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HP-UX reboots? Time between them?

By peter.berger@genexsrvcs ·
I have a ? concerning planned reboots of a HPUX 11.11 (RP7410 machine; 10GB RAM; Oracle 8; BaaN v4c4 ERP). My new boss seems to think that all machines (Wintel & UX) should run 24x7x365 and NEVER ever require a reboot. In the practical world we SysAdmins know that sometimes a reboot for the heck of it improves performance and solves goofy problems caused by application memory leaks, etc. I was wondering if there is any documentation out there, or best practices to determine when to schedule a reboot of UX boxes. Our boxes have been running for 4months w/ zero problems. We're just now experiencing some slowness and are planning a simple reboot. I know that this 4months is much longer than most of our Wintel boxes and we're proud of 4months. Any help/hints/best practices/white papers would be great to show that yes UX machines do need to be rebooted sometimes and that other people in the world cannot run their machines forever. Thanks in advance.

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by cpfeiffe In reply to HP-UX reboots? Time betwe ...

As a fellow admin I really don't like reboots in UX world just for the purpose of rebooting. If you think you have a memory leak then you have to do what you have to do, but you should fix the problem (usually by a patch) as soon as you can. The nice thing about UNIX is that it shouldn't require you to reboot it every so often. However, I would strongly encourage patch installation on a regular basis. HP is now releasing the gold pack (all available patches) every June. I would try to convince your boss that these patches need to be applied and thus require a reboot. You don't really have to argue the reboot point with that, but rather the security/performance/support issues as related to applying necessary patches that are recommended by HP.

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by Black Panther In reply to HP-UX reboots? Time betwe ...

Unix Shutdown and Reboot
It is critical for system administrators to have a firm understanding of how the machine is being used and actively involve the users in scheduling downtime. For example, on most systems (except Cray to my knowledge), a shutdown will cause all user processes to be killed. If users on a system are running jobs that take days or weeks to complete then shutting the system down and cause all processes to be killed could severly impact the productivity of users. Whenever possible, users should be given as much lead time as possible when scheduling a shutdown. Once brought up to multi-user mode it is not uncommon for the system to run for many days, possibly even months, without being shutdown or rebooted. There are valid reasons for shutting down the system, these include:
Many systems now have a graphics dispaly and use an assortment of X11 based applications. Also, it is not uncommon for a server machine to support remote X11 applications. Under many vendors version of X11 there are known memory leaks. These memory leaks result in the X11 server or application allocating memory and never releasing it. Over time you may find that free memory becomes tight. Rebooting will elliminate that.
Installation of system software or changes in hardware often require a system reboot to take affect.
Devices can get in a state where they don't function properly. The only fix is to shutdown the system and power off the component. Likewise, system software may get in a confused state and require a reboot to be corrected.
Often, system administrators bring the system down to single-user mode to perform full backups of file systems. Performing a full backup on a quiescent is one way of gaurenteeing a complete backup.

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