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Server Load





ninjakannon
There's something I'm not clear on about server load.

I've always assumed that it's relative to how much the server is doing at the time. So if it has a lot to process then the server load is high, if it's not doing much the server load is low. Something I don't understand though is the load averages (see the image in my sig). What do all 3 mean? How come there are 3, are they different things or averages over a set time period? Also, how high to the load averages have to be for the load to be heavy? What's considered normal?

I'd like to know how much the server can handle before the load gets heavy. For example, if you had a page that refreshed 5 times a second, would that be heavy? Or if you had an application that ran a php script once a second? I have no idea of proportion here really.

Cheers!
mathiaus
This should explain most of what you asked.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_(computing)

For the second part, it depends what you run. An echo 'Hello World'; while pointless, could probably run every 5 seconds, larger tasks obviously wouldn't though.
ninjakannon
Ah yeah that explains it well, I can't believe I didn't find that page before. I wasn't too sure what to search for on Google.

Thanks mathiaus!
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