Network equipments process utilization

Elmar K. Bins elmi at
Tue Feb 10 08:39:44 UTC 2009

Good morning (from here),

lionair at (???×?) wrote:

> I wonder which percentage is good level of CPU and Memory util of network equipment ?
> In my case, I try to keep under 30% cpu util and 70% memory util. My most equipment are Cisco product. 
> I have no technical reference about that, it is just a rule of mine or my predecessor.
> Could you tell me how other operators are doing ? what is your operation baseline ? or is there any guideline about process utilization ?

I'm trying to keep all Cisco equipment idle, if at all possible,
since there may come worse times...

Typical exceptions are

  - software forwarding routers, where CPU load is directly
    depending on current traffic levels; should the load stay
    above 15-20% all the time, it's time for an upgrade

  - slow-CPU boxes like everything Cisco with SUPs, since the
    CPU load _always_ jumps to 100% for short periods of
    time - BGP needs something calculated ;-) I get interested
    whenever CPU load _stays_ high

  - switches; Cisco switches need like 5% CPU to blink the LEDs ;)

It gets more interested with packet filters and load balancers,
where CPU loads depend on traffic levels and patterns. I try to
keep the baseline between 5 and 10%.


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