Mac memory usage issues.

snoopaloop
snoopaloop used Ask the Experts™
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We get a lot a lot of these notifications from Mac's about memory usage...  "Memory Usage reached 100% (99.0 % Used for 60 mins)" within the policy "Operating System: macOS"."
Any generic SOP for resolution?
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Step 1.  Don't buy any Mac with only 8 GB RAM.   You really need 16 GB RAM minimum for any real work.
Step 2.  Make sure you're using the latest OS X.  Every version since the busted Mavericks, manages memory better.  Mavericks was just broken.
Step 3.  If you are using a Mac with only 8GB RAM, your only option is to remind the users to periodically quit (Command q) their programs, and not just click on the red X (x) to close their windows.

Step 4.  Run and admin cron job to periodically purge unused RAM with the purge command.  It must be run as root, so make sure to use sudo to edit the root cron.  You can run it manually in the terminal as well.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Post output of this command...

top -l 1 -s 0 | grep PhysMem

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The message "Memory Usage reached 100%" is clear. You're running at 100% memory usage.

You're only real solution will be to shutdown Apps or install more memory.

Here's what my 32G iMac memory utilization looks like running only Chrome + Thunderbird + Skype + Slack + Terminal (ssh into many machines).

imac> top -l 1 -s 0 | grep PhysMem
PhysMem: 21G used (2280M wired), 11G unused.

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These numbers suggest 16G is insufficient + 32G is bare minimum for running a low memory usage suite of Apps.
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2016

Commented:
How exactly are you getting these notifications? Users? Or some monitoring solution?
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Author

Commented:
monitoring solutions
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
To monitor memory usage, use top or ps or the Apple Activity Monitor app.
What kind of Macs are they?  How much RAM do they have?

If you have any 8 GB RAM Mac laptops, it's time to upgrade them.  If you have a Mac desktop, it's best to have at least 24GB of RAM, but 32 would be better.  Buy more RAM.
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2016

Commented:
What kind of monitoring solution is it? Zabbix, Nagios or any other?

Have you updated / installed software recently that caused increased memory usage?

Do these systems show swapping activity?

Author

Commented:
we use Datto.  swap activity?  they use a browser, office suite, and Box.
What kind of Mac?  How much RAM do they have?

Author

Commented:
MacBook Air 8,2
Those come with a 16 GB option.  Don't buy the 8 GB option unless you or your users only surf the web, or watch videos.  If they have lots of windows or tabs open, 8 GB will not really be enough.

If they are really light users and just have a few things open, then 8GB can be enough and you may still occasionally swap, but it won't be a deal breaker.  However, they will hit that 8 GB limit a lot more frequently than you think.  It will swap to SSD, which, although much faster than a spinning disk drive, is still going to slow you down.

Author

Commented:
We ended up making a monitoring policy to clean up RAM in our RMM console with CCleaner, Comstore Add-on.  It seems to be solving and therefore clearing these messages.  Ideally, though.  They should get more RAM.

monitor4.png

Author

Commented:
Thank you for the helpful comments.

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