"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
ZFS and 32bit platforms.

So for a while now I've been struggling with an older Xeon system which becomes more and more unresponsive until it finally hangs, when under a moderate amount of I/O load.

I asked zfs-discuss@ about it, and received a very helpful response from Marc Bevand.

Now the kernel heap bounces between 1.2GB (idle) and 1.4GB (loaded). The ARC has maxed around 400MB, but I haven't been doing any major reads off the box yet, just a lot of write I/O, so I don't think that's particularly surprising.


(This experience really reminds me that I need to re-read Solaris Internals. I could have solved this problem myself, if I refreshed on those books periodically.)

August 7, 2008 7:27 PM