iostat reports terminal and disk I/O activity and CPU utilization. The first line of output is for the time period since boot & each subsequent line is for the prior interval . Kernel maintains a number of counters to keep track of the values.
iostat’s activity class options default to tdc (terminal, disk, and CPU). If any other option/s are specified, this default is completely overridden i.e. iostat -d will report only statistics about the disks.
syntax: Basic synctax is iostat interval count option – let you specify the device for which information is needed like disk , cpu or terminal. (-d , -c , -t or -tdc ) . x options gives the extended statistics .
interval – is time period in seconds between two samples . iostat 4 will give data at each 4 seconds interval.
count – is the number of times the data is needed . iostat 4 5 will give data at 4 seconds interval 5 times
$ iostat -xtc 5 2
extended disk statistics tty cpu
disk r/s w/s Kr/s Kw/s wait actv svc_t %w %b tin tout us sy wt id
sd0 2.6 3.0 20.7 22.7 0.1 0.2 59.2 6 19 0 84 3 85 11 0
sd1 4.2 1.0 33.5 8.0 0.0 0.2 47.2 2 23
sd2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0 0
sd3 10.2 1.6 51.4 12.8 0.1 0.3 31.2 3 31
The fields have the following meanings:
disk name of the disk
r/s reads per second
w/s writes per second
Kr/s kilobytes read per second
Kw/s kilobytes written per second
wait average number of transactions waiting for service (Q length)
actv average number of transactions actively being serviced
(removed from the queue but not yet completed)
%w percent of time there are transactions waiting for service (queue non-empty)
%b percent of time the disk is busy (transactions in progress)
Results and Solutions The values to look from the iostat output are: * Reads/writes per second (r/s , w/s) * Percentage busy (%b) * Service time (svc_t)
If a disk shows consistently high reads/writes along with , the percentage busy (%b) of the disks is greater than 5 percent, and the average service time (svc_t) is greater than 30 milliseconds, then one of the following action needs to be taken
1.) Tune the application to use disk i/o more efficiently by modifying the disk queries and using available cache facilities of application servers .
2.) Spread the file system of the disk on to two or more disk using disk striping feature of volume manager /disksuite etc.
3.) Increase the system parameter values for inode cache , ufs_ninode , which is Number of inodes to be held in memory. Inodes are cached globally (for UFS), not on a per-file system basis
4.) Move the file system to another faster disk /controller or replace existing disk/controller to a faster one.