Setting vm.swappiness=0 on RHEL 6.4 - 6.7 can cause OOM conditions.

Solution Verified - Updated -

Issue

  • Setting vm.swappiness=0 on RHEL6.4 and later releases can result in applications like IBM DB2 which require a lot of memory, experience an OOM termination condition even though swap is not being used and memory does not appear to be actually exhausted.
  • If the option is set to crash on OOM, a system interruption can occur.

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.7
    • A subsequent commit avoids this problem in RHEL7.

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