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Process(_Total)\Working Set

Posted on 2009-12-21
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On a Dedicated SQL Server, I am observing the following counter value over a week's time:

Process(_Total)\Working Set

Min 1204593651
Average 1299979594
Max 1687249807

This is 1.12GB, 1.21GB, 1.57GB respectively.

The Server has 8GB Ram, and 6GB max set to SQL; 0 as min.

What does these numbers mean?

thanks
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Question by:anushahanna
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sameer2010 earned 668 total points
ID: 26096805
Working set indicates pages being referenced and available in the memory. This does not contain non-pageable areas.
Process total indicates processes using the server currently.
The above parameter tell the page size used by the processes
Page faults occur/increase when this size exceeds the pre-set threshold of available memory
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by:LMiller7
LMiller7 earned 1332 total points
ID: 26096899
The working set is the amount of physical memory assigned to a process. This is controlled by the system and is very dynamic, varying according to it's needs, the level of available memory, how many page faults it is experiencing, etc.
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26097293
So, technically, if Working set is less than available mem, page fault would never occur?

So the average of 1.21Gb from above, is for all the processes that are running, not just SQL, right?

Would this be the sum of 'Mem Usage' column in Task Manager->Processes?

Thanks
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by:LMiller7
LMiller7 earned 1332 total points
ID: 26098199
The Process Working Set refers to physical memory and can never exceed what you have in the system. This does not include any data that may be in the pagefile or elsewhere. The system will change the working set according to the process's requirements and memory availability. You have to understand that total virtual memory usage in a system will usually exceed the capacity of physical memory. This is a routine and completely normal situation. The storage for virtual memory may be RAM, the pagefile, or the files for executables and DLL's, etc. The system always attempts to keep the most used data in RAM where it can be accessed quickly. This is the working set. The remainder, much of which may not be needed again, will be left on disk. Windows will attempt to assign RAM wherever it will do the most good. This is the way all versions of Windows have worked since NT 3.1, released 1993. Linux and MAC OSX use similar principles, although the details are different.

Page faults will occur as the process working set is adjusted, although this may not actually require disk access. In fact, most disk IO will be done via page faults. Page faults in Windows are both routine and normal.

I don't know where you obtained the value for Process(_Total)\Working Set but it would appear to refer to SQL only. The total working set for all processes would be much larger than 1.21 GB on a system with 8GB. The system will always attempt to us as much RAM as possible. Free RAM is wasted RAM.

Adding up the "Mem Usage" items in Task Manager will not normally produce meaningful results.

If you really want to understand this get a copy of "Inside Windows 2000". All of this is explained in considerable detail. It is available quite cheaply from Amazon and elsewhere. But be warned, it is not light reading.
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26098627
LMiller7
Thanks for the helpful info.

Process(_Total)\Working Set is for Windows. See attached..
WorkingSet.bmp
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26099142
I did a quick run on just the main numbers. I am getting an average of

684MB AvailableRAM
43MB Pool Nonpaged
51MB Pool paged Resident
127MB System Cache Resident
0 System Code Resident
3MB System Driver Resident
1175MB Total Private Mem
8025MB Total Virtual Mem
1266 Total Working Set

Do you think maybe I should ignore the Process(_Total)\Working Set Counter, and come up with a formula with the above numbers?

thanks
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by:sameer2010
ID: 26101152
Do you need this for calculating if your hardware is sufficient or processes are efficient?
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26104082
sameer2010
it is more to confirm if memory is doing ok, and if more is needed, to handle the processes.
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 26224092
experts, can you help me figure working set from system counters, please:


684MB AvailableRAM
43MB Pool Nonpaged
51MB Pool paged Resident
127MB System Cache Resident
0 System Code Resident
3MB System Driver Resident
1175MB Total Private Mem
8025MB Total Virtual Mem

thanks
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