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Do I have enough RAM ?

I'd like to verify if I have enough memory in my server, or should add some more (add 1 Gb ?) for the type of server we're running. Here's a quick overview of my configuration:

- Server is a Dell PowerEdge 2800 dual Xeon 3.0Ghz with 1 Gb RAM, 2 x 72Gb scsi hard drive raid 1
- OS is Windows SBS 2003 Standard configured using most default options
- Exchange Server 2003 SP1
- Remote Web Workplace activated, OWA activated
- Symantec AV Corp Ed 10.0, running also Symantec Mail Security for MS Exchange 4.6
- 15 users and mailboxes

I'm asking this because I've been receiving for a while alerts indicating that some processes are allocating more memory than usual - mainly inetinfo.exe and store.exe. Based on the posts I found in EE about these alerts, I was going to simply raise the thresholds. But I would like to give you guys some of my memory utilization statistics just to confirm that I'm not really missing memory in the server, or maybe having a process that is taking an unusual amount of memory. The processor utilization is normally low, average of 2%. No real performance issue has been notified to me (yet).

Page file size on c:\pagefile.sys: 2,012Mb

From Performance:
- Memory, Committed Bytes: 2,327,281,296
- Available Mbytes: 132
- Paging File % usage: 86
- Process Working Set: 815,905,132

From Performance Counters:
- inetinfo.exe private byte: threshold:104 mb  -  average:205 mb
- store.exe: threshold:104 mb  -  average:335 mb

From Task Manager:
  Process             Mem Usage    Peak
- inetinfo.exe:        164Mb         207Mb
- sqlserv.exe:          74Mb         160Mb
- store.exe:             65Mb         309Mb
- w3wp.exe:            51Mb         222Mb
- conduit.exe:          37Mb           58Mb
- savfmsesp.exe (9):5.8Mb          32Mb
- the rest of the processes are various and smaller - nothing that looks unusual


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1 Solution
I would be looking at at least another GB of RAM.  With Exchange and Symantec, you have a fair load for only a single GB of RAM.

Hi ndidomenico,

agreed, we are rolling out 2Gb as standard now as 2Gb just didnt cut it and we are only running AD and a couple of Databases on our Boxes.... thing i hate dealing with most is machines that dont have enough mem to perfrom their tasks efficiently
ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
In the stats I displayed, would you know what memory usage parameter would indicate me that it is running out of RAM and forced to swap to disk often (pagefile) ?
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Should be Max Commit charge.

ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
I can't find the "Max Commit charge" counter in the Performance/System Monitor console. Under which object name/counter name is it ?
And how do I interpret its value in relation to the RAM or pagefile on my server ?
It's Commit Charge Peak - in Task Manager on the Performance Tab.

Sorry about the confusion.

ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
Just to make sure I understand how to read the "Commit Charge" section of Task Manager:

Assuming I have:
RAM:           1,000,000 Kb
Pagefile.sys: 2,000,000 Kb

and the 3 values in "Commit Charge" read:
Total: 2,100,000 Kb
Limit: 3,000,000 Kb
Peak: 2,400,000 Kb

Am I correct in saying that:
Total (2,100,000) would mean that I'm using (at that moment) all of my RAM (1,000,000) + 1,100,000 of my pagefile.sys
Limit (3,000,000) is the calculated total of my RAM (1,000,000) + my pagefile.sys file size (2,000,000)
Peak (2,400,000) would be the maximum that has been reached so far in Total
(Is this how these 3 should be interpreted ?)

And that if I added 1 Gb RAM for a total of 2 Gb (as you were suggesting), it should mean that memory access would almost be done completely from RAM for the 2,000,000 kb and pagefile access would be to a minimum for the remaining 100,000 kb

Yes, that's exactly right.

It looks like 2GB isn't going to keep you out of the pagefile.  If you can afford to bump this to 3GB it would be money well spent.

If not, then 2GB will give you much better performance than you're seeing now.

ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
Ok. So I'll call Dell to order an additional 2 Gb memory. I never thought that I would need that much memory considering the small number of users to support (15) on that server. And we're not even using ISA and SQL. People using the Premium edition must have a quit large amount of RAM installed !

p.s. After rebooting the server, Limit is now at 2,500,000, which does not correspond to the total of my RAM + pagefile.sys file size. Any idea why ?
Ram + pagefile maximum should be 2.5GB - which is what you're telling me.

What process is using the most RAM?  I'm thinking Store.exe - is this right?

ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
Is Commit Charge Limit supposed to be calculated as
(1) Ram + pagefile present size on disk (presently at 1.5 Gb)
(2) Ram + pagefile initial size (set at 1.5 Gb in VM configuration)
(3) Ram + pagefile maximum size (set at 3.0 Gb in VM configuration)

Because right now, Commit Charge Limit shows 2.5 Gb, which seem to come from Ram (1 Gb) + pagefile present/initial file size, rather than Ram + pagefile maximum size.

Concerning processes, w3wp.exe is using the most: 200Mb, followed by inetinfo.exe (112Mb), services.exe (102Mb) and store.exe (41Mb)

p.s. We're almost there Netman66, I just want to make sure I understand properly the Commit Charge section, which seems to be pretty important when evaluating your usage of memory.
Ok, had a good look at this now.

Commit Charge:

Total = Total amount of VM (pagefile) in use.
Limit = Total Available VM (pagefile) for the machine.
Peak = highest amount of VM used.

w3wp.exe is the Application Pool
inetinfo.exe is for IIS
services.exe encapsulated running Services
store.exe is for Exchange.

ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
But where is Ram taken in consideration in your description of Commit Charge items ? When you refer to VM (pagefile), do you mean ONLY the usage of the pagefile on disk (c:\pagefile.sys), or a combination of Ram and pagefile.sys ?

If the pagefile is heavily used it signifies that there isn't enough RAM to keep requested pages in memory - so RAM usage is maxed out whenever there are lots of page faults (pagefile writes) and thus needs to shuffle things around between RAM and pagefile.

The more pagefile used, the more pegged the RAM is.  

On my server, I rarely see a fraction of the pagefile ever used - certainly nowhere near your usage.  I have 2GB or RAM.

Maybe you should start by adding 1GB (make sure to take into account the number of slots you have so you can add more without replacing DIMMs) and see how that affects your numbers.  

ndidomenicoAuthor Commented:
Thanks Netman66. I will add probably 2 Gb of Ram. Should definitely help. And I presume the page file should almost not be used in this case.

I am still a bit unsure about the commit charge exact definition. I've been reading a lot of posts in EE today about this subject and the explanations kind of vary. You've done enough work on this one for the points - I will post a new question just to get things clear, so you and others can jump in this new one - and give you a break ... :-)

Thanks again.
Hehe.. :o)

Google around on Commit Charge, there are some good articles on this.

You CAN use Performance to what the memory usage.  Here is a decent article right off the top:



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