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Processes using 1.5GB of RAM slow after 2 hours of machine low activity. After 15 minutes with activity response is fast again. Why?


We are trying to diagnose a problem with a set of processes we have running on our machines.  They are Dual 2Ghz Xeon Core machines with 16GB of RAM.  On these machines we are running a handful of processes that are consuming 1.5 GB of RAM each.  The  processes are fast to respond until we leave the processes alone for 2 hours or more.  If we try to communicate with these processes after the 2 hour idle period; we are receiving response times of 30 seconds; as opposed to the 1 and 2 second responses we normally expect.  If we continue to hammer these processes; they are fast to respond after 15 minutes.  We have tested this for past week and the 15 minute time to "wake up" is repeatable.

Are we experiencing a hibernation behavior of Debian with an idle system, or is this a general behavior of processes which consume large amounts of RAM?  Our BIOS does not have any hibernation/sleep settings enabled.

Any tips on how to determine if our system is going into a hibernation mode or leads/advice from fellow sufferers of this behavior would be greatly appreciated.


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