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JohnAdams
Flight Engineer
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RHEL 7.9 node running MySQL does not swap

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Hi, folks,

     I'm greatly puzzled by this. We have a MySQL 8.0 database running on an RHEL 7.9 node and it will. not. swap. I've checked vm.swappiness and it's set to 30. I've seen this system get up to 98% memory utilization, and it still would. not. swap. I added another 4GB of RAM to the machine to keep it from losing its mind, but I'm still curious what's going on. Here's how it looks today:

free

              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available

Mem:       16313100     1421004     4708072      574916    10184024    14184440

Swap:       8384508           0     8384508

     It's a production machine, so I can't experiment on it.

Thanks,

     John A

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Fran_Garcia
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This is a known gotcha on how 'free' reports memory. You should worry about the "total" and "used" colums: 16 GB RAM total, only 1.1GB used. The rest is free (4 GB) and used by disk buffers/caches (around 10GB). The kernel will never swap any space used by buffers/cache, it will simply delete those pages if there's memory pressure (demand from actual aplications).

 

There's a good write up about this whole thing in www.linuxatemyram.com  . 

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Fran_Garcia
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This is a known gotcha on how 'free' reports memory. You should worry about the "total" and "used" colums: 16 GB RAM total, only 1.1GB used. The rest is free (4 GB) and used by disk buffers/caches (around 10GB). The kernel will never swap any space used by buffers/cache, it will simply delete those pages if there's memory pressure (demand from actual aplications).

 

There's a good write up about this whole thing in www.linuxatemyram.com  . 

JohnAdams
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
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Hi, Fran_Garcia,

     Since we also have Oracle databases in the house, I knew about this. Here's how it looked just before I bumped up the RAM:

free -k

              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available

Mem:       12118796     1737640      222212      541660    10158944     9517468

Swap:       8384508        2304     8382204

bc

222212 / 12118796

.0183

     That's better than 98% overall usage. It's very hard to monitor a machine effectively when the (alleged) usage is that high.

     Further, once it'd gotten over 90%, free started shrinking, and the more it shrank, the faster it (seemed to) shrink and the slower the application it backed (seemed to) run. If it weren't production, I would've let it grow and see what happened. But I could not, in good conscience, satisfy my curiosity.

     Possibly I should've approached this as a monitoring issue, but I'm not sure about that. The memory usage has been quite stable since increasing the RAM. It wasn't stable before.

Thanks,

     John A

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JohnAdams
Flight Engineer
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Hi, Fran_Garcia,

     You know, I understood this, but I didn't know it till I tried to get this alert to go away. I kept throwing memory at this node until I got it through my skull that I was not having a real issue.

     Would you agree it's appropriate for me to set memory utilization warnings at 100%, which would indicate an actual issue of some sort?

Thanks again,

     John A

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Fran_Garcia
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For me, a reasonable monitoring threshold would be to check the used/total is less than 70% or 80%. Beyond that you'll probably be getting performance issues, and if reaching over 90 or 95% you can start getting your processes killed with an OutOfMemory error.

HTH

Fran

 

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JohnAdams
Flight Engineer
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Hi, Fran,

     The issue with that is that I've bumped the memory up to 64GB on that node and I am still pegging memory. The system runs fine with 16GB, except when I try to do a mysqldump of the database. When I do try that, and watch the system carefully, it remains responsive and nothing dies. I'm already uncomfortable with the amount of memory allocated.

     I suppose I could nudge the memory up a little more, but it just seems unreasonable.

Thanks,

     John A

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