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 From:  Adam Nellemann <adam at nellemann dot nu>
 To:  rick at scorpion dot co dot th, "m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch" <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] about the load averages: 2.11, 0.07, 0.05
 Date:  Thu, 08 Apr 2004 06:45:10 +0200
Hi Rick,

Rick Ruggiero wrote:
> It means, the following:
> 
> load averages: 2.11% (Avg. process queue last minute), 0.07% (Avg. 
> process queue last 5 minutes), 0.05% (avg process queue last 15 
> minutes).
> 

> uptime is the same on all UNIX platforms.

I think it was previously established that the three numbers
corrospond to the average percentage for the last 1, 5 and 15 minutes
respectivly, but I do find it somewhat illuminating that these numbers
are related to the process queue.

However, there still remain some things to be explained:

- How to understand the term "process queue" precisely (this might be
simple stuff for a *NIX guru, whereas I, not knowing much about *NIX,
can only guess at the exact meaning).

- What the number (percentage) indicates, the average wait-time in the
queue, the average queue length or something else entirely?

- What is this percentage relative to? (That is, what is 100.00%, and
can it become higher than that?)

- And finally, how this "average process queue" percentage relates to
such things as CPU load, latency and general system performance?

Unless one has some idea of the answers to the above questions, the
numbers have little meaning and will be of even less use. If, on the
other hand, you know how these numbers are arrived at, you could use
them, among many things, to see if it is time to start looking for
faster hardware. Also, we might perhaps finally get some authoritative
statements about how much bandwidth m0n0wall can handle on particular
platforms (such as the Soekris boards).


Regards,

Adam.