Monitor resource contention with Pressure Stall Information

Pressure Gauge

Article from Issue 238/2020
Author(s):

Pressure Stall Information (PSI) is a new feature that gives users a better view of resource contention.

CPU, RAM, and I/O are the three most important computing resources. If these resources are depleted, processes start to fight for them and resource contention scenarios occur. To avoid these problems, it makes sense to monitor precisely what resources applications use in order to correctly dimension the hardware requirements and make optimal use of the existing hardware.

Smartphones can also benefit from this type of monitoring: when resources become scarce, phones often terminate programs in the background in order to offer the foreground application sufficient resources.

Load Average

Most administrators keep an eye on the load average to determine the extent to which a system is exposed to load. The uptime or top (Listing 1) commands both display the load average, reading the values from the /proc/loadavg file. The file contains five values (Line 6). In addition to the three load average values, the fourth value counts the current executable kernel scheduling entities and the fifth shows the process ID of the latest process created.

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