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On a KVM-based VPS I am using to run Ubuntu and various Web services, and I am experiencing spikes a few times a day when database access seems to be much slower than normal.

Is there any way I can check if other VPS on the same hardware are suddenly using a lot of resources that affects my VPS?

Or is my VPS totally oblivious of its external environment, so that it is impossible to detect what's going on there and how it's affecting my VPS?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, look at the top output column called "st" for "steal time." From the top man page:

st -- Steal Time The amount of CPU 'stolen' from this virtual machine by the hypervisor for other tasks (such as running another virtual machine).

Example:

top - 20:11:38 up 12 days, 52 min, 1 user, load average: 0.14, 0.11, 0.08 Tasks: 76 total, 1 running, 75 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie Cpu(s): 2.9%us, 2.0%sy, 0.0%ni, 90.2%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si, 4.9%st

See also vmstat for similar data.

Update: Discussion about a scout plugin and how AWS deals with the problem:

http://blog.scoutapp.com/articles/2013/07/25/understanding-cpu-steal-time-when-should-you-be-worried

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