 0.09(15 mins)
Multi core example (4 cores):load average: 3.75(current), 2.14(5 mins), 1.87(15 mins)

The load average should be lower than the amount of cores assigned to your VPS.

You can find out how many cores you have by running: cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep processor
Thanks for explaining me!

I ran this command, I have 4 CPUs

# cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep processor
processor : 0
processor : 1
processor : 2
processor : 3
Is there a formula to calculate the load average base on number of CPUS? and how to know which parts on my hosting server are making it high load? it is possible?

I want to refer to your formula

Single core example: load average: 0.75(current), 0.14(5 mins), 0.09(15 mins)
Multi core example (4 cores):load average: 3.75(current), 2.14(5 mins), 1.87(15 mins)
 

LJSHost

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To find whats creating high load average on your server, you need a process monitoring tool such as 'top'
Top will display all running processes and display how much cpu and memory each process is using, it should only take a quick look to find out where the load problem is.

As you have 4 cores you want to keep the load under 4.0
 

Mr.Wizard

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The values of these numbers depends how many cpu cores you have on your VPS
If we increase number of CPUs then it will decrease server load?

Of-course the server is overloading. The server load at that point of time was 32.35. Its too high for a VPS. You need to check which process is causing this much load on the server. The server might go down if the load keeps going higher.
I agree with ExpertHosters, the server load is too high, I have ever faced with this problem, one of my sites get suspended because it was high load on a shared hosting.
 

LJSHost

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LJSHost
Yes increasing the amount of cores will give you more power, but the cause of the load should be investigated first before throwing more cores at the problem.
If you got suspended for a high load on shared hosting then your provider had not taken sufficient action to control server load.
 
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