[NBLUG/talk] top output help

Walter Hansen gandalf at sonic.net
Tue Apr 24 23:10:20 PDT 2007

Kyle Rankin wrote:
>> top - 20:07:49 up 10 days, 23:47,  3 users,  load average: 2.38, 1.67, 1.13
>> Tasks: 353 total,   8 running, 345 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
>> Cpu(s):  0.7% us,  3.3% sy, 29.1% ni, 63.9% id,  0.0% wa,  0.7% hi,  2.3% si
>> Mem:    969372k total,   957648k used,    11724k free,      320k buffers
>> Swap:   522072k total,   199300k used,   322772k free,     6784k cached
> I'll agree with Dean, your server is using way too much swap and only is
> able to use 6Mb in the file cache. If the kernel were just swapping out
> idle pages you wouldn't see such a low file cache. So to get a lower system
> load you'll want to figure out how to lower the memory footprint of the
> applications on the system.

The server runs multiple instances of a perl application that I wrote. I 
did manage to cut it's memory footprint by almost 10% today, but the 
bosses just added 100 instances. I cranked it up to see what it would do 
and things didn't creep, but stuff didn't seem all that happy ether. At 
the time of this top it was running 295 instances. I think each instance 
sucks up 5400 (is it k or bytes in top?) of footprint (RES); got that 
down from 5900. It's run on a 1U server at sonic and I've been told that 
we can't upgrade the memory.

I've been thinking about going through the code and optimizing it for 
memory usage. This would probably be useful, but I don't think I could 
squeeze it down more than another 10 or 20%.

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