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Memory configuration SQL Server 2005 on Windows 2003

Posted on 2008-10-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hi,

I have a server with the following configuration and I need help to configure memory allocation on SQL Server 2005:
- Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition
- SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition]
- 4 Gb RAM
- This server will only work as a databse server. I have 2 others servers to the application.

I want to know what is the best configuration for maximum performance. How many memory I need to setup in minimum and maximum options and what about awe option.

Thanks in advance !

Pablo Braga
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Question by:Pablo_Braga
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placebo69a earned 500 total points
ID: 22642051
The following is leeched from a nice article regarding these settings and others.
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Min and Max Server Memory
There are three options in SQL Server that allow you to configure memory settings:

1. Min Server Memory
2. Max Server memory
3. AWE-Enabled


These are all advanced options, to view them using SP_CONFIGURE you must set SHOW ADVANCED OPTIONS to and reconfigure

Sp_configure show advanced options, 1;RECONFIGURE;

To enable the AWE Enabled setting you must the awe-enabled option to 1 (1 = enabled, 0 = disabled, 0 is the default)

SP_CONFIGURE awe enabled, 1;

You will need to restart SQL Server for the awe-enabled option to take affect.

To achieve dynamic memory allocation you can leave the default settings for both min and max server memory, this will allow SQL Server to acquire as much memory as it needs or you can change the default values to other limited. SQL Server dynamically acquires and releases memory between then amount specified in the Min and Max settings.

To ensure that SQL Server always has 512 megabytes if memory set the min server memory to 512:

SP_CONFIGURE min server memory, 512;RECONFIGURE;

The min option will ensure that SQL Server always has a certain amount of memory to use, thus preventing other applications from stealing all the memory. The Max setting can be used to ensure that memory is available for other applications and they dont have to wait for SQL Server to release it. As an example you may want to limit SQL Server to use 1GB of memory you can configure this setting as follows:

SP_CONFIGURE Max Server Memory, 1024;RECONFIGURE;

The min and max options only require you to RECONFIGURE you do not need to restart SQL Server.

Microsoft recommends that you allow SQL Server to configure it memory usage dynamically by leaving the min and max setting as defaults, which is ideal if you have dedicated server to SQL Server but not if you budgets are tight and you have utilise all your hardware. Just ensure you dont cause excessive paging by configuring these values incorrectly.

To force SQL Server to use a fixed amount of memory set both the Min and Max values to be the same. Again avoid excessive paging by not setting the fixed memory size too large for your system.
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In more practical terms my answer would depend on the number of instances running on your SQL server where in general you want the sum of all the maximums to be slightly less than the machine's total RAM.
So for 1 instance - 3.5GB
For 2 instances - 1.75GB each
For 3 instances - 1.15GB each
For 4 instances - 875MB each
etc.
Let me know if this helps. :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Pablo_Braga
ID: 31503413
Thanks for you response. The article you send is very good and also will help me in this task.
Thank you !

Pablo
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