After encounter some problem at work running large Oracle databases on a
RHEL4 system, we need to prevent kernel overcommit from exceeding a
certain threshold. In fact, the problem was that the system begin to
kill processes under heavy load: in our case
The solution was to alter the default behavior of the Linux kernel in
this area, as mentioned in
the corresponding source code tarball.
Interestingly, an overall and great explanation of this mechanism is available today on the O'Reilly LinuxDevCenter.com. It is worth reading it, i think.