SmartMonitor and Multi-CPU monitoring

You probably already know all this but it was a surprise to me. SmartMonitor is not accurate. Wow, I’m sure this was on CNN, but I missed that broadcast.

OK, so when SecureXL is enabled the official CP policy is don’t trust SmartMonitor.

But there is more.


SmartMonitor will report that CPUs are at 25%. Well WRONG. That is the average CPU for all processors.

You have to manually inspect the processors that are licensed and configured with coreXL with ‘top’. Notice that only the # of allocated processors that have kernel instances on them are actually doing the work while the other processors are idle.. So if you are doing SNMP monitoring, so sad to bad – SOL as we say in Minnesooooota – Snow Out Of Luck.

Oh yeah, be careful applying licenses with coreXL and adding/subtracting processors. It will dynamically alter the number of CPUs permitted to run and you might have a member go into ‘ready’ state if the number of processors is not consitent across all cluster members.



si: time the kernel spends handling software interrupts [ user space to kernel calls for passing
packets and receiving packets]
hi: time the kernel spends handling hardware interrupts
wa: time the processor is waiting for resources
sy: time the processor is handling mainline kernel code
id: idle
us: user space – httpd and vpnd, user /bin/bash shells

[I dummied these up to make it work so might be off a bit…]

CPU time

CPU time


And buried in SmartMonitor is the true fact that the kernel is underwater, but overall the 12 CPUs are slacking

Kernel CPU time

Kernel CPU time


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  • Henrik Noerr  On December 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm


    You can monitor SI with snmp –
    this is very helpful to determine if the firewall is loaded. (high SI is typically because of high packet rate. bonding and irq swizzeling will help)

    with top, remember that by default it will summerize the load. press 1 to show all cores and shift w to save the top config


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These are stories from my travels. Generally I like to write stories about local people that I meet and also brag about living the retirement dream with my #1 wife Gaby. She is also my only wife.

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