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Memory counters on Windows Server 2008 Perfmon

Posted on 2013-01-20
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Last Modified: 2013-02-27
Hello

I am running a server with Windows 2008 Server SP2. The application is working ok, but I'm slightly worried that we're running out of memory.

The server has 4GB RAM. The application installed is a 32bit application, however it has 3 main processes.

I went to Perfmon, and looked at the following counters:

Available Mbyes: Average is 300MB
% Commited Bytes in Use: Average is 22%
Pages/ Sec: Average is 5
Commited Bytes: Average is 2.5 GB
Pages Output/Sec: 0

I've been reading a couple of articles on the Net, and a lot seem to contradict each other!

For instance:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/magazine/2008.08.pulse.aspx

and http://blog.whatwoulddando.com/tag/perfmon-troubleshooting/

The later says that if Available Mbytes is less than 20-25% of installed RAM, then we have an issue, but the first one says 5%.

Likewise, for Pages/Sec, the latter says anything higher than 5 is a problem. The second says 1000! Whereas for Pages/ Sec, this article says 40

 http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2008/01/25/an-overview-of-troubleshooting-memory-issues.aspx

Could someone confirm?

Basically, I need a reliable counter that will tell me:

i. How much Physical memory I have left
ii. How much memory applications get from RAM as opposed to paging?

Any help appreciated!!!
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Question by:neil4933
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by:joelsplace
ID: 38798793
I use Microsoft\Sysinternals' Process Explorer.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
Check out the advanced settings for more columns of info.
You said you app is 32bit.  Is your server 32bit standard?  If not, is there a reason you don't add more RAM?
RAM limits:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx#physical_memory_limits_windows_server_2008
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by:joelsplace
ID: 38798797
I just noticed the RAM chart link has a mistake.  It lists 4GB max for x86 2008 SBS server.  There is no such product.  SBS2008 was 64bit only.
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by:neil4933
ID: 38798916
Thanks, yes it's a 64bit server but we don't want to allocate more RAM if not needed as we need to pay for it from our hoster.

Really, what I'm looking for is a couple of good Perfmon counters to use and what their recommended maximum should be?

Appreciate the help!
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by:joelsplace
ID: 38798982
You want to look at Committed Bytes in Perfmon under memory.  If that is running higher than the amount of physical RAM you are using then you need more RAM because the excess is being constantly paged.  I just checked my idle SBS2008 server and it shows a 5.8GB average which isn't far off of the 64% "Used Physical Memory" on the main page of Perfmon.
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by:neil4933
ID: 38799200
Thanks, I did already, here's what I saw initially:

Available Mbyes: Average is 300MB
% Commited Bytes in Use: Average is 22%
Pages/ Sec: Average is 5
Commited Bytes: Average is 2.5 GB
Pages Output/Sec: 0

(Also Paged read/Sec is 2)

So the Commited Bytes is 2.5 GB, but the Available MBytes is 300MB? I don't see how that could be? Where is the discrepency?
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joelsplace earned 500 total points
ID: 38799534
Does it show the full 4GB as total memory?
You can also look at the counter for %Usage on the page file.
You may have a memory leak somewhere that is causing the difference.  My Committed Bytes 5.871G + Available MB 2,856 is very close to my 8GB RAM.  It's actually more but I figure that is due to the way it's calulated in all the different counters.
Do your numbers add up after a reboot?
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