keithl

Member
Jan 14, 2010
24
0
51
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
We've recently been finding that our cPanel installation is slowing down periodically and the displayed load average is very high, however I'm struggling to get to the bottom of what is actually causing this.

Most of the day I'd say the load is sitting at around 3 or 4, with it only dropping below 1 late at night when no one's using it, but it does periodically peak well into the double figures for a while, with nothing obviously causing it at least in terms of the data returned from top.

I've set the server to email me the current status from top every minute so I can easily see the general trend, and when I look through those messages relating to busy periods there are no particular processes that stand out as using a lot of resource.

For instance, as you can see below, at one of the busy points yesterday it was running at a load of 20, yet none of the processes were using a massive amount of cpu / memory, the cpu was only reporting 16.1% usage and 67.5% idle, IO wait at only 5.6% and not only was it not swapping memory to disk but it wasn't even using all the available memory.

top - 15:19:09 up 61 days, 16:05, 2 users, load average: 20.85, 12.72, 9.10
Tasks: 208 total, 1 running, 197 sleeping, 10 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 16.1%us, 6.3%sy, 2.0%ni, 67.5%id, 5.9%wa, 0.6%hi, 1.6%si, 0.0%st
Mem: 1555320k total, 1345712k used, 209608k free, 119488k buffers
Swap: 1048568k total, 92k used, 1048476k free, 844444k cached

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
4562 root 15 0 8488 5316 1440 S 1.1 0.3 0:11.48 tailwatchd
4602 root 19 0 6612 3776 1648 S 1.1 0.2 0:01.48 cphulkd
18360 root 15 0 4672 2932 1540 S 1.1 0.2 0:00.90 authProg
31931 root 18 0 2420 980 700 R 1.1 0.1 0:00.01 top
1 root 15 0 2156 596 516 S 0.0 0.0 0:09.23 init
2 root RT -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 migration/0
3 root 34 19 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:02.69 ksoftirqd/0
4 root RT -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.12 watchdog/0
5 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:12.47 events/0
6 root 11 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 khelper

Can anyone suggest where else I can check or what else I can monitor in order to get to the bottom of this? Obviously I can fix the problem until I can find out what is causing it!

Thanks
Keith
 

cPanelTristan

Quality Assurance Analyst
Staff member
Oct 2, 2010
7,607
40
248
somewhere over the rainbow
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator

keithl

Member
Jan 14, 2010
24
0
51
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
Here's the complete output I received from the example above, hopefully something will stand out for someone as being hte cause. :

---
#LOAD_AVERAGES
Current Load Average: 20.85
5 Minute Load Average: 12.72
15 Minute Load Average: 9.10


#TOTAL_CONNECTIONS
Port 80: 610


#MYSQL_PROCESS_LIST
+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------+------+--------------------+------------------+
| Id | User | Host | db | Command | Time | State | Info |
+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------+------+--------------------+------------------+
| 9004682 | eximstats | localhost | eximstats | Sleep | 23 | | |
| 9112600 | DELAYED | localhost | eximstats | Delayed insert | 395 | Waiting for INSERT | |
| 9113310 | DELAYED | localhost | eximstats | Delayed insert | 395 | Waiting for INSERT | |
| 9115165 | root | localhost | | Query | 0 | | show processlist |
+---------+-----------+-----------+-----------+----------------+------+--------------------+------------------+
Uptime: 5328179 Threads: 4 Questions: 58693676 Slow queries: 827 Opens: 2638661 Flush tables: 1 Open tables: 64 Queries per second avg: 11.016


#PROCESS_LIST
top - 15:19:09 up 61 days, 16:05, 2 users, load average: 20.85, 12.72, 9.10
Tasks: 208 total, 1 running, 197 sleeping, 10 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 16.1%us, 6.3%sy, 2.0%ni, 67.5%id, 5.9%wa, 0.6%hi, 1.6%si, 0.0%st
Mem: 1555320k total, 1345712k used, 209608k free, 119488k buffers
Swap: 1048568k total, 92k used, 1048476k free, 844444k cached

