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SBS 2003 RAM maxed out by sql server

Posted on 2004-10-08
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Hi - I'm a new SBS Admin, just learning as I go along, and I'm wondering what SBS 2003 uses SQL server for. We have 2 GB of RAM, and they are maxed out right now. the 2 procs that are using huge chunks are store.exe, which I get, and sqlserver.exe, which I am not sure of the utility of. We were doing fine on RAM until this week. We do have a sharepoint site that we have been adding to. does that use sqlserver?
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Question by:lorendavis
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by:AustinSeven
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Hard to know without more info but it seems that you are running various apps on the database server.   It's not unusual to see sqlserver.exe using a lot of memory because, by default, it'll grap what's on offer.   In the ideal scenario, you would only want to run SQL Server on a 'database server' but if you're forced into running apps on that server then you can throttle SQL Server max memoery requirements back by changing the server's properties (can do through Enterprise Manager).   However, it all depends on the most demanding of the requirements forced to cohabit on a single server.  If SQL Server has some scope, you can throttle it back to, say, 1Gb.   Suggest you use perfmon and a SQL Server performance analysis to come up with some conclusions - eg. buy another server, add more memory, better disk sub-system, etc.    

I don't know what SBS is?   What the relative loading on the various applications on this server?  What's the key priority in terms of performance?   What's your budget to get things improved?!

Based on not much information... My guess is that this 'STORE.EXE' and whatever app that represents is competing with SQL Server.   Maybe you're asking one Window server to do too much.  However, you can throttle SQL Server back in terms of its memory.   Please use Perfmon to establish where the true bottleneck is.

AustinSeven
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by:Informative
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Check your disk space you might be running low on "resources" which is when your system tries to swap out some RAM to disc and cannot find sufficient disk space to increase the swap file size.  Try making a manual swap file lik 4gig or something big.

Simply going into the system p[roperties and looking at performance and acting as IF you were going to create a large manual swap file should give you the answer if disk space has anything to do with it all.  

The other thing you can do it run the defrag.
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by:Informative
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by:lorendavis
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that's a quick response! thanks.

SBS= Small Business Server.
store.exe is the mailbox info store for Exchange.
Small Business Server 2003 includes MS Exchange, Sharepoint Services, and Windows Server. We also have Symantec Mail Security for Exchange running on this machine, which takes up a significant amount of RAM on its own.

sqlserver.exe is currently taking about 550MB, store.exe is currently taking about 580MB

In response to Informative, I'm sure we have enough disk space.

Since SBS is a package deal, i didn't install SQL server separately, and so I don't think I have Enterprise Manager.

I was just wondering what it is used for, so I coud tell what might be causing this memory drain. Previously, it wasn't taking up that much space at all. and I think the only thing we've really changed is that we've added some to the sharepoint site.

However, I did muck about with registration of sqlvdi.dll about a week ago, because of another problem we have been having with backup and certserve. I wondered if something I did there might have caused a problem.

thanks for the quick responses.
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by:lorendavis
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ah - my last comment was written as the link above was being posted - they crossed. i'm checking the link now. thanks.
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by:Informative
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In that link I'd be especially sure to try a few different value for the log buffer setting to 9000 if its lower now and to lower if it's higher now.  Setting it lower will be fine if you have adequate disk space at the cost of performance but will reduce memory demand - but its actually more likely to benefit from being set higher especially if you may be short disk space.

You may even need to upgrade the server if it is going to be used in a large commercial setting.
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by:Informative
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if this caused your problem.

>>I did muck about with registration of sqlvdi.dll about a week ago<<

Fresh drive, Fresh OS install and reinstall sharepoint may be required.  Always make a full image backup of your system before you plan to do any mucking.  It can be a bad thing without a backup.
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by:lorendavis
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OK as it turns out we don't have that registry key. That link pertains only to Sharepoint Portal Server I think, and we just have Sharepoint Services installed - the default for SBS.

>>You may even need to upgrade the server if it is going to be used in a large commercial setting.

That's the thing - this is a small company - less than 25 users. we have more than enough disk space, and the processors (2x xeon 2.8GHz) are never taxed.
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by:Informative
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More than enough disk space may still not be more than enough contiguous disk space.  Did you try the defrag, increased static virtual memory page file and adjusted log buffer settings?

Make SURE all of these machines have been windowsupdate.com patched too IIS is running which makes the machine likely outgoing and therefore a target to intrusion symptoms.
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praveen_ms earned 200 total points
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Hi lorendavis,

Goto SQL Enterprise manager and highlight the server and right click the node and select properties and change in the Memory tab the amount of RAM SQL server has to use.

If you don't set this SQL server will just take up any free RAM available for faster processing. One more thing this is not a problem as SQL server relinquishes memory back before page filing starts happening.

I hope this helps...
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by:Informative
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He did say he didnt have Enterprise manager because he didnt do a proper install of SQL.

lorendavis << i didn't install SQL server separately, and so I don't think I have Enterprise Manager.>>

I believe the SQL Client Tools are free though, so you should also be able to find and install just the Client Tools (which includes Enterprise Manager) and install those without needing an added SQL license for that.

If you dont have one you can get the free one just so you can get the Enterprise Manager for the 2005 Express here

http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/sql/default.aspx
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by:AustinSeven
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Thanks for the explanation SBS = Small Business Server.   Now I understand.

SBS or not, Exchange and SQL Server don't live together well although, for the small organisation that you described, I think you might just be able to survive with a bit of tweaking.    Memory is the likely bottleneck here.    I don't know of a way to throttle back Exchange memory requirements but, as I described, you can certainly throttle back SQL Server's max memory setting through SQL Server client tools - once you have these installed (no cost).   A RAM upgrade might be in order though.

AustinSeven
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by:lorendavis
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Thanks to all of you for promt and considered advice. The key here for me was that, similar to store.exe. sqlserver.exe relinquishes RAM before paging occurs. The info on Enterprise Manager, and where to get it were also important, so that I can manage this in the future. So I split the points.
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by:Informative
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While we are sharing knowledge I'd also like to share this excellent admin tool I just discovered during my EE browsing today which I think everyone who does "back end" server room work of any kind will appreciate.

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

These boot CD's are catching on quite a bit they have some that just boot up to tools for partitioning and formatting drives and scanning for viruses etc, but this one is for building an actual full trimmed down Windows XP/2003 boot CD which can be a real life saver too if you ever need to Oh say move the SQL MDF files because of some sort of serious problem/infection/drive sector failure which maybe only affected the OS files and not the MDF.
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by:jptechcoach
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When supporting an SBS Server, be careful, they are not like regular servers.  I know this post is very old but for those searching, check Susan Bradley's blog www.sbsdiva.com -- her archive article answers this question:  http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2005/05/22/48500.aspx.  It ususally is the sbsmonitoring that is running high memory and is easy to throttle that instance.
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