I installed Sybase 12.5.1 on AIX 5.2. When I try to dump a database of about 12 GB, in the middle of the job I get the following error: Fork: not enough memory. Afterwards, the server is not accessible, and it needs a reboot. Do you have any suggestions? Swap area is 5 GB, memory 10 GB.

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I have not seen this problem. However, AIX like most other Unix-based systems, will try to buffer the entire file. In addition, AIX, like the other Unix-based systems, should have swap space equal to or slightly greater than the amount of physical memory (RAM) on the box. This is a must! Otherwise it could cause problems when the box needs to go to the paging area.

My suggestions: Increase the swap area to the IBM-recommended size of at least the size of physical memory. Better configure the swap area 1.5 times the amount of physical memory.

If you do what I recommend, you would have a swap space size of 15 GB for a 10 GB of RAM.

Also, how many stripes are you using for the database dump? How many devices does the database have? For a 12 GB database, I would recommend at a minimum 8 stripes for a standard JFS. For JFS with large file enabled or for JFS2, you should probably go for between 4 and 8 stripes for best performance.

Having said that, based upon the information provided, I suggest you increase the swap space to 15 GB and the number of database dump stripes to 8.

This was first published in November 2004

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