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Info about Kswapd process in Linux

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello,

Today one of our core production server which runs Oracle Database (on RHEL 5.5 64bit) was showing high CPU utilization, due to which it caused outage on several applications which have dependency on that server. This server is connected to SAN storage. While investigating, I found a kernel process by name "Kswapd" (3 to 5 numbers) are occupying the major portion of CPU resource (showing 100%) and it increased the load average on the server to multi-fold. On checking the details about this process, I came to know this process basically does the swapping between RAM and swap memory. By then, I was asked to investigate what caused the server to do so much of page swapping which caused the degraded performance on the server. My question is, is there anyway to find the details about the "Kswapd" process to know which job/process/application caused so much of paging. In general, I want to know the method to analyse the details about a particular process running on Linux system.

Any ideas would be a great help !
Thanks in advance.
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Question by:ashsysad
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gremwell earned 1500 total points
ID: 33557306
> My question is, is there anyway to find the details about the "Kswapd" process to know
> which job/process/application caused so much of paging.

Swapping/paging is executed by kswapd, but real reason most likely lies in memory usage pattern of other processes.

To analyse memory usage profile of individual processes, you can use ps or top commands, the latter is probably being more convenient as it offers sorting. While running 'top', press 'O' (capital) key to access sorting options. From there you can choose sorting criteria (for example, press 'o') and press Enter to apply it.

To get system-wide picture, run 'vmstat 5' (the number is the number of seconds to average stats over, can also try 1, 60, and other value).

If you post output of 'vmstat 5' (some 10 lines) and screenshots of top output (for 'o', 'p', 'q ', and 'u' options) I could try to help you to interpret it.
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Author Comment

by:ashsysad
ID: 33564312
Hi Gremwell,  Hereby am attaching the screen shot of ps output and vmstat output.
Output.docx
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Author Comment

by:ashsysad
ID: 33564315
Please be informed that I dont see any kswapd process running at present, as the server back to normal state.
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by:gremwell
gremwell earned 1500 total points
ID: 33576281
Output.docx seems to contain output of PS vmstat only. Anyway, currently the CPU is not your bottleneck. You have 12 to 34 processes blocked waiting for I/O and your CPU is spending >75% of its time in idle. Your system is doing a lot of I/O, but it is possible that it is a normal.

I'm afraid you have to wait until the problem comes back. When it happens please take the samples (including output of 'top'), let's compare it to the "normal" state.
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Author Comment

by:ashsysad
ID: 33584439
Thanks for your inputs. I will let know or reopen this question when the issue happen again :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:ashsysad
ID: 33584478
Thanks for your inputs.
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