Reserve resources (memory and processes)

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http://www.unix.com – I have a shell script which sets some variables and then calls modules of a program in succession, one by one. Problem is that the script is executed on servers with many users, so sometimes the script starts running, runs for 10 minutes and then breaks due to lack of resources when other users run memory intensive processes. So, I have an assignment to somehow reserve enough memory when the script is started, so that memory problems are avoided. Also, is there a way to reserve certain number of processes? I don't need a complete solution, just an idea to get started is enough. (HowTos)