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Performance issues

Can some one share some experience on how to take a look at the performance issue on linux servers. normally people come to me and say i have performance issue in certain linux server, how do i start looking into the performance measure on linux servers

I am using redhat 5/6
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Julian Parker
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This is best measured over a period of time so that you have some sort of baseline to go on.

I use atop as it has good logging and playback facilities, you can use vmstat/iostat and sar for the overview performance type stuff but atop give a more granular view of the system.

If you already have it running you can check the logs and run thru the performance, on a busy server this will indicate some busy and quiet periods, there may be a way to produce some graphical views, if you have a large setup you can use nagios/zenoss to monitor system performance and produce pretty graphs for manager types :-)
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I am not allowed to install atop in my environment.
sar -u 50
Linux 2.6.18-274.12.1.el5 (ulmdrpp1)    05/15/2013

09:39:54 AM       CPU     %user     %nice   %system   %iowait    %steal     %idle
09:40:44 AM       all      0.11      0.00      0.12      1.56      0.00     98.21
Average:          all      0.11      0.00      0.12      1.56      0.00     98.21

I ran sar -u 50, can you explain what is these numbers mean in details. Thanks
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