Does the "Free" Memory matter in SQL server?

Posted on 2015-02-02
Last Modified: 2015-03-12
On our SQL 2008 server, if you click Task Manager, you will see the "Physical Memory (MB)" list as the following format:
Physical Memory (MB)

It has come to my attention that sometimes the "Free Memory" in the above list reaches to zero. Doe it mean the memory is not sufficient and it is time for me to put more memory chips?
Question by:Castlewood
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 40584010
Not really. You need to see inside SQL Server. How is configured the Minimum and Maximum Server Memory for SQL Server instance?

Author Comment

ID: 40584052
Thank you.
I think I need to give you one more piece of info: our db size is about 12G while the total RAM memory we currently have is 16G.
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 40584070
You need to give me the SQL Server memory configuration. The values I asked above.
Migrating Your Company's PCs

To keep pace with competitors, businesses must keep employees productive, and that means providing them with the latest technology. This document provides the tips and tricks you need to help you migrate an outdated PC fleet to new desktops, laptops, and tablets.


Author Comment

ID: 40584105
Here you go:
Use AWE to allocate memory is checked
Minimum: 2,048 MB
Maximum: 12,288 MB
Index creation memory:  0
Minimum memory per query: 1,024 kb
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 40584142
AWE? It's a 32 bit system? If so, I think you can't address more than 16GB so if you add more RAM it won't benefit you in nothing. You need to migrate to a 64 bit system before going on with this.
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

Kimputer earned 250 total points
ID: 40584232
Looking at it as a whole (as a server, not just the SQL server software part), having 0 MB free will have impact on performance. While adding memory might or might not benefit SQL Server, the Windows Server itself will still benefit, having more memory free because of other software/services (less hard disk hits, by default already means increased performance).
You can say this with 100% certainty WITHOUT knowing anything else. Of course, more details provided by you will reveal if the memory is used in a correct way, or that some memory hog/leak is causing problems.

Author Comment

ID: 40584302
The SQL server is a x64.
So you are saying the AWE should NOT be ticked?
Other than that, did the minimum/ maximum memory say anything ?
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Vitor Montalvão
ID: 40584309
Yes, AWE it's only for 32 bit installations.
Memory seems ok so if you're facing memory pressure than you should add more RAM. Being a x64 system will be easy to do so.
LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Scott Pletcher earned 250 total points
ID: 40584427
>> It has come to my attention that sometimes the "Free Memory" in the above list reaches to zero. Doe[s] it mean the memory is not sufficient and it is time for me to put more memory chips? <<

Basically yes, unless you can do something to significantly reduce memory usage on that server.

Featured Post

Has Powershell sent you back into the Stone Age?

If managing Active Directory using Windows Powershell® is making you feel like you stepped back in time, you are not alone.  For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article explains how to reset the password of the sa account on a Microsoft SQL Server.  The steps in this article work in SQL 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Restoring deleted objects in Active Directory has been a standard feature in Active Directory for many years, yet some admins may not know what is available.
To efficiently enable the rotation of USB drives for backups, storage pools need to be created. This way no matter which USB drive is installed, the backups will successfully write without any administrative intervention. Multiple USB devices need t…
This tutorial will walk an individual through setting the global and backup job media overwrite and protection periods in Backup Exec 2012. Log onto the Backup Exec Central Administration Server. Examine the services. If all or most of them are stop…

756 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question