Load Average – LA

Published on Author admin

Load Average

This is a short article about Load Average – one of the main parameters, we should monitor running any server.
So, what is load average?

Load average (la) – is a number of processes that are standing in a queue and are waiting to be executed. Each process that is using or waiting for CPU (the ready queue or run queue) increments the load number by 1. LA 1 means that one process is waiting in queue to be executed. Theoretically normal LA is equal to the number of cores for all processors installed in your server multiplied by 2.

For a single core processor:
 

la0.5
LA 0.50: The system is idling 50% of the time on average (for a single CPU system on average).
 

la1
LA 1.00: The system is loaded by 100% of the time on average (for a single CPU system on average).
 

la1.7
LA 1.70: The system is overloaded by 70% on average (1.70 runnable processes, so that 0.70 processes had to wait for a turn for a single CPU system on average).
 

If you see LA equal to 7.98 that means that the system was overloaded 698% on average (7.98 runnable processes, so that 6.98 processes had to wait for a turn for a single CPU system on average).

To check Load average (la):

FreeBSD/Debian/CentOS

Freebsd