unixadmin.free.fr Handy Unix Plumbing Tips and Tricks


VIOS SEA Failover flapping on backup SEA

Why is the backup SEA adapter of my SEA failover flapping from Primary to Backup repeatedly?

Software version: Virtual I/O Server
2.1.0.x-FP20.x, 2.1.1.x-FP21.x, 2.1.2.x-FP22.x,,,, 2.2.0,,,,,,,

The Shared Ethernet Adapter (SEA) failover hung or became unresponsive. The backup SEA adapter was flapping between Primary and Backup states which is seen as contention on the control channel between primary ( 1) and backup (2) of SEAs.

This issue can be caused by 2 different problems:

1) The backup SEA sends a pulse to the primary SEA to see if it is still alive. The primary VIO is not able to send heart beats to backup SEA fast enough due to a lack of available CPU cycles. The backup SEA with trunk priority 2 tries to become primary before it receives the reply and logs these SEAHA_PRIMARY, SEAHA_BACKUP errors. This can sometimes be resolved by changing the VIO CPUs from shared to dedicated.

Another resolution is to update the VIO servers to at least FP24 SP02 to get the SEA fixes for this issue.

2) CPU folding enabled on VIO servers can cause SEA flapping and in turn will cause the VIO SEA to hang.

Processor folding: Processor folding currently is not supported for VIOS partitions. If processor folding is enabled on your VIOS, and migration media is used to move from VIOS 1.5 to FP 23, or later, processor folding remains enabled. Upgrading via migration media does not change the processor folding state. If you have installed VIOS, or later, and have not changed the folding policy, then folding is disabled.

Check for CPU folding on VIOS:

$ oem_setup_env
# schedo -o vpm_fold_policy

If the value is anything other than 4, turn it off with this command:

# schedo -p -o vpm_fold_policy=4

The current value can also found in the ./kernel/kernel.snap file in the VIO snap.

Link: A explanation of AIX Virtual processor folding

AIX Virtual Processor Folding is Misunderstood



AIX disk queue depth tuning for performance


The purpose of this document is to describe how IOs are queued with SDD, SDDPCM, the disk device driver and the adapter device driver, and to explain how these can be tuned to increase performance. This information is also useful for non-SDD or SDDPCM systems.

Where this stuff fits in the IO stack

Following is the IO stack from the application to the disk:

File system (optional)
LVM (optional)
SDD or SDDPCM or other multi-path driver (if used)
hdisk device driver
adapter device driver
interconnect to the disk
Disk subsystem

Note that even though the disk is attached to the adapter, the hdisk driver code is utilized before the adapter driver code. So this stack represents the order software comes into play over time as the IO traverses the stack.

Why do we need to simultaneously submit more than one IO to a disk?

This improves performance. And this would be performance from an applications point of view. This is especially important with disk subsystems where a virtual disk (or LUN) is backed by multiple physical disks. In such a situation, if we only could submit a single IO at a time, we'd find we get good IO service times, but very poor thruput. Submitting multiple IOs to a physical disk allows the disk to minimize actuator movement (using an "elevator" algorithm) and get more IOPS than is possible by submitting one IO at a time. The elevator analogy is appropriate. How long would people be waiting to use an elevator if only one person at a time could get on it? In such a situation, we'd expect that people would wait quite a while to use the elevator (queueing time), but once they got on it, they'd get to their destination quickly (service time).

Where are IOs queued?

As IOs traverse the IO stack, AIX needs to keep track of them at each layer. So IOs are essentially queued at each layer in the IO stack. Generally, some number of in flight IOs may be issued at each layer and if the number of IO requests exceeds that number, they reside in a wait queue until the required resource becomes available. So there is essentially an "in process" queue and a "wait" queue at each layer (SDD and SDDPCM are a little more complicated).

