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See the following output of "top". Any idea?

top - 17:33:25 up 7 days, 28 min,  4 users,  load average: 12.04, 8.35, 6.30

Tasks: 477 total,   2 running, 474 sleeping,   0 stopped,   1 zombie

Cpu0  : 14.2%us, 11.9%sy,  0.0%ni, 64.6%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  9.3%si,  0.0%st

Cpu1  :  0.0%us,  1.3%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu2  :  0.0%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu3  :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu4  :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu5  :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu6  :  0.0%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu7  :  0.3%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu8  :  0.7%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.3%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu9  :  0.0%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu10 :  9.0%us,  3.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 88.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu11 : 29.2%us,  8.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 62.8%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu12 :  4.0%us,  3.6%sy,  0.0%ni, 92.1%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.3%si,  0.0%st

Cpu13 :  0.0%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu14 :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu15 :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu16 :  0.3%us,  1.3%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.3%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu17 :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu18 :  0.3%us,  1.0%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.7%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu19 :  0.3%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu20 :  0.0%us,  1.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.3%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu21 :  0.3%us,  1.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 98.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu22 : 19.3%us,  4.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 76.1%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Cpu23 : 15.3%us,  4.3%sy,  0.0%ni, 80.4%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st

Mem:  65978728k total, 13456228k used, 52522500k free,   632024k buffers

Swap:  4194296k total,        0k used,  4194296k free, 10902440k cached
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Have you checked if the system is doing IO? –  pfo Apr 25 '12 at 18:03
    
I'd like to help, but please provide more information. Just pasting the output of top and asking what's going on is really not helping much. –  aseq Apr 26 '12 at 0:38

1 Answer 1

12.04 is not a high load when you have 24 CPUs.

It means that on average there were 12.04 processes running or waiting to run during the last minute. Since you have 24 processors there would be none waiting, just an average of 12 processes running at a time. So at any given time during the last minute about 12 of your processors are being used to run a process, and the other 12 are completely idle on average. A cpu load under 24 means that you have no processes on the waiting queue. A load average of 12 on that machine is about the equivalent of 0.50 on a single core computer.

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2  
I'd disagree. That's probably a dual hex-core system with HyperThreading enabled. The load IS high, given that. The culprit is probably I/O related. –  ewwhite Apr 25 '12 at 18:13

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