Michael Torrie torriem at gmail.com
Tue Sep 30 16:57:33 MDT 2008

Matthew Walker wrote:
> On Tue, September 30, 2008 4:43 pm, Andrew Jorgensen wrote:
>> Okay folks, I'm going out on a limb and admitting to some ignorance
>> here.  Suppose I have a high load average on a server, let's say 20,
>> how do I tell what's really going on?  I understand that load means
>> that there are processes waiting for some resource but how do I see
>> what resources they are waiting for?  We don't want to go buy more RAM
>> and then find out that we had plenty of RAM, for instance.
> The most likely culprit is CPU time. Easiest way to check this is to run top, and see
> how many processes are sharing the CPU.

Not sure what you mean here.  High load normally means the CPU is *not*
being utilized efficiently.  In fact, processes are not running because
they are waiting for stuff.  So a high load often will have a processor
that's nearly idle.  Sometimes a process can cause a high cpu usage and
cause the load average to climb if the process is holding down resources
that other processes are waiting on.

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