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I am facing a load average of > 3 since past 2 days. The CPU utilization is never above 40 % in all cases. Here are some screenshots of Server Density monitoring tool that I use.

enter image description here

The process snapshot at the highest peak, @ 0:00 is as follows: enter image description here

And the process snapshot at the peak created at 12:00 is: enter image description here

My question is, even though CPU utilization is not 100 %, why am I facing a high average?

PS: All snapshots are sorted by descending CPU utilization.

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Bear in mind that when taking stefano's answer into account, a "high" load is subjective, if you have a machine with 4 cores a load of 3-4 isn't normally much to worry about. – Sirex Feb 10 '11 at 8:01

I assume this is due to a process being in a state of uninterruptable sleep ( Sleep).

For a number of years now, the Linux kernel counts uninterruptable sleep towards load. This state is usually caused by a program waiting for disk I/O.

You can check if the high load correlates with I/O by watching the output of ps aux; look for a Din the Stat column, or see Linux - How can I see what's waiting for disk IO.

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