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
4562 root 15 0 8488 5316 1440 S 1.1 0.3 0:11.48 tailwatchd
4602 root 19 0 6612 3776 1648 S 1.1 0.2 0:01.48 cphulkd
18360 root 15 0 4672 2932 1540 S 1.1 0.2 0:00.90 authProg
31931 root 18 0 2420 980 700 R 1.1 0.1 0:00.01 top
1 root 15 0 2156 596 516 S 0.0 0.0 0:09.23 init
2 root RT -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 migration/0
3 root 34 19 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:02.69 ksoftirqd/0
4 root RT -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.12 watchdog/0
5 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:12.47 events/0
6 root 11 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 khelper
7 root 11 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.04 kthread
10 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 1:32.33 kblockd/0
11 root 20 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kacpid
67 root 20 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 cqueue/0
70 root 20 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 khubd
72 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kseriod
137 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 3:08.52 kswapd0
138 root 20 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 aio/0
296 root 14 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kpsmoused
320 root 18 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ata/0
321 root 18 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ata_aux
326 root 20 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kstriped
335 root 20 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ksnapd
346 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 23:44.20 kjournald
371 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.83 kauditd
404 root 16 -4 2392 620 372 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.24 udevd
990 root 18 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kmpathd/0
991 root 18 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 kmpath_handlerd
1010 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.01 kjournald
1218 root 5 -20 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 1:15.07 loop0
1219 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:06.82 kjournald
1275 root 12 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 iscsi_eh
1322 root 10 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ib_addr
1329 root 14 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ib_mcast
1330 root 14 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ib_inform
1331 root 14 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 local_sa
1334 root 15 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 iw_cm_wq
1337 root 16 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 ib_cm/0
1340 root 17 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 rdma_cm
1349 root 10 -10 32744 31m 1716 S 0.0 2.1 0:00.29 iscsiuio
1355 root 18 0 2356 416 344 S 0.0 0.0 0:05.10 iscsid
1356 root 5 -10 2816 2812 1888 S 0.0 0.2 0:09.14 iscsid
1656 root 11 -4 12652 804 540 S 0.0 0.1 0:14.38 auditd
1658 root 7 -8 13196 796 580 S 0.0 0.1 0:06.70 audispd
1737 root 24 0 1812 576 480 S 0.0 0.0 0:39.97 syslogd
1740 root 15 0 1760 408 336 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 klogd
1809 root 12 -5 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 rpciod/0
1878 root 22 0 5940 656 308 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 rpc.idmapd
1908 dbus 15 0 2976 1056 816 S 0.0 0.1 0:02.63 dbus-daemon
1931 root 20 0 2252 768 668 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 hcid
1957 root 8 -10 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 krfcommd
2001 root 18 0 12828 1268 572 S 0.0 0.1 0:09.57 pcscd
2015 root 20 0 1756 536 456 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 acpid
2032 root 19 0 2004 456 376 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 hidd
2070 root 17 0 29436 1384 1064 S 0.0 0.1 0:05.21 automount
2140 root 18 0 10248 2344 1704 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.02 cupsd
2155 root 22 0 4632 1216 1060 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 mysqld_safe
2199 mysql 15 0 157m 48m 4808 S 0.0 3.2 213:09.80 mysqld
2428 root 15 0 7700 1528 1164 S 0.0 0.1 0:04.19 pure-ftpd
2436 root 18 0 7140 1236 984 S 0.0 0.1 0:01.22 pure-authd
2476 xfs 15 0 3620 1240 732 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.22 xfs
2506 root 18 0 2356 468 348 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.00 atd
2703 root 15 0 4684 2980 1572 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.85 authProg
3731 avahi 18 0 2696 1256 1080 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.82 avahi-daemon
3871 avahi 18 0 2696 320 184 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 avahi-daemon
3918 root 18 0 4684 2944 1544 S 0.0 0.2 0:04.63 authProg
3929 haldaemo 15 0 5828 3924 1708 S 0.0 0.3 0:21.47 hald
3930 root 17 0 3264 1004 848 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 hald-runner
3965 haldaemo 17 0 2104 816 724 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 hald-addon-acpi
3970 haldaemo 21 0 2104 820 728 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 hald-addon-keyb
3978 root 15 0 2056 656 572 S 0.0 0.0 45:40.40 hald-addon-stor
4035 root 33 18 21224 11m 2160 S 0.0 0.8 0:00.27 cpanellogd
4077 root 18 0 1768 416 336 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 portsentry
4145 root 16 0 14496 4328 148 S 0.0 0.3 0:00.00 httpd
4190 root 15 0 3612 428 292 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.09 smartd
4193 root 15 0 1744 448 388 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 mingetty
4194 root 17 0 1744 444 388 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 mingetty
4202 root 19 0 1744 444 388 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 mingetty
4206 root 18 0 1744 440 388 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 mingetty
4209 root 18 0 1744 468 408 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 mingetty
4210 root 18 0 1744 448 388 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 mingetty
4249 root 34 19 26472 10m 2140 S 0.0 0.7 0:07.09 yum-updatesd
4251 root 34 19 2656 1140 952 S 0.0 0.1 0:11.65 gam_server
4540 root 18 0 5012 3144 1208 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.08 queueprocd
4570 mailman 21 0 10652 4212 628 S 0.0 0.3 0:00.00 mailmanctl
4580 mailman 18 0 10412 5948 2444 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.46 python
4581 mailman 18 0 10412 6048 2460 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.50 python
4582 mailman 18 0 10412 5956 2444 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.45 python
4583 mailman 18 0 10412 6024 2460 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.61 python
4584 mailman 18 0 10424 6064 2460 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.49 python
4585 mailman 18 0 10412 6108 2460 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.54 python
4592 mailman 18 0 10412 5960 2444 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.56 python
4593 mailman 15 0 10412 6024 2460 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.08 python
4640 root 16 0 15228 7820 476 S 0.0 0.5 0:00.00 cpdavd
4654 root 33 18 4204 1912 708 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.04 cpanellogd
6581 root 18 0 4648 2848 1528 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.20 authProg
7333 root 18 0 7244 1032 636 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 sshd
10295 mailnull 15 0 9364 2144 1724 S 0.0 0.1 0:24.01 exim
10421 root 18 0 34420 30m 2308 S 0.0 2.0 1:33.08 spamd
11298 root 15 0 4672 2944 1540 S 0.0 0.2 0:01.79 authProg
13324 highland 33 18 21224 10m 728 S 0.0 0.7 0:00.00 cpanellogd
13325 highland 33 18 1736 404 348 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.01 logrunner
13326 highland 34 19 3888 1464 960 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.02 webalizer
