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I virtual machine running red hat Linux and most of the time we see high load average on the machine causing interruption of services.

04:24:08 up 248 days, 11:14, 3 users, load average: 142.04, 79.86, 64.41
04:27:23 up 248 days, 11:18, 2 users, load average: 22.99, 58.10, 59.56

All the VMs are running on VMware virtual platform.

Any Idea what could be causing this?

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This problem can have different reasons. I suggest you to check if there is also iowait. Also look for processes that are in D state. On my environment, mostly high load avarage tracked with these symptoms.

  • I do not see any processes in D state, iowait is also looking fine on the system.%user is high most of the times. avg-cpu: %user %nice %system %iowait %steal %idle 18.40 0.01 5.69 3.05 0.00 72.85 avg-cpu: %user %nice %system %iowait %steal %idle 58.55 0.00 17.81 0.05 0.00 23.58 – Piyush Jain Feb 3 '16 at 6:39
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Gather following diagnostics:

  1. top
  2. mpstat with /usr/bin/mpstat -P ALL
  3. iostat with iostat
  4. Top 5 memory hungry processes ps auxxx --sort=-rss | head -6
  5. Top cpu hungry processes ps auxxx --sort=-%cpu | head -6

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