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Understanding load averages on your Oracle server
 
This page has an outstanding explanation of monitoring the UNIX/Linux load average for your Oracle server, using the "top" or "uptime" commands. 
 
The load average is the average sum of the number of processes waiting in the run-queue plus the number currently executing over 1, 5, and 15 minute time periods.
The load average is a good way to see recent Oracle server CPU stress.  High CPU consumption can be caused by a variety of issues, including high library cache activity (parsing) and buffer pool access (high consistent gets).  You can also use vmstat to monitor Oracle CPU and RAM consumption:
 
 
This link also has an excellent explanation of UNIX/Linux load average nuances:
"The load average of a system can typically be found by running top or uptime and users typically donít need any special privileges for these commands.

     root> uptime

      load averages: 2.43, 2.96, 3.41

Here we see the one minute load average is 2.43, five minute is 2.96, and fifteen minute load average is 3.41.

Here are some conclusions we can draw from this:

  • On average, over the past one minute there have been 2.43 processes running or waiting for a resource
  • Overall the load is on a down-trend since the average number of processes running or waiting in the past minute (2.43) is lower than the average running or waiting over the past 5 minutes (2.96) and 15 minutes (3.41)
  • This system is busy, but we cannot conclude how busy solely from load averages."


 

 
 
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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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