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I have 2 nearly identical dedicated servers with the same provider. They also run a nearly identical software stack: RedHat 5 64-bit, Plesk, PHP, Apache, & MySQL. We use them for hosting custom sites we build.

The problem is, while our 1st server has a load average (in top) of around 0.3, the 2nd server consistently has a load average of around 4.0 or higher. Basic functions in Plesk are delayed and there is a bit of latency when executing shell commands.

Anyone have ideas why it would be so high? And why it would differ from our other server so much?

Here is my current top output (sorted by %MEM) ...

Any help is much appreciated ...

top - 21:48:04 up 100 days,  4:28,  1 user,  load average: 3.74, 4.20, 4.23
Tasks: 336 total,   1 running, 335 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.8%us,  0.4%sy,  0.0%ni, 91.3%id,  7.5%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:  12290884k total, 11886452k used,   404432k free,  2920212k buffers
Swap:  2096472k total,      244k used,  2096228k free,  6560692k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                                                                                               
22536 apache    15   0  860m 547m 6484 S  0.0  4.6   0:10.96 httpd                                                                                                                  
26467 apache    15   0  859m 546m 6408 S  0.0  4.5   0:07.67 httpd                                                                                                                  
 3620 apache    15   0  859m 545m 5552 S  0.0  4.5   0:06.15 httpd                                                                                                                  
 1895 apache    15   0  858m 544m 6356 S  0.0  4.5   0:08.25 httpd                                                                                                                  
16933 apache    15   0  858m 544m 5488 S  0.0  4.5   0:01.57 httpd                                                                                                                  
 6431 apache    15   0  856m 542m 6076 S 10.6  4.5   0:05.32 httpd                                                                                                                  
14417 apache    15   0  856m 542m 5568 S  0.0  4.5   0:03.88 httpd                                                                                                                  
15403 apache    15   0  855m 541m 5616 S  0.0  4.5   0:03.73 httpd                                                                                                                  
19165 apache    15   0  853m 539m 6252 S  0.0  4.5   0:12.40 httpd                                                                                                                  
15898 apache    15   0  852m 539m 5376 S  0.0  4.5   0:02.68 httpd                                                                                                                  
14401 apache    15   0  851m 538m 5460 S  0.0  4.5   0:02.97 httpd                                                                                                                  
15393 apache    15   0  851m 538m 5404 S  0.0  4.5   0:03.12 httpd                                                                                                                  
15427 apache    15   0  851m 538m 5496 S  0.0  4.5   0:02.44 httpd                                                                                                                  
14412 apache    15   0  851m 538m 5324 S  0.0  4.5   0:02.15 httpd                                                                                                                  
18330 apache    15   0  851m 537m 5136 S  0.0  4.5   0:01.30 httpd                                                                                                                  
18303 apache    15   0  848m 535m 5140 S  0.0  4.5   0:00.47 httpd                                                                                                                  
21190 apache    15   0  845m 533m 3988 S  0.0  4.4   0:00.33 httpd                                                                                                                  
15923 root      18   0  822m 521m 9928 S  0.0  4.3  10:04.81 httpd                                                                                                                  
22021 apache    15   0  828m 520m 4964 S  0.0  4.3   0:00.16 httpd                                                                                                                  
22146 apache    15   0  823m 515m 3016 S  0.0  4.3   0:00.02 httpd                                                                                                                  
22345 apache    15   0  822m 514m 2408 S  0.0  4.3   0:00.00 httpd                                                                                                                  
14721 apache    15   0  733m 510m  488 S  0.0  4.3   0:00.00 httpd                                                                                                                  
 5094 root      15   0 1452m 122m  15m S  1.0  1.0 852:24.24 java                                                                                                                   
 4636 mysql     15   0  532m  57m 6440 S  1.0  0.5 488:05.84 mysqld                                                                                                                 
 4799 popuser   15   0  166m  53m 2368 S  0.0  0.4   0:36.64 spamd                                                                                                                  
16761 popuser   15   0  159m  46m 2312 S  0.0  0.4   0:00.38 spamd                                                                                                                  
 4797 root      15   0  158m  45m 2448 S  0.0  0.4   0:01.27 spamd                                                                                                                  
 5074 root      34  19  255m  20m 2144 S  0.0  0.2   1:37.53 yum-updatesd                                                                                                           
 9917 named     15   0  366m 9804 1980 S  0.0  0.1   0:10.26 named                                                                                                                  
 4332 sso       18   0  119m 8028 5212 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.06 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4341 sso       18   0  119m 8028 5212 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.07 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4350 sso       18   0  119m 8028 5212 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.09 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4352 sso       18   0  119m 8028 5212 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.11 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4376 ntp       15   0 23388 5020 3896 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.58 ntpd                                                                                                                   
 4331 sw-cp-se  15   0 61336 4572 1480 S  0.0  0.0   5:53.22 sw-cp-serverd                                                                                                          
 4213 haldaemo  15   0 31252 4460 1684 S  0.0  0.0   0:01.52 hald                                                                                                                   
 4778 postgres  18   0  117m 4164 3484 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.11 postmaster                                                                                                             
18555 root      16   0 98.3m 3716 2852 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.01 sshd                                                                                                                   
 4488 sso       18   0  119m 3044  224 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4489 sso       18   0  119m 3044  224 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4492 sso       18   0  119m 3044  224 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4493 sso       18   0  119m 3044  224 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
 4490 sso       18   0  119m 3040  220 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sw-engine-cgi                                                                                                          
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1 Answer 1

run something to track server behavior over time - for instance sar or even better munin. see how high-load correlates with other parameters.

problem might be related to your io system. maybe you have heavy writes on the machine with higher load? or maybe you have degraded raid? or hard drive is about to die? or raid controller has disabled cache? or something uses more memory and system needs to swap?

share|improve this answer
    
Will sar or munin identify any/all of those possible issues you mentioned? –  Callmeed Apr 30 '10 at 16:52
    
@Callmeed - they will surely be helpful –  pQd Apr 30 '10 at 20:28

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