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 vps_ceiling(5)                                               vps_ceiling(5)
                          Tunable Kernel Parameters

 NAME    [Toc]    [Back]
      vps_ceiling - maximum (in kilobytes) of system-selectable page size

 VALUES    [Toc]    [Back]
      16 KB

    Allowed values    [Toc]    [Back]
      Minimum: 4 KB

      Maximum: 65536 KB

 DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]
      The Translation Look-aside Buffer (TLB) is a microprocessor feature
      for virtual memory, where the most recent physical to virtual address
      translations are cached, in the expectation that these translations
      are likely to be needed again soon.  This is based on the principles
      of spatial and temporal locality of address references in programs.
      Historically, the TLB was entirely managed within hardware to achieve
      speed optimizations while sacrificing the flexibility of software
      implementations.  For example, easily changed algorithms or table

      In recent years, the flexibility of a software implementation of the
      TLB has regained importance over pure hardware speed.  Specifically,
      the idea of logical grouping of physical frames (whose size is fixed
      in hardware) into 'superpages' or 'large pages', that can be
      represented in software TLB algorithms using a single base address
      translation for many physical frames, significantly reduces the lost
      cycles due to page faults (assuming reasonable spatial and temporal
      locality).  For example, consider a scientific application working on
      an array where each element requires 1 KB of memory.  Using the usual
      4 KB physical frame size and referencing the array sequentially causes
      a page fault that requires the page be read into memory from disk or
      swap, and loads the TLB with the frame base address translation at
      every fifth element.

      If a user application does not use the chatr command to specify a page
      size for the program text and data segments, the kernel automatically
      selects a page size based on system configuration and object size.
      This selected size is then compared to the maximum page size defined
      by the vps_ceiling tunable, and if the selected size is larger, the
      value of vps_ceiling is used instead.  Then, the value is compared
      against the minimum page size as set by vps_pagesize, and the larger
      of the two values is used.

    Who is Expected to Change This Tunable?

    Restrictions on Changing    [Toc]    [Back]
      Changes to this tunable take effect at the next reboot.

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 1 -      HP-UX 11i Version 2: Sep 2004

 vps_ceiling(5)                                               vps_ceiling(5)
                          Tunable Kernel Parameters

    When Should the Value of This Tunable Be Raised?
      This tunable can be raised when processes on the system access their
      text and data in a regular fashion, and over a range of data larger
      than the current value.  For example, if this tunable is set to 16
      KBs, but almost every process on the system repeatedly works with a
      four or five distinct 256 KB data sets, then raising the tunable to
      256 would reduce the page faulting for these processes because 16 of
      the previously 16 KB pages are now addressed by a single 256 KB

      Average system behaviour is not likely to display uniformity of memory
      access and the optimal value is not easy to determine, so this tunable
      only represents the upper value for the kernel heuristic and may not
      change the actual system behaviour.

    What Are the Side Effects of Raising the Value?
      Memory allocations will require larger groups of contiguous pages, if
      either vps_pagesize is also raised or the kernel heuristic chooses a
      larger value.  This can lead to undesired behaviour.  For example,
      when a program is reading in the last 4 KBs of code from disk with the
      default value, this means 16 KBs of contiguous physical memory must be
      found and set up with the appropriate virtual translation, even
      though, only 4 KBs of data will actually be on it.  Consider the
      maximum, where 64 megabytes of contiguous physical memory is allocated
      for every new virtual page the program uses, even if, only 4 KBs of
      that is actually used.  Besides the wasted physical memory here, there
      is also an issue of delays due to fragmentation that many contiguous
      frames of physical memory may not be available and a process may be
      stalled waiting on the allocation when the amount of memory it
      actually needs is available.

      Therefore, it is best to only raise this tunable if you know precisely
      the memory usage of the system.  In general, increasing the variable
      page size on a per application basis for known applications, such as,
      databases which scan large amounts of data with only one page fault,
      is a much better practice.

    When Should the Value of This Tunable Be Lowered?
      The tunable should be lowered if physical memory fragmentation is
      preventing small memory processes from running due to waiting on
      contiguous chunks of memory, or if the overall system usage of memory
      displays poor spatial locality (virtual accesses are not close to each
      other) producing wasted physical frames.

    What Are the Side Effects of Lowering the Value?
      Applications such as databases will suffer more page faults to get
      their working set into memory, but this can be handled by using chatr
      with the appropriate application.

    What Other Tunables Should Be Changed at the Same Time?
      vps_pagesize should be considered, being the minimum bound on the

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 2 -      HP-UX 11i Version 2: Sep 2004

 vps_ceiling(5)                                               vps_ceiling(5)
                          Tunable Kernel Parameters

      kernel heuristic range.

 WARNINGS    [Toc]    [Back]
      All HP-UX kernel tunable parameters are release specific.  This
      parameter may be removed or have its meaning changed in future
      releases of HP-UX.

      Installation of optional kernel software, from HP or other vendors,
      may cause changes to tunable parameter values.  After installation,
      some tunable parameters may no longer be at the default or recommended
      values.  For information about the effects of installation on tunable
      values, consult the documentation for the kernel software being
      installed. For information about optional kernel software that was
      factory installed on your system, see HP-UX Release Notes at

 AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]
      vps_ceiling was developed by HP.

 SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 3 -      HP-UX 11i Version 2: Sep 2004
[ Back ]
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