Tracking system load of my app

My understanding of Dreamhost’s shared servers is that process watchers are used to look for sites or applications that are creating unusually large server loads, and potentially throttle them back to something more “appropriate” for a shared server. Given that I’m working with some stuff that has the chance of being pretty intensive (Drupal + php + mysql), are there any tools around, command-line or otherwise, that I can use to monitor my app’s load? ‘ps’, at least with the options I’ve tried, doesn’t find me anything useful, but I’m hardly a ps expert. Guidelines about what constitutes “too much” load would also be appreciated.

That doesn’t sound very heavy to me. If it takes a very long time for pages to load, or you are doing something that requires a cron, then you might need to worry about this.

CMSs, forums, and the like are common. If you are dealing with a video converter or something like that, it might become a problem.

According to the CPU Resources FAQ on the DreamHost wiki, you can enable CPU reporting and after a few days, you’ll have CPU reports available in your server resource logs and also through your stats pages.

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As far as command-line tracking goes (if you want to track how much CPU loading a page with your app takes, or whatever), try top in the shell.
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