High Load Alerts - Should I be worried??

Hello all,

I am receiving high load alerts. Can these this cause the server to crash? Here is one of them that I had just received a few minutes ago:

1 minute: 237.16
5 minute: 186.17
15 minute: 145.57

Every five minutes it seems to come. Sometimes at 1.12 +.

Should I be worried?


That is some really high load, is the server serving web pages successfully?

You should probably login and try to determine what is causing the high load. Load that high usually results in problems with the server doing what it’s supposed to do.


euser, run ‘top’ and see what processes are killing you.

The only time ive ever seen this high of a load was a VERY poorly designed db query, or when a friends box was 0wn3d.

I was able to get it down to occasional spikes at 25, but most are less than 10. Is that ok, or should I be worried?


anything over 3 is a little :S

It should be easier to see where this excess proc usage is coming from.

There may be cause for concern, but really only if you notice a decrease in server performance during these spikes. An acceptable load average increases quite a bit depending on the number of cpus as well (or simulated cpus in the case of xeon processors). I’ve seen dual xeon boxes that were stable with load around 10-12 for weeks during peak hours, with no noticable decrease in performance - so the real test is whether there is noticible performance decrease. If the spikes to 25 are very quick, and things come back under control within quickly, and it only happens a few times per day - that may still be ok. It can be really difficult to determine the cause of a very quick load spike that stabalizes by itself.