At the file system layer, file system buffers limit the maximum number of in flight IOs for each file system. At the LVM layer, hdisk buffers limit the number of in flight IOs. At the SDD layer, IOs are queued if the dpo device's attribute, qdepth_enable, is set to yes (which it is by default). Some releases of SDD do not queue IOs so it depends on the release of SDD. SDDPCM on the other hand does not queue IOs before sending them to the disk device driver. The hdisks have a maximum number of in flight IOs that's specified by it's queue_depth attribute. And FC adapters also have a maximum number of in flight IOs specified by num_cmd_elems. The disk subsystems themselves queue IOs and individual disks can accept multiple IO requests. Here are an ESS hdisk's attributes:

The default queue_depth is 20, but can be changed to as high as 256 for ESS, DS6000 and DS8000.

Here's a FC adapter's attributes:

The default queue depth (num_cmd_elems) for FC adapters is 200 but can be increased up to 2048.

Here's the dpo device's attributes for one release of SDD:

When qdepth_enable=yes, SDD will only submit queue_depth IOs to any underlying hdisk (where queue_depth here is the value for the underlying hdisk's queue_depth attribute). When qdepth_enable=no, SDD just passes on the IOs directly to the hdisk driver. So the difference is, if qdepth_enable=yes (the default), IOs exceeding the queue_depth will queue at SDD, and if qdepth_enable=no, then IOs exceed the queue_depth will queue in the hdisk's wait queue. In other words, SDD with qdepth_enable=no and SDDPCM do not queue IOs and instead just pass them to the hdisk drivers. Note that at SDD 1.6, it's preferable to use the datapath command to change qdepth_enable, rather than using chdev, as then it's a dynamic change, e.g., datapath set qdepth disable will set it to no. Some releases of SDD don't include SDD queueing, and some do, and some releases don't show the qdepth_enable attribute. Either check the manual for your version of SDD or try the datapath command to see if it supports turning this feature off.

If you've used both SDD and SDDPCM, you'll remember that with SDD, each LUN has a corresponding vpath and an hdisk for each path to the vpath or LUN. And with SDDPCM, you just have one hdisk per LUN. Thus, with SDD one can submit queue_depth x # paths to a LUN, while with SDDPCM, one can only submit queue_depth IOs to the LUN. If you switch from SDD using 4 paths to SDDPCM, then you'd want to set the SDDPCM hdisks to 4x that of SDD hdisks for an equivalent effective queue depth. And migrating to SDDPCM is recommended as it's more strategic than SDD.

Both the hdisk and adapter drivers have an "in process" and "wait" queues. Once the queue limit is reached, the IOs wait until an IO completes, freeing up a slot in the service queue. The in process queue is also sometimes referred to as the "service" queue

It's worth mentioning, that many applications will not generate many in flight IOs, especially single threaded applications that don't use asynchronous IO. Applications that use asynchronous IO are likely to generate more in flight IOs.

What tools are available to monitor the queues?

For AIX, one can use iostat (at AIX 5.3 or later) and sar (5.1 or later) to monitor some of the queues. The iostat -D command generates output such as:

Here, the avgwqsz is the average wait queue size, and avgsqsz is the average service queue size. The average time spent in the wait queue is avgtime. The sqfull value has changed from initially being a count of the times we've submitted an IO to a full queue, to now where it's the rate of IOs submitted to a full queue. The example report shows the prior case (a count of IOs submitted to a full queue), while newer releases typically show decimal fractions indicating a rate. It's nice that iostat -D separates reads and writes, as we would expect the IO service times to be different when we have a disk subsystem with cache. The most useful report for tuning is just running "iostat -D" which shows statistics since system boot, assuming the system is configured to continuously maintain disk IO history (run # lsattr -El sys0, or smitty chgsys to see if the iostat attribute is set to true).

The sar -d command changed at AIX 5.3, and generates output such as:

The avwait and avserv are the average times spent in the wait queue and service queue respectively. And avserv here would correspond to avgserv in the iostat output. The avque value changed; at AIX 5.3, it represents the average number of IOs in the wait queue, and prior to 5.3, it represents the average number of IOs in the service queue.

