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Crippling high RAM usage, Googled SQL buffer-related usage doesn't show the issue Expand / Collapse
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 5:37 PM


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I have an SQL Server 2008R2 server instance that is hitting the RAM ceiling and crippling the server.

- Server has 12GB RAM
- Task Manager shows more than 9.5GB of RAM being used on SQLServr.exe, I am getting time-out errors on C# queries, and connecting to the server via SSMS
- Management won't allow for increased RAM on this server
- Restarting the SQL Server service fixes the issue, but the RAM slowly climbs back up
- Online SQL Queries are showing that my databases are using approximately 2.5GB of RAM for buffer pages all added up
- This issue has happened approximately once a week for the last few weeks

Could anyone please direct me on how to better monitor / see where this memory usage is going? I'd appreciate some assistance on this.
Post #1436227
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:05 PM



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That is actually normal, and is not anything to worry about once you understand that SQL Server will use as much memory as you allow. See, serving data from memory is more efficient than serving from disk so SQL Server attempts to keep as much of your data in memory as possible.

An important thing for you to do right away is to set the "max server memory" server configuration to a sensible value that leaves enough memory for the Windows and other non-buffer pool SQL Server needs. Please read chapter 4 of this book (buy from Amazon or free eBook download) for details on memory management

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Post #1436261
Posted Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:46 AM



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If restarting the server clears up what's going on, I'm not sure that you're seeing memory problems. I'd suggest hitting the sys.dm_os_ring_buffers to determine if you're getting out of memory alerts. If not, while you may be experiencing memory pressure, causing paging, etc., you're not actually literally running out of memory.

It sounds more like you may be experiencing other issues such as bad parameter sniffing or something else. Have you looked at blocked processes, wait stats, query execution times?

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Post #1436381
Posted Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:56 AM



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On top of the previous replies you may want to double check the need for this instance to enable ad hoc workload optimization.
( just to prevent cache spill ram for sqlplans that will only get used once. )

exec sp_configure 'optimize for ad hoc workloads', 1


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