Windows 2008 Memory consumption

Posted on 2011-05-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

Hi All,

Can someone shed a light on this; it is Windows 2008 memory concern. WE have Windows 2008 R2 that is running SQL, I have risen my concern about memory is LOW; as you can see from the image 8GB is installed. My concern is that as per image the server is at 95% usage and hence the memory is at almost peak and hence may risk the server crashing or not being responsive and overall performance is effected, I have recommended that extra memory should be installed.

However the other system administrator argues and says this is normal behavior of windows 2008 and there should be no concern! And NO additional memory is required!

Now looking at the image provided I can see the following, 95% Used memory SQL server have 6.7GB of memory committed to it and rest is divided to the OS. The other admin argues that the memory committed to the SQL is not all consumed by SQL and can be taken from SQL instance when the system (OS) requires it. I argue back and say this is not true and only 45MB of memory is permissible to be taken from SQL as per image (Sharable memory)

Can someone please clearly explain how memory is used in windows 2008 and provide links where I can take back to the other system admin and discuss further and put this matter to rest. I appreciate if you could explain the memory categories in the image such as WORKING SET, COMMITED, SHAREABLE, PRIVATE, IN USE, MODIFIED, STANDBY FREE etc

I have awarded MAX points for this

Please feel free if you require further information

Thanks in advance

Question by:linuxhunts
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution

    It is normal behavior of SQL server. Ones installed, SQL server starts to manage the RAM and over the time it takes all of it. This doesn't mean that if you have another process that needs more ram it won't work - SLQ will free some ram for it.

    You could limit the SQL to a certain amount of ram if you wish. I don't remember where the setting of this was but you can google it. It is a common problem so it should be hard to find the solution.
    LVL 27

    Assisted Solution

    above post is correct.  you can adjust memory usage through "min server memory" and "max server memory" options in SQL.  

    Relevant MS article:

    LVL 142

    Expert Comment

    by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
    I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

    Accepted answer: 250 points for michko's comment http:/Q_26996730.html#35770782
    Assisted answer: 250 points for spaperov's comment http:/Q_26996730.html#35566353

    for the following reason:

    This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

    Author Comment



    This is obviously not the correct answer as the issue with memory or how memory works in Windows 2008 R2 seem to be different from all other windows versions, the question had not been answered at all not even the slightest. As much i appreciate both contribution but everyone in IT knows SQL and memory issues and how to optimize it, this is not a secrete at all!!

    I may have given bad example!! even though i assumed my question was very very clear what i was after but the response did not address my concern and hence i was very disappointed with the response considering this is A techies forum. I was going to provide another example i.e. instead of SQL server i was going to use application server that also has same behavior but i did not because i am so disappointed with this site answers so far! if you look into my previous questions you will see that not many of them were answered properly and i ended up finding my own solution.

    I believe this site is only good for beginner to intermediate questions but nothing more. This question had STILL NOT ANSWERED YET- please ready it and see for yourself, also look at image provided

    Author Comment




    Can someone please clearly explain how memory is used in windows 2008 and provide links where I can take back to the other system admin and discuss further and put this matter to rest. I appreciate if you could explain the memory categories in the image such as WORKING SET, COMMITED, SHAREABLE, PRIVATE, IN USE, MODIFIED, STANDBY FREE etc

    You see nothing about SQL it clearly asked for HOW MEMORY WORKS IN WINDOWS 2008!!!! not anything about SQL!!!!!!! if someone wants to help they should make the effort to read the question and answer accordingly and not just throw any right but irrelevant answer!!

    You can do what you like, to make you and others happy you can give them undeserved points i guess this how this site works. I lost interest because this site seem to be full of disappointments and i will not be renewing my membership, meanwhile i will make most of it with easy questions to make you happy
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment


    I'm sorry you feel that way about the answers that were posted.  I truly read this as you wanted to resolve the issue with SQL, not get a primer on how the resource monitor works in Win Server 2008.  For that, I apologize.

    This link is to an MS TechNet article:

    This link is to a good article on monitoring performance using resource monitor:

    This article covers how RAM works.  It is a MS Support article that covers all operating systems, including Server 2008.

    Information on memory performance:

    A good Tech Republic article on memory usage in Windows 7 (note that it is the same for Server 2008)

    Hopefully those articles will provide enough information to answer your questions regarding memory usage and the various categories.

    I understand your frustration, but feel compelled to point out that we here at Experts Exchange are in the habit of providing working answers.  When your post is read from a "how do we fix their problem" viewpoint, the problem you indicate is that you feel the memory in the server is too low given the SQL usage indicators.  Our answers addressed this issue.  Essentially, that this is normal behavior for a server with SQL running.  

    Given the scenario you presented, the memory in that server is fine, what you see is within acceptable limits.  I believe the additional articles I have posted will answer your request for information on how it all works.

    Best of luck to you.

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