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Solaris 2.7/2.6 Priority Paging

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Created On: 14 Aug 2001 8:33 am
Last Edited: 15 Oct 2002 9:04 am

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Sun Solaris versions appear to be leaking memory, requiring frequent reboots to restore performance and release memory.

Answer

This solution was discovered by a WCI customer It reportedly is not an issue with Solaris 2.8


"On servers, the effect is degraded application response time, and low CPU utilization due
                                 to heavy paging. This happens because Solaris allows the file system cache to grow dynamically to the
                                 point where it steals memory pages from important applications' This is exactly what (we were) seeing on our
                                 systems. By turning on Priority Paging it will put a boundary around the file cache so that system I/O
                                 does not cause web crossing to get paged out as it does now."

This is actually a problem with the Solaris Operating system in general and is in no way directly related to Web Crossing. The standard Solaris 7 OS configuration is setup to allow the file system cache to steal memory from applications causing them to page to disk.

To remedy this you will need to enable "Priority Paging" under either Solaris 2.7 or Solaris 2.6 with kernel patch 105181-09.

Please review the following article from Sun: http://www.sun.com/sun-on-net/performance/priority_paging.html. Web Crossing Inc. takes no responsibility for problems introduced by following Sun's suggestions.



And on the same problem of supposed memory leaks, but for different reasons, see this link: http://www.sun.com/sun-on-net/itworld/UIR951001perf.html