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Server Load Information for People wondering what it is....

Server Load - you hear the term used often and maybe your not quite sure what it is and what effect it has.....

Server load refers to the amount of processes that are running on the server at a given time. The higher the rate the slower the server will be able to handle incoming requests. In general server load will depend upon several factors. RAM, and CPU speed. A server load for a Xeon processor would be different from a load on a Pentium 3 server.

Many times users/clients assume that when the server load goes into red in CPanel that their website is not loading correctly or is down. This is not the case. The server load will often spike up into the high range (generally in the double digits) but return to normal range within a few minutes.

The CPANEL setting does not take into account the RAM or CPU Speed, the number is fixed at 4.00.

In general a server load in the double digits would be considered high if it was like that for a prolonged period of time.

For a dual xeon processor with 2GB ram a load of 2.00 would be the norm.

Unfortunately, to many people use the load as a determination of quality of service. This isn't the most accurate measure and is often hard to determine the effect it will have on your website.

Also.... have you ever wondered what is load balancing ?

When a website becomes highly popular a single server can become overloaded and overworked quickly. This is why many providers use clustering, creating server farms. For increased scalability more servers are added to distrubute and split the load among many servers. This is refered to as a "server cluster". The load that distributed among these servers is called "load balancing". This technique has grown in popularity even for web-hosts who are able to increase uptime by elminating periods of downtime from a server that was overloaded/rebooted.