SDD provides the "datapath query devstats" and "datapath query adaptstats" commands to show hdisk and adapter queue statistics. SDDPCM similarly has "pcmpath query devstats" and "pcmpath query adaptstats". You can refer to the SDD manual for syntax, options and explanations of all the fields. Here's some devstats output for a single LUN:

Here, we're mainly interested in the Maximum field which indicates the maximum number of IOs submitted to the device since system boot. Note that Maximum for devstats will not exceed queue_depth x # paths for SDD when qdepth_enable=yes. But Maximum for adaptstats can exceed num_cmd_elems as it represents the maximum number of IOs submitted to the adapter driver and includes IOs for both the service and wait queues. If, in this case, we have 2 paths and are using the default queue_depth of 20, then the 40 indicates we've filled the queue at least once and increasing queue_depth can help performance. For SDDPCM, if the Maximum value equals the hdisk's queue_depth, then the hdisk driver queue was filled during the interval, and increasing queue_depth is usually appropriate.

One can similarly monitor adapter queues and IOPS: for adapter IOPS, run # iostat -at <# of intervals> and for adapter queue information, run # iostat -aD, optionally with an interval and number of intervals.

How to tune

First, one should not indiscriminately just increase these values. It's possible to overload the disk subsystem or cause problems with device configuration at boot. So the approach of adding up the hdisk's queue_depths and using that to determine the num_cmd_elems isn't wise. Instead, it's better to use the maximum IOs to each device for tuning. When you increase the queue_depths and number of in flight IOs that are sent to the disk subsystem, the IO service times are likely to increase, but throughput will increase. If IO service times start approaching the disk timeout value, then you're submitting more IOs than the disk subsystem can handle. If you start seeing IO timeouts and errors in the error log indicating problems completing IOs, then this is the time to look for hardware problems or to make the pipe smaller.

A good general rule for tuning queue_depths, is that one can increase queue_depths until IO service times start exceeding 15 ms for small random reads or writes or one isn't filling the queues. Once IO service times start increasing, we've pushed the bottleneck from the AIX disk and adapter queues to the disk subsystem. Two approaches to tuning queue depth are 1) use your application and tune the queues from that or 2) use a test tool to see what the disk subsystem can handle and tune the queues from that based on what the disk subsystem can handle. The ndisk tool (part of the nstress package available on the internet at http://www-941.ibm.com/collaboration/wiki/display/WikiPtype/nstress) can be used to stress the disk subsystem to see what it can handle. The author's preference is to tune based on your application IO requirements, especially when the disk is shared with other servers.

Caches will affect your IO service times and testing results. Read cache hit rates typically increase the second time you run a test and affect repeatability of the results. Write cache helps performance until, and if, the write caches fill up at which time performance goes down, so longer running tests with high write rates can show a drop in performance over time. For read cache either prime the cache (preferably) or flush the cache. And for write caches, consider monitoring the cache to see if it fills up and run your tests long enough to see if the cache continues to fill up faster than the data can be off loaded to disk. Another issue when tuning and using shared disk subsystems, is that IO from the other servers will also affect repeatability.

Examining the devstats, if you see that for SDD, the Maximum field = queue_depth x # paths and qdepth_enable=yes, then this indicates that increasing the queue_depth for the hdisks may help performance - at least the IOs will queue on the disk subsystem rather than in AIX. It's reasonable to increase queue depths about 50% at a time.

Regarding the qdepth_enable parameter, the default is yes which essentially has SDD handling the IOs beyond queue_depth for the underlying hdisks. Setting it to no results in the hdisk device driver handling them in it's wait queue. In other words, with qdepth_enable=yes, SDD handles the wait queue, otherwise the hdisk device driver handles the wait queue. There are error handling benefits to allowing SDD to handle these IOs, e.g., if using LVM mirroring across two ESSs. With heavy IO loads and a lot of queueing in SDD (when qdepth_enable=yes) it's more efficient to allow the hdisk device drivers to handle relatively shorter wait queues rather than SDD handling a very long wait queue by setting qdepth_enable=no. In other words, SDD's queue handling is single threaded where there's a thread for handling each hdisk's queue. So if error handling is of primary importance (e.g. when LVM mirroring across disk subsystems) then leave qdepth_enable=yes. Otherwise, setting qdepth_enable=no more efficiently handles the wait queues when they are long. Note that one should set the qdepth_enable parameter via the datapath command as it's a dynamic change that way (using chdev is not dynamic for this parameter).