13367 highland 34 19 4044 1120 588 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13368 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13369 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13370 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13371 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13372 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13373 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13374 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13375 highland 34 19 4044 1124 592 T 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 webalizer
13845 root 16 0 1744 328 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.38 courierlogger
13848 root 15 0 2092 620 520 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.34 authdaemond
13851 root 16 0 1744 328 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:05.59 courierlogger
13852 root 15 0 1856 532 456 S 0.0 0.0 0:03.50 couriertcpd
13858 root 16 0 1744 328 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:05.50 courierlogger
13859 root 15 0 1856 532 456 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.73 couriertcpd
13864 root 16 0 1744 324 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:15.85 courierlogger
13865 root 18 0 1856 532 456 S 0.0 0.0 0:09.27 couriertcpd
13870 root 25 0 1744 240 184 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 courierlogger
13871 root 25 0 1856 516 440 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 couriertcpd
13872 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.94 authdaemond
13873 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.81 authdaemond
13874 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.81 authdaemond
13875 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.90 authdaemond
13876 root 21 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13877 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.76 authdaemond
13878 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.89 authdaemond
13879 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13880 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13881 root 18 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13882 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13883 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.79 authdaemond
13884 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13885 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.87 authdaemond
13887 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.82 authdaemond
13888 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.87 authdaemond
13889 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.92 authdaemond
13890 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.80 authdaemond
13891 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.84 authdaemond
13892 root 19 0 2092 364 260 S 0.0 0.0 0:01.86 authdaemond
14062 root 17 0 5732 2440 1380 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.12 couriertls
14063 towncoun 16 0 2388 772 644 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.04 imapd
14094 root 15 0 15916 11m 4580 S 0.0 0.8 0:43.58 cpsrvd-ssl
14980 root 15 0 4672 2932 1544 S 0.0 0.2 0:01.03 authProg
19362 root 17 0 4684 2944 1544 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.27 authProg
19367 root 15 0 4684 2976 1576 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.08 authProg
20151 root 18 0 4672 2932 1540 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.19 authProg
20152 root 15 0 4684 2940 1540 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.20 authProg
20902 hub 15 0 2388 788 636 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 imapd
20906 root 15 0 5732 2452 1392 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.05 couriertls
22287 root 15 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:04.15 pdflush
22696 bba 17 0 2388 824 644 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.01 imapd
23491 root 18 0 4672 2936 1540 S 0.0 0.2 0:01.85 authProg
23609 root 17 0 4684 2948 1540 S 0.0 0.2 0:03.34 authProg
24925 nobody 15 0 14960 5996 1340 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.19 httpd
25010 root 15 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.15 pdflush
25119 nobody 22 0 14628 5664 1308 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.13 httpd
26040 named 25 0 43188 7656 2092 S 0.0 0.5 0:08.26 named
26142 root 15 0 40376 36m 2644 S 0.0 2.4 0:04.73 spamd
26400 nobody 16 0 14764 5716 1336 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.22 httpd
27377 root 15 0 4684 2976 1572 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.29 authProg
27399 root 15 0 4692 2948 1544 S 0.0 0.2 0:02.29 authProg
27534 root 17 0 4624 2816 1528 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.01 authProg
27970 root 18 0 14496 6748 2568 S 0.0 0.4 0:24.28 httpd
28152 nobody 15 0 14632 5652 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.03 httpd
28221 nobody 15 0 14780 6280 1900 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.02 httpd
28427 twentyfo 16 0 7704 1008 612 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 pure-ftpd
28428 root 16 0 7704 552 180 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 pure-ftpd
28585 root 15 0 4624 2812 1520 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.00 authProg
29336 nobody 15 0 14632 5644 1308 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.07 httpd
29610 nobody 15 0 14628 5660 1316 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.06 httpd
29934 nobody 19 0 14632 5676 1308 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.15 httpd
29936 nobody 15 0 14764 5688 1308 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.06 httpd
29977 root 15 0 10092 2916 2348 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.23 sshd
29987 root 15 0 4768 1468 1192 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.03 bash
30011 nobody 15 0 14632 5660 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.05 httpd
30012 nobody 15 0 14632 5640 1320 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.08 httpd
30533 root 15 0 10092 2912 2348 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.11 sshd
30550 root 15 0 4764 1436 1168 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.01 bash
30838 root 15 0 4672 2868 1540 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.72 authProg
30844 nobody 16 0 14628 5668 1328 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.10 httpd
30993 nobody 15 0 14632 5604 1308 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.03 httpd
31099 root 15 0 5732 2764 1624 S 0.0 0.2 0:00.03 couriertls
31102 ladida 15 0 2428 964 752 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 imapd
31139 nobody 15 0 14632 5696 1324 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.05 httpd
31272 nobody 15 0 14632 5584 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.01 httpd
31274 nobody 21 0 14632 5580 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31302 root 18 0 5380 1124 572 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.17 crond
31339 nobody 15 0 14632 5584 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.01 httpd
31340 nobody 16 0 14632 5584 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.01 httpd
31370 nobody 15 0 14632 5592 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31372 nobody 15 0 14632 5604 1304 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.01 httpd
31416 nobody 16 0 14632 5576 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31418 nobody 15 0 14632 5580 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31420 nobody 16 0 14632 5572 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31526 nobody 16 0 14632 5572 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31527 nobody 15 0 14632 5584 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31528 nobody 17 0 14632 5564 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.00 httpd
31529 nobody 15 0 14632 5584 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.01 httpd
31530 nobody 15 0 14632 5648 1288 S 0.0 0.4 0:00.01 httpd
31754 nobody 19 0 14496 4800 620 S 0.0 0.3 0:00.00 httpd
31884 root 17 0 4684 2984 1576 S 0.0 0.2 0:05.39 authProg
31921 root 19 0 5976 1520 880 S 0.0 0.1 0:00.00 crond
31927 platinum 15 0 1848 664 504 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.00 pop3d
31928 root 19 0 21152 7016 4532 S 0.0 0.5 0:00.02 php
32317 root 15 0 4684 2984 1576 S 0.0 0.2 0:01.58 authProg
 

