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CPU congestion is a type of bottleneck caused by an excessively high demand on the capabilities of a processor in a given network or system.
The central processing unit (CPU) is a key part of any hardware system. It drives the processing of data throughout an entire system. As networks and systems become more elaborate, more demands are placed on the CPU or CPUs.
One common example of CPU congestion is in a virtual network. A virtualized hardware network involves the creation of many different virtual or logical components, including workstations, called virtual machines (VMs). Virtual machines are partitioned from existing hardware setups and given resources to help them accomplish their tasks. One of these resources is the virtual CPU. When VMs are improperly clustered or layered on top of each other, or given insufficient CPU capacity, CPU congestion can occur.
The term "CPU congestion" can be used in the greater context of determining why network congestion exists. IT professionals can say, for example, that network congestion resulting from too many packets entering the same space might be caused by insufficient CPU allocation. Alternatively, they could say that there is simply too much traffic in a given part of the network. Using the term CPU congestion suggests that the network congestion in question is directly related to the provisioning of processor resources.