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IIS Worker Process is paging to disk when it should use RAM memory.

Hello,

I work at a school district and this involves a student information server where about 20 people attach using terminal services and about 150 teachers using web portals for grade input.

I have a virtual machine running Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.  The CPU is spiking because a IIS worker process is writing huge amounts to page file instead of using RAM.

The server has 4 Xeons assigned to it and 16GB of RAM and again it's virtual.  We find that if we recycle the pool for this site the CPU drops way down and levels out, but starts building up again...  We can tell it to recycle the pool every 30 minutes, but wondering if teachers will lose data while they are entering grades when that recycle happens.

Is there anything anyone can recommend to make this server run smoother?  A way to get that process to use RAM instead of the page file.  Is the recycling the best option?

Thanks for any advice.

Matt
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mscalafasd
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mscalafasd
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Carl TawnSystems and Integration DeveloperCommented:
If you look in Task Manager, how much memory is being used by the w3wp.exe process?

Actually you might be better going in to IIS selecting the root node in the tree (the server itself) and double-clicking "Worker Processes", as that will break down memory usage by application pool.
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mscalafasdAuthor Commented:
CPU Usage is nominal, Memory usage is around 350k and growing, this was from Task Manager.

In the IIS manager:

Private Bytes
286,948.00k

Virtual Virtual Bytes
1,286,568.00

The server seems a little better today, but still slow for teachers to put grades in.  There were a ton of page faults when we looked at the W3WP process using process explorer yesterday.  It was constantly writing to the page file on the disk.
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Carl TawnSystems and Integration DeveloperCommented:
If you look in IIS under Application Pools and select "Set Application Pool Defaults..." from the menu on the right hand side - what value do you have in the "Recycling > Private Memory Limit (KB)" field?
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mscalafasdAuthor Commented:
Carl,

The only thing checked is regular time intervals and it's set to 120.  If teachers are entering grades would they lose everything they have done if it recycles as they are inputting?

>>>>>>>>>>
 
Some updates...  We have moved this virtual server from our Compellent SAN to one of the virtual hosts (Dell Poweredge 610R's).  I added two 10,000RPM SAS drives at 600GB each.  Moved the .vmdk files to there.  

Also Dell replaced a cache card that had failed on the compellent, we only have 1 controller so there was no failover.  Using HD Tune Pro the write speed has now gone up from 8 to 20MB to 100, so that is much improved.

I noticed Output Caching was not enabled, and I tried enabling it, but then entire sections of the gradebook would not load at all.  (It's mainly .aspx pages)

Teachers are saying their grades are not disappearing now, but the system is still pretty slow, and that's pretty sad for a weekend with not as many people hitting the system.

So things are better but still a work in progress.

Also the server is only Server 2008 Standard edition, I don't see R2 in there.  Should we optimally be on R2 and should this be Enterprise edition?

Thanks!
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