The default value for Linux machines is 60. Using a higher value wiil affect the system negatively as accessing a hard disk(swap space) for each and every request by a application program is a very slow process as compared to doing the same from physical memory. So it should be avoided to transfer active pages to swap space aggressively.
To check the current swappiness value
$ cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
To change the value
# echo 40 > /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
To make the changes affect
# sysctl -p
Verify the new parameter
# sysctl -a | grep swappiness
vm.swappiness = 40
What is kernel-PAE in Linux?
What is a Kernel in Linux?
What is virtual memory, paging and swap space?
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Follow the below links for more tutorials
Configure Red Hat Cluster using VMware, Quorum Disk, GFS2, Openfiler
Tutorial for Monitoring Tools SAR and KSAR with examples in Linux