Load, load average and CPU utilization

Please can anyone clarify the processor, load average and CPU utilization, how we can check these details on the server effectively

I am assuming you are running “top”.

Load Average: You will see the load averages in 1 minute, 5 minute, and 15 minute. They indicate the number of processes that are in the processor queue. Typically you want those under the number of cores you have in your server. You can also see these numbers in uptime. But these are the numbers I tend to look at when determining if I need more CPU cores.

Processor/CPU Utilization: How busy is the processor(s) in a percentage. This number could be skewed based on nice levels of processes. I typically look at the idle percentage to know how many cycles are free. But this number will bounce around a bit depending on what the server is actively doing.