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mkisofs memory hungry?

Hello. I choose one machine in the office to be the DVD backup server.
This machine has 96MB memory, in most cases the debian system running on
it keep 64MB memory free. In this office we don't have other machine
that is supposed to keep up in midnight for backup.

the DVD backup server is supposed to collect 4GB files (many of them are
pretty small) and make an iso image out if it, burn it to DVD burner. At
the first time mkisofs runs (this evening), I was surprised this script
runs several hours with HDD extremely busy, and still the output iso
image stays at 0-bit. top(1) says it takes 64% memory, while 93MB
physical memory and 160MB swap space are occupied (168MB swap space in

I thought mkisofs is somewhat pipeline process, files comes in, iso
images goes out. I thought the memory needed is not directly related to
the amount of data to make ISO image, so I feel this behaviour is

If you think this behaviour is expected and is normal, I am going to use
another machine for backup (e.g. make notes try make sure people don't
shut it down by accident). That's no problem for me if this old machine
is no longer capable of 'heavy' work. It's just I feel curious about it.

Thanks for suggestions and ideas in advance.

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