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Acceptable load average

My Ubuntu server's load is 5-7 most of the times. When the load is about 7 and I check my server response at webpagetest.org I get an F grade (~9 Sec) for 'First Byte Load' while when load is about 4, I usually get A grade for FBL. So I suspect 7 should be an unacceptably high load. Now wondering what range of server loads are generally regarded as normal?

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marked as duplicate by sysadmin1138 Aug 13 '11 at 23:35

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There is no "normal" without knowing more about the server and what it's supposed to do for a living. I have an Ubuntu 10 machine serving up 8 websites with about 1500 views a day per site along with file storage, internal dns that shows about 5% use per day - I almost never see 7% load unless updates are running or a backup is being performed. Run htop and watch what is causing the highest load. –  user88597 Aug 13 '11 at 23:31
    
It's not a duplicate: 'How high server load go?' is logically a different question. –  alfish Aug 13 '11 at 23:35
    
@user88597 Let's put it this way: What figures of server load should be alarming? –  alfish Aug 13 '11 at 23:38
    
@James Cpu usage is usually over %70. RAM usage around 7GB. –  alfish Aug 13 '11 at 23:47
    
oops, meant to edit my previous comment (I accidentally deleted it). How much RAM do you have, and how many cpu cores do you have? –  James Aug 13 '11 at 23:53
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on how many CPU or Core you have

2 CPU > 2

4 CPU > 4

2 Core > 2

4 Core > 4

2 CPU (EACH 4 CORE) > 8

4 CPU (EACH 4 CORE) > 16

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My CPU is Xeon quad core, so at least for me your measures make sense. As I mentioned, at load < 4 I don't have delayed first byte problem. –  alfish Aug 13 '11 at 23:42
    
Tweak sysctl.conf, If it's a php web server, use MPM apache, fastcgi, Tune MYSQL. it has a great effect. –  Ali Aug 13 '11 at 23:44
    
Ali, can you elaborate on sysctl.conf please? –  alfish Aug 13 '11 at 23:49
    
this is what I use: link –  Ali Aug 14 '11 at 0:00
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