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Misbehaviour of Windows Server 2008 server at page file boundary limits RRS feed

  • Question

  • 1. TWO nodes,  windows 2008 server SPk1, standard, are used as both an application server and Domain server. Hardware is Quad core HP with 4 GB mem. One page file on C disk and the size is system decided.
    2. Pressure from my applications forces the page file to grow. When the Page files reaches about 80% the response to the User GUI are almost frozen. The situation deteriorates rappidly as the page file keeps to grow and at some point there is no remorse but to shut the machine and restart.
    3. Page file is set manually to the Max 4026 KB, as limited by the advance system setting menue and the same behaviour is repeatable.
    4. Same scenario is repeatable on both above nodes.
    5. Had run the same applications, but with with code developed in VS 2005 on Windows 2003 servers and no similar behaviour.
    6. The application codes are since rebuilt in VS2008 SPk1.
    7. Can not use any of the available tools at high page values, sysInternal tools etc..,  even window task manager becomes clumsy.
    8. In the postb mortem analyses no event is found to have compained about the issue.
    Questions:
    a)  Isn,t the system configured and handled page file should adjust and expands with needs.
    b)  Why is there such a hard limit on the manually set page file.
    c)   How can I maintain interaction availability even at the very high Page files values,,,
    d)  is it possible that windows 2008 server processes  utilizes muxh more of the on board memory than the equivalent 2003 servers.
    e) I run a 32 bit versions and so are my applications so do I have any chance of installing  more hard memory with in the same liecense limitatyions, and if so will it really help.
    Appreciate some answer , Thanks.

    8.

    BlueOcean
    Tuesday, April 21, 2009 9:20 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Based on the current information, this issue is more related to memory leak.

    Regarding Cached memory in Task Manager, it’s normal if your there is a lot of read/write file activity, etc. Generally, system will adjust system cache dynamically. For your reference:

    Too Much Cache?
    http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/archive/2007/11/27/too-much-cache.aspx

    I suggest you try the suggestions in the following article to check if there is memory leak in your application.

    Understanding and troubleshooting Memory Leaks With SysInternals
    http://rfvicente.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!5228FAA8B79B6EB1!394.entry?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=341601156

    How to use Memory Pool Monitor (Poolmon.exe) to troubleshoot kernel mode memory leaks
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/177415

    Also, we may have to analyze the memory dump to debug the program, it’s suggested to contact Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS) so that a dedicated Support Professional can assist with this request. Thank you for your understanding.

    To obtain the phone numbers for specific technology request please take a look at the web site listed below.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;PHONENUMBERS

    If you are outside the US please see http://support.microsoft.com for regional support phone numbers.

    Thanks.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    • Marked as answer by Mervyn Zhang Monday, May 4, 2009 1:38 AM
    Friday, April 24, 2009 3:54 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Before we go further, I suggest you read through the following article, it explain how virtual memory works in Windows and when we encounter the limitation of virtual memory.

    Pushing the Limits of Windows: Virtual Memory
    http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/11/17/3155406.aspx

    Please try to open Process Explorer before running your application. Run the application and monitor virtual memory, Commit charge, etc.

    If you still have questions, please help to clarify the following information:

    1.    How did you determine that "the Page files reaches about 80%"?
    2.    What do you mean by "Page file is set manually to the Max 4026 KB"? How did you set it?

    Thanks.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, April 22, 2009 9:17 AM
  • Hi Mervyn,

    1. I had read the Marks, Blog of November 17 in detail before and I have a print out of it in front of me now. page 1 to 105.

    2. My servers , and I have 10 of them, all have 4Gb Hard memory and only one hard disk C.

    3. On two of the servers that I run my main server processes, I have set one machine the page file to be set by the system and the other machine I have set it , using the My computer, property, advance,Virtual memory,chnage,custom size, select min and Max...... Here I have selected custom size and min 4024 and Max 4048... as we can not use a max bigger than 4096MB.

    Then we I look at the windows task manager, performance, system.. it shows page file  is 2236M /7540M...

