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AWE ,memory management and 64bit OS Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:39 AM
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Hi,
I have inherited a cluster that has several instances of SQL Server 2005. THE OS is 64 bit and the problem I am having is that there is 10GB of memory and when I look in Task Manager and order by memory at the top is

sqlserver.exe 5,931,512 KB
sqlserver.exe 2,771,548 KB
sqlserver.exe 286,036 KB

Total 8,989,096 KB

Now I want to even this out a little as obviously one of the SQL server instances is throttling the others. My instincts tell me the one that is using the most memory is a database that is not key to the users and as such I would be happy to reign in its memory usage.

AWE
Now when I look on the memory tab of the properties for the instance there is an option to enable AWE. There are Minimum and Maximum settings in MB for server memory. Can I use this in any way to control the memory that is used.

I thought I could but all the articles that I find seem to lead me to believe that AWE only works for 32 bit - is this true?

Can I still uise these memory settings to control memory usage?

Do I need to restart the server or service for this to take affect.


Many thanks,
Ells

Post #677263
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:49 AM


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Ells,

The AWE settings and the Min & Max memory settings are seperate. You do not need to turn AWE on to be able to set these.

For more explanation on AWE in 64 bit please see the below article.

http://blogs.msdn.com/slavao/archive/2005/04/29/413425.aspx




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Post #677266
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:50 AM


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- AWE is not needed for 64bit OS, it's only a window for 32bit OS to address more memory
- As mentioned, enable 'lock pages in memory' on 64bit OS
- If you have multiple instances, make sure you set the minimum and maximum memory for each instance. If you don't do this, instances will battle for memory under high pressure.
- You can prioritize instances by using processor and/or IO affinity
- make sure you have some free memory available for OS etc. Monitor ' Memory Paging' for this issue.
- As a general rule, my servers have a minimum of 1 GB free memory.


Wilfred
The best things in life are the simple things
Post #677268
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 3:19 AM
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Thanks for your help. Got all the info I need. Just one really lame question. I am assuming that the minimum and maximum settings are for physical memory only?

Thanks a lot.
Mark.

:D
Post #677286
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 4:39 AM


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yes, memory settings are for physical memory (otherwise you'll get an "financial" crisis on your database server too )

Wilfred
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Post #677313
Posted Friday, February 15, 2013 1:33 PM
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Hi.
Does this apply to artificial limits, like "standard" version server limiting you to 32 GB RAM?
It seems like if you could use AWE to get around "natural" 32 bit limitations to address more RAM, there's a chance something should let you get around artificial memory limits imposed on 64 bit "standard" version Windows Server OS.
Thank you
Post #1420738
Posted Friday, February 15, 2013 1:56 PM


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Nope. To get around 'artificial' memory limitations on Windows Standard edition, upgrade to Enterprise.

p.s. New questions in a new thread in future please.



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
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Post #1420751
Posted Friday, February 15, 2013 2:00 PM
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K. Thanks.
I hope someone does something.
32 bit days and things like AWE proved you can have big memory outside OS limits. You don't even need the OS to manage the memory with the right program, just quit trying to block it.
Thank you
Post #1420756
Posted Friday, February 15, 2013 2:07 PM


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The OS wasn't the limitation in 32-bit days. The addressable memory by a 32-bit process was.


Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

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Post #1420760
Posted Friday, February 15, 2013 2:13 PM
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My point exactly-ish.
Before, the hw/sw couldn't do it so it was programmed around.
Now to squeeze more money from you, just the OS restricts you to force you to upgrade.
The same genious to work around should apply in either case, I am hoping.
In either case we don't need the OS to manage the memory, technically.
Thank you for your insight.
I've been trying to figure out what was up got a bit.
Post #1420764
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