If error handling is of concern, then it's also advisable, assuming the disk is SAN switch attached, to set the fscsi device attribute fc_err_recov to fast_fail rather than the default of delayed_fail. And if making that change, I also recommend changing the fscsi device dyntrk attribute to yes rather than the default of no. These attributes assume a SAN switch that supports this feature.

For the adapters, look at the adaptstats column. And set num_cmd_elems=Maximum or 200 whichever is greater. Unlike devstats with qdepth_enable=yes, Maximum for adaptstats can exceed num_cmd_elems.

Then after running your application during peak IO periods look at the statistics and tune again.

It's also reasonable to use the iostat -D command or sar -d to provide an indication if the queue_depths need to be increased.

The downside of setting queue depths too high, is that the disk subsystem won't be able to handle the IO requests in a timely fashion, and may even reject the IO or just ignore it. This can result in an IO time out, and IO error recovery code will be called. This isn't a desirable situation, as the CPU ends up doing more work to handle IOs than necessary. If the IO eventually fails, then this can lead to an application crash or worse.

Queue depths with VIO

When using VIO, one configures VSCSI adapters (for each virtual adapter in a VIOS, known as a vhost device, there will be a matching VSCSI adapter in a VIOC). These adapters have a fixed queue depth that varies depending on how many VSCSI LUNs are configured for the adapter. There are 512 command elements of which 2 are used by the adapter, 3 are reserved for each VSCSI LUN for error recovery and the rest are used for IO requests. Thus, with the default queue_depth of 3 for VSCSI LUNs, that allows for up to 85 LUNs to use an adapter: (512 - 2) / (3 + 3) = 85 rounding down. So if we need higher queue depths for the devices, then the number of LUNs per adapter is reduced. E.G., if we want to use a queue_depth of 25, that allows 510/28= 18 LUNs. We can configure multiple VSCSI adapters to handle many LUNs with high queue depths. each requiring additional memory. One may have more than one VSCSI adapter on a VIOC connected to the same VIOS if you need more bandwidth.

Also, one should set the queue_depth attribute on the VIOC's hdisk to match that of the mapped hdisk's queue_depth on the VIOS.

For a formula, the maximum number of LUNs per virtual SCSI adapter (vhost on the VIOS or vscsi on the VIOC) is =INT(510/(Q+3)) where Q is the queue_depth of all the LUNs (assuming they are all the same).

Note that to change the queue_depth on an hdisk at the VIOS requires that we unmap the disk from the VIOC and remap it back.

If using NPIV, then if you increase num_cmd_elems on the virtual FC (vFC) adapter, then you should also increase the setting on the real FC adapter.

A special note on the FC adapter max_xfer_size attribute

This attribute for the fscsi device, which controls the maximum IO size the adapter device driver will handle, also controls a memory area used by the adapter for data transfers. When the default value is used (max_xfer_size=0x100000) the memory area is 16 MB in size. When setting this attribute to any other allowable value (say 0x200000) then the memory area is 128 MB in size. At AIX 6.1 TL2 or later a change was made for virtual FC adapters so the DMA memory area is always 128 MB even with the default max_xfer_size. This memory area is a DMA memory area, but it is different than the DMA memory area controlled by the lg_term_dma attribute (which is used for IO control). The default value for lg_term_dma of 0x800000 is usually adequate.

So for heavy IO and especially for large IOs (such as for backups) it's recommended to set max_xfer_size=0x200000 for AIX levels earlier than AIX 6.1 TL2.

The fcstat command can also be used to examine whether or not increasing num_cmd_elems or max_xfer_size could increase performance

This shows an example of an adapter that has sufficient values for num_cmd_elems and max_xfer_size. Non zero value would indicate a situation in which IOs queued at the adapter due to lack of resources, and increasing num_cmd_elems and max_xfer_size would be appropriate.

