-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
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.
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.)