Memory Usage on SBS 2011


We have a SBS 2011 server with 32GB ram. Some developers have a product which seems to have an underlying issue with it timing out apparently between the desktops which connect to the SQL server on the above SBS 2011 server in some manner.

Their team has logged onto our server and performed some checks and see that that server is consuming 31592 MB of RAM. However when I look at Task manager the 2 highest processes are SQL and store.exe which are using:

Store.exe: 19,058,636 K
SQL: 1,642,748 K

From what I understand, is this not normal anyway, I assumed that these services use all the available storage for performance and release the memory to other applications as and when required.

Is this correct? At the moment all they have to go on is the above that may be the cause of the problem and the fact that some of the computers may be set to go into standby which apparently could be the cause of loss of network connectivity resulting in the loss of connectivity to the SQL database on the server.

Please let me know if you think the above memory usage scenario seems ok, there is only around 11 users on average. They worry about limiting memory on SQL because they feel it could cause disk caching and then possibly time-out.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Alan HardistyConnect With a Mentor Co-OwnerCommented:
What will be chewing up memory is Exchange (store.exe) and there is a way to limit this use by tweaking the settings as outlined in the following blog:

Also set the setting in the one too:

With both settings enabled - I usually give Exchange 8Gb and a minimum of 32Mb, then you should have some memory left for other applications.

Larry Struckmeyer MVPConnect With a Mentor Commented:

This is an area where there is no specific answer.  But one way you can test is to stop the exchange services for a time and see if that fixes the issue.  Heck, even after a reboot exchange will use far less RAM for a few days.

If you want to lower the amount of RAM that Exchange uses, try this:

If it any of these do not solve the conectivity issues I suspect we will have to look elsewhere.  There are other possible causes but we would need to know more.  If you have the SQL Server installed on your SBS you may want to consider doing hyperV and Virtual Machines to allow SQL to have its own resources.  It is not considered the best choice to install SQL Server on the SBS.  If this is SQL Express or a competing product it may not be so resource intensive.

You may want to involve other SQL experts on this forum by posting an SQL question, but maybe after you have tried turning off Exchange or limiting its RAM use per the link I gave you..
Tahir2008Author Commented:

The issue is the server itself otherwise seems to be functioning without a problem. My concern is that in previous conversations with others I have always been informed that both SQL and Exchange use all the available memory on the server and this is by design mostly to improve performance and will automatically release the memory to other applications as and when required so surely some of the above tweaks should not be necessary.

I will pass on the information regarding stopping Exchange and seeing if this resolves the problem so we can pinpoint if this is the underlying issue but I doubt it is the case as I do not have much confidence in this developer and feel the problem is elsewhere but am not experienced enough with SQL databases to determine where the issue is.

Thanks for the input so far.
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Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
SBS 2011 always chews up the memory and the usual culprit is the Exchange Information Store.  If you restart the Service - you will see a chunk of memory freed up.

To stop that happening, limit the memory as per the articles I linked and it will still run happily, but it won't eat all the available memory.

Yes - Exchange is designed to use as much memory as it can get its hands on, but that is to the detriment of everything else running.

The vast majority of the SBS 2011 server I manage are all memory restricted to 8Gb and run just fine.

Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:

Exchange 2010 does not give back as well as previous versions.  You cannot hurt anything by following the recommendations, and you can always undo this.

I tend to agree with you that the disconnects you see are not memory related, but you asked how to deal with this possibility and both Alan and I agree that you should test this by one of the several methods we gave you,  and if it does not cure the problem you can look elsewhere.

But I have been down this path before as I am sure Alan has.  Just because there is information on the internet that makes it seem that we, and the links we posted don't know what we are talking about does not mean we/they don't.  Heck, there is information on the internet that Elvis is alive and other bizare things of this sort.

(I'm truly sorry if I broke anyone's Elvis bubble.)
Tahir2008Author Commented:
Lol, I was not implying you folk don't know what you are talking about I was just uncertain why tweaks to fix Exchange memory use would be required if it gave memory back to applications that require it. You have outlined plenty to try out and reasons as to why so I appreciate this feedback and will give the options a try. I do apologise if anyone felt I was stating in any way that they don't know what they are talking about as it certainly wasn't the intention.

Thanks again
Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
My comments were meant to be humerous in a way and to ward off follow on posts by folks who might want to continue the myths.  Believe it or not we still see it stated as gospel that there cannot be additional domain controllers in SBS networks.

(I am not sorry if I broke anyone's "only one DC in SBS" bubble.  <g>)
Alan HardistyCo-OwnerCommented:
Sometimes - whilst the design of a product may be good, there are certain features that need some further help to make them work a little bit better and this is once such helping hand.

Every SBS 2011 server I manage has had this problem and every one has been helped to stop Exchange (store) from eating up all the memory.

As I am sure you know - MS don't get everything right first time!


P.S.  There's a guy works down our Chip Shop, swears he's Elvis!
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