Note that changing max_xfer_size uses memory in the PCI Host Bridge chips attached to the PCI slots. The salesmanual, regarding the dual port 4 Gbps PCI-X FC adapter states that "If placed in a PCI-X slot rated as SDR compatible and/or has the slot speed of 133 MHz, the AIX value of the max_xfer_size must be kept at the default setting of 0x100000 (1 megabyte) when both ports are in use. The architecture of the DMA buffer for these slots does not accommodate larger max_xfer_size settings"

If there are too many FC adapters and too many LUNs attached to the adapter, this will lead to issues configuring the LUNs. Errors will look like:

Recommended Actions

So if you get these errors, you'll need to change the max_xfer_size back to the default value. Also note that if you are booting from SAN, if you encounter this error, you won't be able to boot, so be sure to have a back out plan if you plan to change this and are booting from SAN.

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Monitoring AIX

Source: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/WikiPtype/monitoring


Virtual Memory Management Stats but also includes CPU and other useful stuff

Syntax vmstat <seconds> <count>
Options seconds Time between outputs
count number of outputs
Examples vmstat 10 20 20 lines output with 10 seconds between each
Output Warning: ignore the first line (average since reboot)
r number of processes on run queue
b number of processes on blocked queue = awaiting resources or I/O
avm active virtual memory pages in page space
fre real memory pages on the free list
re Page reclaims, free but claimed before reused
pi paged in (per second)
po paged out (per second)
fr pages freed (page replacement) (per second)
sr pages per second scanned for replacement
cy complete scans of page table
in device interrupts per second
sy system calls per second
cs CPU context switches per second
us User CPU time percentage
sys System CPU time percentage
id CPU idle percentage (nothing to do)
wa CPU waiting for pending local Disk i/o


Disk I/O statistics

Syntax iostat <seconds> <count>
Options seconds Time between outputs
count number of outputs
Examples iostat 10 20 20 lines output with 10 seconds between each
Output Warning: ignore the first line (average since reboot)
%tm_act Percentage of time active
Kbps K bytes per second transferred
tps Transfers per second
msps Millisecond per seek (if available)
Kb_read Total K bytes read ( likewise for write)


Process State

Syntax ps -l -f -e -uuser -t ttyno -p pid -k -o xxx
ps aux
Options -l long listing
-f full listing
-u user list only user's processes (-u fred)
-e every user's processes
-t ttyno processes attached to tty (-t 03)
-p pid list the process number N
-k Include kernel processes (normally hiden)
-o xxx Lets you decide the column for example: -o tid,pid,user,class,pcou,pmem,args
aux BSD flavour (note no -)
Examples ps -f List your shells (sub) processes in detail
ps -f oracle List all processes for user oracle
ps -ef List all process
ps -el As above but other details
ps -fp 23456 Just list process 23456
ps -o tid,pid,args List threadID, processID and arguments
Output PID/PPID Process IDentity&Parent Process IDentity
S State= Running Sleeping Waiting Zombie Terminating Kernel Intermediate X=growing
UID/USER User IDentity/User name
C CPU recent use value (part of priority)
STIME Start time of process
PRI Priority (higher means less priority)
NI NIce value (part of priority) default 20
ADDR ADDRess, of stack ( segment no)
SZ SiZe of process in 1K pages
CMD COMmanD the user typed (-f for more)
WCHAN Event awaited for (kernel address)
TTY Terminal processes in connected to (- = none)
TIME Minutes and Seconds of CPU time
SSIZ Size of kernel stack
PGIN number of pages paged in
SIZE Virtual size of data section in 1K's
RSS Real memory (resident set) size of process 1K's
LIM Soft limit on memory (see setrlimit) xx=none
TSIZ Size of text (shared text program) image
TRS Size of resident set (real memory) of test
%CPU Percentage of CPU used since started
%MEM Percentage of real memory used


Network File Systems Stats

Syntax nfsstat -m -z
Options -m Display NFS mount point stats
-z Zeros NFS stats
Examples nfsstat Display all NFS stats
nfsstat -m Display stats about the mount points
Output Too many columns to cover here but labels are helpful if you know NFS


