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Status Not under consideration
Workspace Informix
Components Informix Server
Created by Guest
Created on Oct 17, 2014

the OS_MEM_FREE Column from Sysmaster:SysMachineInfo is Misleading on AIX

Take for example the following query:

select os_mem_free from sysmaster:sysmachineinfo;

This returns the amount of free memory on the OS in bytes. We
appear to get this information from the same function that
gathers that info for OAT (via the SMI query) and onstat -g osi.

The system call being used appears to be grabbing what is seen
in svmon -G's "free" column. (see below) While this does tend
to be showing a true value for free memory on the system, it is
not an accurate representation of the real available free
memory. That's because this free value incorporates a lot of
memory reserved/cached by the OS. Yet this memory can be
redistributed to new shared memory segments and process heap
memory if needed.

A more accurate value for free memory on the system (i.e. memory
that could be available if needed) would be the (memory->size) -
(memory->virtual). Or (memory->size) - (in use->work).

The wording for this description was supplied by IBM employee Brian Oligschlaeger [].
  • Admin
    Karen Qualley
    May 5, 2021

    Thank you for your input. Will revisit with additional votes.