Method, system, and programs for balancing work load in a distributed system. A plurality of multi-dimensional load metrics are received from a plurality of resource units in the distributed system. Based on the received plurality of multi-dimensional load metrics and a global statistical load model, a load deviance for each resource unit is computed. The plurality of resource units in the distributed system are then ranked based on the load deviance of each resource unit. At least one load balancing action is further determined based on the ranked resource units and at least one load balancing policy.