cPanelTristan

Quality Assurance Analyst
Staff member
Oct 2, 2010
7,607
40
248
somewhere over the rainbow
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Nothing is really standing out to me, but I could just be missing it. None of the processes in question show high CPU or memory. It's a bit strange cphulkd is one of the top processes, though. Is there any way you could try disabling it temporarily to see the results? Maybe, you were getting some type of brute force attack and it won't show up in processes, since they didn't manage to authenticate.
 

keithl

Member
Jan 14, 2010
24
0
51
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
Hi Tristan,

Sorry for not responding sooner.

After looking at this for a while, and in the absence of any noticeable issues on the server I've essentially come to the conclusion that there probably isn't an issue.

Basically we'd had a few reports from a single client that things were slowing down during the day, so I therefore started monitoring the load. I didn’t see any issues during the day, but late at night I saw those very high load averages. At this stage every piece of advice I'd seen online said quite clearly that high load averages were bad, end of story, no exceptions. It's only since then after reading more about the subject that I realise that's not entirely true, and while a good indication that there MIGHT be an issue, it's not proof of one. For anyone interested I ended up writing about what I found, and have linked to the relevant posts I found here : Keith's Tech Musings: When Linux load averages lie

It also didn't help that I discovered a flaw in the script (found online) I was using to grab the load data and email it to me, which meant that while the load info changed, all the CPU(s) data never got updated, so every email had the same information, so that really messed with my head until I twigged what was going on!

Thanks for your help
Keith