Monitoring Virtual Memory with vmstat
It isn't necessarily bad for your system to be using some of its swap space. But if you discover your system is often running low on physical memory and paging is causing performance to suffer, add more memory. If you can't add more memory, run memory-intensive jobs at different times of the day, avoid running nonessential jobs when memory demand is high or distribute jobs across multiple systems if possible.
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Brian K. Tanaka has been a UNIX system administrator since 1994 with companies such as SGI, Intuit and RealNetworks. He is cofounder of Martingale-Oak, LLC. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.