Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have been experiencing very strange server load, but for no obvious reason. Could anyone explain the cause/how to debug further?


One Minute      - 22.9
Five Minutes    - 17.98
Fifteen Minutes - 10.02

top - 20:34:28 up 22 days, 7:51, 0 users, load average: 22.55, 22.49, 14.51
Tasks: 131 total,   3 running, 128 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.1%us,  0.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.6%id,  1.3%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   2097152k total,   596576k used,  1500576k free,        0k buffers
Swap:        0k total,        0k used,        0k free,        0k cached

 PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND            
11854 root      18   0  2444  980  720 R  2.0  0.0   0:00.01 top                
11856 root      18   0  2444  988  720 R  2.0  0.0   0:00.01 top                
   1 root      15   0  2156  592  564 S  0.0  0.0   0:10.26 init               
3393 apache    18   0 50276  33m 1888 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd              
3445 pegpro    18   0 17872 3304 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.03 php-cgi            
3446 root      18   0  5040 1056  852 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.00 crond              
3723 apache    15   0 50276  33m 1896 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.01 httpd              
3735 pegpro    18   0 17872 3308 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.03 php-cgi            
3752 root      18   0  9152 2068 1740 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.01 dataskq            
3956 root      18   0  5040 1128  852 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.00 crond              
5138 root      18   0 20380  15m 1712 S  0.0  0.8   0:00.05 lfd                
5279 root      18   0  9152 2084 1752 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.05 dataskq            
5331 root      18   0  5040 1108  852 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.00 crond              
5496 admin     18   0 17872 3308 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.01 php-cgi            
5637 root      18   0  9152 2080 1752 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.01 dataskq            
5641 apache    16   0 50276  33m 1896 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.03 httpd              
5648 root      18   0 49988  33m 2036 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.67 httpd              
5702 apache    18   0 50280  33m 1820 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.03 httpd              
5851 admin     18   0 17872 3304 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.01 php-cgi            
7256 mail      16   0 10364 2700 2176 D  0.0  0.1   0:00.02 exim               
7287 apache    15   0 50276  33m 1876 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd              
7379 root      18   0  5040 1128  860 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.02 crond              
7474 apache    16   0 50280  33m 1836 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd 

One Minute      - 22.9
Five Minutes    - 17.98
Fifteen Minutes - 10.02

top - 20:34:28 up 22 days,  7:51,  0 users,  load average: 22.51, 22.49, 14.55
Tasks: 131 total,   3 running, 128 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.1%us,  0.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.6%id,  1.3%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:   2097152k total,   596576k used,  1500576k free,        0k buffers
Swap:        0k total,        0k used,        0k free,        0k cached

 PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND            
11856 root      18   0  2444  988  720 R  2.0  0.0   0:00.01 top                
   1 root      15   0  2156  592  564 S  0.0  0.0   0:10.26 init               
3393 apache    18   0 50276  33m 1888 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd              
3445 pegpro    18   0 17872 3304 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.03 php-cgi            
3446 root      18   0  5040 1056  852 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.00 crond              
3723 apache    15   0 50276  33m 1896 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.01 httpd              
3735 pegpro    18   0 17872 3308 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.03 php-cgi            
3752 root      18   0  9152 2068 1740 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.01 dataskq            
3956 root      18   0  5040 1128  852 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.00 crond              
5138 root      18   0 20380  15m 1712 S  0.0  0.8   0:00.05 lfd                
5279 root      18   0  9152 2084 1752 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.05 dataskq            
5331 root      18   0  5040 1108  852 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.00 crond              
5496 admin     18   0 17872 3308 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.01 php-cgi            
5637 root      18   0  9152 2080 1752 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.01 dataskq            
5641 apache    16   0 50276  33m 1896 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.03 httpd              
5648 root      18   0 49988  33m 2036 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.67 httpd              
5702 apache    18   0 50280  33m 1820 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.03 httpd              
5851 admin     18   0 17872 3304 2368 D  0.0  0.2   0:00.01 php-cgi            
7256 mail      16   0 10364 2700 2176 D  0.0  0.1   0:00.02 exim               
7287 apache    15   0 50276  33m 1876 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd              
7379 root      18   0  5040 1128  860 S  0.0  0.1   0:00.02 crond              
7474 apache    16   0 50280  33m 1836 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd              
7550 apache    18   0 50276  33m 1924 S  0.0  1.6   0:00.00 httpd 
share|improve this question
    
Check out dmesg output, and copy'n paste relevant parts to here (for example OOM or driver crash can cause similar behavior). –  Olli Mar 26 '11 at 9:52
    
Not too sure what this should be, it just contains lots of firewall info? =================== Firewall: TCP_IN Blocked IN=eth0 OUT= MAC= SRC=202.46.114.73 DST=123.123.123.123 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=120 ID=58736 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2959 DPT=8443 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0 –  Pez Cuckow Mar 28 '11 at 15:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you look at both top outputs you'll notice a fair number of processes in state(S) 'D'. This means they are waiting for disk io. In most modern UNIX environments the load average number is a combination of both runable processes(waiting for CPU) and processes waiting for disk io. It appears as if your server has probably saturated the available IO subsystem for the demand placed on it. You can verify this with tools like iostat (try to add the iostat or sysstat packages on your system). Then run:

# iostat -x 1

and watch for the busy %

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.