Simply solve SQL Server memory management problems

Experiencing performance issues with SQL Server 2000? Make sure you've checked your settings within Enterprise Manager.

This tip was submitted to the Tip Exchange by member Opher Banarie. Let other users know how...

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Our SQL Server was moving along nicely with 4 Pentium 4 CPUs, 1GB RAM and 100GB free disk space. As a planned upgrade, 3GB of additional RAM was added.

And then, disaster struck -- system performance totally tanked. Jobs that normally took 5 minutes were taking 3-4 hours to complete. Days of evaluation and testing found absolutely nothing -- we were desperate!

The Windows task manager showed 1.8GB of available physical RAM at all times, so that was thought to be no problem. Then a friend mentioned that SQL Server 2000 had trouble with memory management beyond 2GB.

So, using Enterprise Manager I checked memory use: Server >> Properties >> Memory tab. It was set to dynamically configure SQL Server memory, with a minimum value of 0MB and a maximum value of 4GB. I changed the maximum value to 2GB, stopped the server and then re-started it.

All performance problems were solved!

This was first published in October 2002

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