Network statistics

Syntax netstat -i -n -r -p -m
Examples netstat -in Interface stats
netstat -rn Routing stats
netstat -p tcp Protocol stats (also try ip, cmp, igmp, udp
netstat -m Memory buffer stats used for packets inside AIX
netstat -D Packets receiver, transmitted and dropped) stats


Workload Manager Stats

Syntax wlmstat -c -m -b -S -v [seconds [count]]
Options -b -c -m List only c=cpu m=memory -b=disks (yes b, not d)
-S List Super Class level only
-v Verbose outout (more detailed)
seconds Time bewteen output
count number of outputs
Examples wlmstat 3 100 Basic stats every 3 seconds for 100 times
wlmstat -v 60 Full details once a minute for ever
wlmstat -Sv 9 As above but Superclass only and every 9 seconds
Output Class Name of the Class
CPU,MEM,DKIO Percentages
tr Tier number of class
i Inheritance 0=no 1=yes
#pr number of processes in class
sha Shares (- = -1)
min Minimum Limit as a percentage
smx Soft maximum limit as a percentage
hmx Hard maximum limit as a percentage
des Desired percentage calculated by WLM
npg number of memory pages in class

Hint Try to have nothing in the Default Class.


Inode check

Syntax ncheck [-a][-i inodenumber...] [-s] [filesystem]
Options -a all including . and ..
-i inode find the file(s) with these inode no.
-s list special and set UID files
Examples ncheck -a / List all files in /
ncheck -i 2194 /tmp f ind name for inode 2194 in /tmp


Network (and lots more) Monitor - uses trace so only the root user and this can hit performance.

Syntax netpmon -o file -Tn -P -v -Oreport-type
Options -o outputfile put the output to file not stdout
-T n Set output buffer size (default 64000)
-P Force monitor process into pinned memory
-v Verbose (default only top 20 processes)
-O cpu, dd(device driver), so(socket), nfs, all
Examples netpmon -O all -o net.out
do network or general workload here ...
finish with: trcstop
There is lots of information gathered in one report.



File I/O monitor - uses trace so only the root user and this can hit performance.

Syntax filemon -i file -o file -d -Tn -P -v -O levels
Examples filemon -O all -o file.out
do disk I/O work load here...
finish with: trcstop
Output #MBs total number of Mbytes transfer during run
#opns number of times the file was opened
#rpgs number of 4K page reads
#wpgs number of 4K page written
#wrs number of write calls
persistent paged from file system
working paged from paging space
util percentage busy
KB/s average data transfer rate


System Virtual Memory Monitor - uses trace so only the root user and this can hit performance.

Syntax svmon -G -Pnsa pid... -Pnsa[upg][count] -S sid... -i seconds count
Options -G Global report
-P[nsa] pid.. \Process report n=non-sys s-system a=both
-S[nsa][upg][x] Segment report as above + u==real-mem p=pinned g=paging x=top x items
-S sid... Segment report on particular segments
-i secs count Repeat report at interval second & count times
-D sid... Detailed report
Examples svmon -G Global / General stats
svmon -Pa 215 Process report for process 215
svmon -Ssu 10 Top ten system segments in real memory order
svmon -D 340d Detailed report on a particular segment
Output size in pages (4096)
inuse in-use
free not in use included rmss pages
pin pinned (locked by app.)
work pages in working segments
pers pages in persistent segments
clnt pages in client segments
pg space paging space

Note: pages can be in more than one process


InterprocessComms(shared memory,queue&semaphore) stats

Syntax ipcs -a
Examples ipcs Regular report
ipcs -a Full report = more columns
Output T Type m=memory, q=queue, s=semaphore
ID, KEY What the programmer user to access the ipc
CPID, LPID Process that created/last attached
CBYTES Bytes current in message queue
QBYTES Maximum number of bytes allowed in message queue
QNUM number of messages held
NATTCH Processes attached to this shared memory
SEGSZ Size of shared memory (segment)
NSEMS Number of Semaphores