    4. Out of the  4GB hard memory I see that the Physical memory indicater on the Task manager, performance Tab shows Total 3581 avaiable, Cashed 1570 and FREE   Only  41 MB

    5. Both above Machines are , as said before, Active directory and DNS servers also.

    6. Both Machines have pretty same values of page file and available memory indications any way.

    7. Today I noticed that when the amount of left memory goes under 10 MB then disregarding what page file size  I get the same blockage and I could not transact with the machine any more. So I logged out, with delay and difficulty after a while I logged in as the domain admin to check the resource , events and the system reliability etc...
    8. My apology I misspresented the problem I meant when the Memory usage reaches the boundary then the system gets stock. Of course that could be the case but why does it not page then. because there are page file available.
    9. I have even logged the traces of the page file counters, and the usage is LOW.
    10. In win 2003 under similar situation the system would Sawp from the hard memory into the page file but here it does not seem to happen.
    11. What is the reason behind  System cashing 1570 MB of hard memory  away, what is that used for. Can I recover it.
    12. I have counted and added the number of the committed Bytes, private bytes etc.. and they do not amount near to what the Server limit is of course if disregarding the cashed away resources.
    13. As I said it is the same code running in windows 2003 and I have even tested it with ONLY 2GB memory and a page file of the same size as here but there it works.
    14. On the other 2008 servers The page file size is the same and setting is system to set. but the Cashed size is ONLY 520 thus I have a Free which is over 1500 MB also I have more roles and features enabled on them but not DC or DNS.
    15. Again I am sorry for Miss representation of the problem , It was late in the night and I Saw the hard memory Bar graph and thought it was the Page file..Sorry Sorry... The Page file is Innocent but My dilema is still here and I appreciate very much your help.

    PS-  Is it the DC and DNS functions which is taking resources.

    Thank you very much indeed !!

    PS_ After writing the above I tried all sort of tricks and finally had to put the Dump of kernel image to NON , in the advance system setting and I could retrieve 570 MB of the Cached memory so now the readind for the memory is Total 3581 MB,,,,Cached 1040 M and Free is 1279...  
    Ihave also checked on My other 2 DNS and DC servers which do not run any application other than DC and DNS functionalities and I am convinced that these functionalities are NOT the root cause of the Cached away memory...
    I have also shut down all My application related processes but the cached Memory still stays at 1034 on One 2008 Server Machine and about the same , after twice rebooting in the other machine.....
    My final questions is Now can I in any way reduce this amount to lesse Value or NOT.


    BlueOcean
    Thursday, April 23, 2009 4:46 PM
  • Hi,

    Based on the current information, this issue is more related to memory leak.

    Regarding Cached memory in Task Manager, it’s normal if your there is a lot of read/write file activity, etc. Generally, system will adjust system cache dynamically. For your reference:

    Too Much Cache?
    http://blogs.msdn.com/ntdebugging/archive/2007/11/27/too-much-cache.aspx

    I suggest you try the suggestions in the following article to check if there is memory leak in your application.

    Understanding and troubleshooting Memory Leaks With SysInternals
    http://rfvicente.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!5228FAA8B79B6EB1!394.entry?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=341601156

    How to use Memory Pool Monitor (Poolmon.exe) to troubleshoot kernel mode memory leaks
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/177415

    Also, we may have to analyze the memory dump to debug the program, it’s suggested to contact Microsoft Customer Support Services (CSS) so that a dedicated Support Professional can assist with this request. Thank you for your understanding.

    To obtain the phone numbers for specific technology request please take a look at the web site listed below.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;PHONENUMBERS

    If you are outside the US please see http://support.microsoft.com for regional support phone numbers.

    Thanks.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    • Marked as answer by Mervyn Zhang Monday, May 4, 2009 1:38 AM
    Friday, April 24, 2009 3:54 AM
  • Hi and many thnks for the advices.

    However there are, at least to my understanding, some conflicting information in a couple of above articles concerning the setting up the page file. One Blog states that on win 2008 , 32 bit, one may choose , customize size which should be able to be set THE MAX  to one to THREE times the hard memory, in my case 4GB x 3 equal to 12, but say something more than 8 GB. 
    The problem is that the Window does not take it. It does not take any MAX value more than 4096 and the pop up message states that as well.
    Is this a correct behaviour.

    However I am waiting to get Microsoft support through our formal contacts.

    Thanks again.
    BlueOcean
    Tuesday, April 28, 2009 6:12 PM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for update. I understand you would contact Microsoft Support to troubleshoot this issue. It’s welcomed to post back the solution when you solve this problem.

    However, based on my test, we can set page file larger than 8 GB. On my test machine with 512 MB, it could have 8 GB page file. Please check your Hard Disk space to make sure there are enough free space.

    Thanks.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 3:32 AM