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Windows Server 2012: high memory usage

Posted on 2014-02-13
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Last Modified: 2014-02-25
Our problem is the same as in the link below.

All of our Windows Server 2012 machines are using at least 100% more memory than the 2008 servers. They are all web servers configured the same way. For example, the average memory usage is about 30% for the 2008 servers, and about 60% - 85% for the 2012 servers. All are fresh installs.

When looking at task manager and resource monitor, if you add up all the memory for all the processes running, they do not add up to the "In Use" amount -- not even close.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/507cae56-b697-4ed7-bbcb-195bd6a05cbc/incomprehensible-high-memory-usage?forum=winserver8gen

Unfortunately the thread above stops July 2013 without a solution.

Is anyone familiar with this problem, and knows of a solution?
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Question by:pzozulka
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5 Comments
 
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39857798
Can you share a little more about your environment? Servers being used, how much memory is in the server, etc?
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Author Comment

by:pzozulka
ID: 39857803
We are using a cloud provider called NaviSite. All we know is that they use VMware. We have 6 web servers (all VMs). Three are 2008, and three are 2012. Configured with 8GB each.
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39858090
My first guess is that there are some back end services that are chewing up memory (drivers, which don't show up in task manager) that the cloud provider uses for VM management. This isn't overly uncommon with cloud VMs.
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Author Comment

by:pzozulka
ID: 39859348
Then why is this same behavior not happening on the 2008 servers? I'm literally missing memory according to the resource monitor on my 2012 servers.

Even if it was some background service running, task manager or resource monitor should be able to account for it. Literally the accounting/math is wrong in this case, or for whatever reason, it's right but hiding that service.

In any case, this definitely feels like a Microsoft issue specifically with Windows Server 2012. I was just hoping there would be a solution by now to the thread in the link above.
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Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points
ID: 39860347
"Even if it was some background service running, task manager or resource monitor should be able to account for it. " As I said, DRIVERS do not show up in task manager. Take a 2008 server and open up task manager. Show me how much memory hour RAID (or SATA) disk controller is taking?

2012 is a different beast than 2008, and several cloud providers are deploying VMs based on poorly created images. That can have a HUGE impact on memory usage. That isn't a problem with the OS itself, but with the image that the VM is based on.

Don't believe me? Sign up for Azure and spin up a couple VMs temporarily for comparison. You'll notice that the difference is much more inline with what you'd expect from an OS change.
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