Logical Volume Stats

Syntax lvmstat -v vgname -l lvname -e -d [seconds [count]]
-v vgname Volume group to track
-l lvname Logical volume to track
-e Enable
-d Disable
seconds Between output
count Number of outputs
lvmstat -v rootvg -e Enable rootvg stats (use -d to disable later)
lvmstat -v rootvg Monitor all of volume group
lvmstat -l lv05 Monitor just one logical volume in more detail
Output iocnt number of io
Kb_read KBytes read (same for write)
Kbps Kbytes per second
mirror# Which copy of a mirror


Placement of a file in the filesystem

Syntax fileplace -l -p -v filename
Options -l Logical layout in filesystem
-p Physical layout on disk(s)
-v Verbose (good)
Example fileplace -lv /tmp/xyz Logical layout
Example fileplace -pv /db/data.idx Disk layout


Reduced Memory System Simulator

Syntax rmss -p -c <MB> -r
-p Print the current value
-c MB Change to M size (in Mbytes)
-r Restore all memory to use
-p Print the current value
Example rmss -p find out how much memory you have online
Example rmss -c 32 Change available memory to 32 Mbytes
Example rmss -r Undo the above


  • rmss can damage performance very seriously
  • Don't go below 25% od the machines memory
  • Never forget to finish with rmss -r

rmms to determine the real memory use

To test the pressure on memory

  1. Reduce memory by 5% with rmss -c MB
  2. Immediately, rmss -r so release the rmss locked memory,
  3. This memory goes on the free list and will be the next memory allocated on demand
  4. Watch free memory being used with vmstat or nmon

If it reduces in

  • seconds - the machine is probably short on memory
  • minutes - memory is about right
  • hours or days - there is spare memory, can you tune to use more memory, like increasing RDBMS disk caches or Webspace


Tracks process system calls (AIX5+)

Syntax: simple truss mycmd
Syntax: detailed truss -a -f -c -p pid -o file
Options -a Display parameters strings
-f Follow child processes
-c Counts system calls - displays when process stops
-p pid Track a running process with PID pid
-o file Output the results to a file (allows interaction cmd)
Examples truss -a -p 23456 Track process 23456
Output lots Each system call name and parameters


System activity reporter

Syntax Immediate: sar -A [-P ALL] interval number
Collect: sar -A -o savefile interval number >/dev/null
Report: sar -A -f savefile -i secs -s HH[:MM[:SS]] -e HH[:MM[:SS]]
Options -A All stats to be collected/reported
-o savefile Collect stats to binary file
-f savefile Report stats from binary file
-i secs Report at seconds interval from binary file
-s and -e Report stats only between these times
Examples sar 10 100 R eport now at 10 seconds intervals
sar -A -o fred 10 6 Collect data into fred
sar -P ALL 1 30 Show individual CPUs
sar -A -f fred Report on the data
sar -A -f x -s 10:30 -e 10:45 Report on 15 minutes from 10:30 a.m.
sar -A -f fred -i60 Report 1 min. interval -not 10 secs as collected
Column output comments
CPU %usr %sys Percent of time in user / kernel mode
%wio %idle Percent of time waiting for disk io/idle
Buffer Cache bread/s bwrit/s lread/s lwrit/s Block I/O per second Logical I/O per sec (hopefully cached
pread/s pwrit/s Raw disk I/O (not buffer cached)
%rcache %wcache Percentage hit on cache
Kernel exec/s fork/s sread/s swrite/s r/wchar/s scall/s Calls per second of these system calls sread/write system calls (cache, raw, tty or network). scall is the total system calls
msg/s sema/s IPC for messages and semaphores
kexit/s ksched/s kproc-ov/s Process exits, process switches and process-overload (hit proc thresholds)
runq-sz Avg. process on run queue
%runocc Percent. of time with process on queue
swap-sz Avg. process waiting for page in
%swap-occ Percent. of time with process on queue
cycles/s number of page replace search of all pages
faults/s number of page faults (might not need I/O)
slots number of free pages on paging spaces
odio/s number of non-paging disk I/O per second
file-ov, proc-ov number of times these table overflow per sec
file-sz inode-sz proc-sz Entries in the tables
pswch/s Process switches per second
canch/s outch/s rawch/s Characters per second on terminal lines
rcvin/s xmtin/s Receive and transmit interrupts per second