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Information Store goes from a memory level of about 50MB usage during the day to 450-600MB usage lev

I am running Exchange 2000 SP2 that is backed up using a Veritas agent. My Information Store goes from a memory level of about 50MB usage during the day to 450-600MB usage level during the night. The backup runs during this time, but Microsoft and Veritas don't know of a problem and I have pulled both the Inoculate and BackUp off the server (separately) and the build up still occurs. Do you have any suggestions? Why would Information Store acquire that much memory usage and hold it until I restart the service? Performance of the network drops when this happens, to say the least.
I love this question! :)

No matter how many times this is asked and answered, it keeps cropping up. This may very well be *the* most frequently asked question about Exchange.

But I digress. You say that Microsoft and Veritas say you don't have a problem, but I'm surprised they didn't explain to you why. As for why the network performance suffers, that is something that Network Monitor can help you diagnose. But as to why the Information Store -- or more accurately, the store.exe process -- consumes large amounts of memory (say, for example, all available memory), that answer is simple: it's by design!

Starting with Exchange 5.5, the Extensible Storage Engine has had a feature called Dynamic Buffer Allocation (DBA). DBA uses an algorithm to dynamically control how much memory the store.exe process allocates to itself. Store.exe will continue allocating chunks of memory to itself, provided that no other process needs it. And that last part is key. The underlying principle behind this feature is that memory is in the server to be used. If nothing else needs it, Exchange takes it all. If something else needs it, Exchange releases it immediately and the requesting process continues on its happy way.

This feature is documented in a number of places, including: KB article q271987 (yes, I know this is a 5.5 article) and this TechNet guide (this one is for Exchange 2000).

In Exchange 5.5, you could control this behavior using the Exchange Performance Optimizer. That utility has no Exchange 2000 counterpart, and as far as I know, there's no way to do this in Exchange 2000. But there again is a reason for that; in the words of Paul Bowden, Program Manager in the Exchange Business Unit for Microsoft, it's because "You don't want to!"

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