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i have Ubuntu server with 2 processors. top command show that mysql eats up to 195%. sar shows the following:

08:30:59 AM     CPU     %user     %nice   %system   %iowait    %steal     %idle
08:31:00 AM     all     75.12      0.00      0.00      0.00     22.89      1.99

I the following questions:

  1. Could please someone explain what does %steal means?

I found the following description in manual, but can hardly understand what does it means:

Percentage of time spent in involuntary wait by the virtual CPU or CPUs while the hypervisor was servicing another virtual processor.
  1. CPU usage of process computed as "%user" + "%steal"?

I understand that the following questions are general and answers can depends on many factors but i need just some guidelines: what to do, what to find out and so on. Any docs, links are appreciated ( I didn't find anything very useful. Just general information)

  1. Is "%steal" value is fine?

  2. What is the edge value for CPU usage when I should worry about it?

ps. not Linux DBA just dev.


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Answering one of your question - Could please someone explain what does %steal means?

steal time is a metric that only has meaning in a virtualized computing environment. It represents the amount of CPU that is taken away from a virtual machine to serve other purposes.

BTW, are you running your Ubuntu server in a cloud/VMWare environment?

You may also find this presentation from IBM helpful, which explains what steal time is and why it exists.

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