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Should i or should i not go ahead with increasing physical RAM on Windows 2003 R2 32 Bit Box? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello ,

    For one of our servers running with below configuration:

    Windows server 2003R2, SP2 Enterprise edition with 8GB of RAM and PAE AWE enabled,

    we are on a conclusion, to add additional RAM ( after lot of analysis for usage of memory and even improving queries), since server goes down and out due to heavy reporting load on it 24*7 , for total size of db's 500 GB on the box.

    We are planning on adding 8GB extra available RAM onto this box, but read an article saying adding additional RAM on 32 bit box can degrade the performance with various errors:

    Link SQL Server performance degraded in 32-Bit SQL Server after adding additional RAM.

    Please suggest, what is the risk factor involved here, should we go or should we not?

    Ps note: Upgrading is not possible as application will not support being too old and we need to use this server till year end, somehow :(

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 2:58 PM

Answers

  • Yes, you are right to be worried.  Not only is adding memory on 32bit Windows tricky, you are using Windows Server 2003, which is no longer supported.

    Please don't do this.  Instead move to a supported version of 64bit Windows Server.

    David


    David http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dbrowne/


    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 3:53 PM
  • I would also suggest to switch to 64 bit as compared to adding RAM. If you have a DEV server with same configuration and workload you can test its bit difficult to say upfront

    Please mark this reply as answer if it solved your issue or vote as helpful if it helped so that other forum members can benefit from it

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    • Proposed as answer by Charlie LiaoModerator Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:41 AM
    • Marked as answer by MAXKA Thursday, August 20, 2015 10:54 AM
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 6:03 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, you are right to be worried.  Not only is adding memory on 32bit Windows tricky, you are using Windows Server 2003, which is no longer supported.

    Please don't do this.  Instead move to a supported version of 64bit Windows Server.

    I whole-heartedly agree. It's one thing to stick to a server that runs Win 2003 + SQL 2005, if it performs the job and there are no issues with it. But if it does not, any money you spend on it is wasted.

    Yes, upgrading will cost both licensing, hardware and testing, but it is a step that you will need to take at some point anyway.


    Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP, esquel@sommarskog.se
    • Proposed as answer by Charlie LiaoModerator Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:41 AM
    • Marked as answer by MAXKA Thursday, August 20, 2015 10:54 AM
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 9:41 PM

All replies

  • What is the SQL Server Version You having ? What Karthick mentioned is true about  SQL 2005/2008 versions because of large BUF structures that reduce BPOOL memory which causes BPool Memory pressure. But there are work arounds like limiting SQL Server Max memory.

    I think everything is neatly explained in detail here by Karthick. You can also review this.


    Hope this helps ! ------------------------------------------------------Please Mark This As Answer if it solved your issue. Please Vote This As Helpful if it helps to solve your issue



    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 3:45 PM
  • Its 2005, I know its explained! But still i want if any one has practically experienced any issues, or any suggestions. Any other article referring the same or something. 

    Its just after adding, we do not want to overhead with what may cause an already poor performing server to go worst!

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 3:49 PM
  • Yes, you are right to be worried.  Not only is adding memory on 32bit Windows tricky, you are using Windows Server 2003, which is no longer supported.

    Please don't do this.  Instead move to a supported version of 64bit Windows Server.

    David


    David http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dbrowne/


    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 3:53 PM
  • MAXKA,

    Its mentioned because you may/may not face memory issue based on how thirsty your sql server memory is. Again you have workarounds if you face these issues. So as you said, you can't upgrade OS till end if year, you can add extra 8GB making it 16GB should be of no harm.


    Hope this helps ! ------------------------------------------------------Please Mark This As Answer if it solved your issue. Please Vote This As Helpful if it helps to solve your issue

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 4:01 PM
  • I would also suggest to switch to 64 bit as compared to adding RAM. If you have a DEV server with same configuration and workload you can test its bit difficult to say upfront

    Please mark this reply as answer if it solved your issue or vote as helpful if it helped so that other forum members can benefit from it

    My Technet Wiki Article

    MVP

    • Proposed as answer by Charlie LiaoModerator Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:41 AM
    • Marked as answer by MAXKA Thursday, August 20, 2015 10:54 AM
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 6:03 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree strongly with Shanky here. I would push to upgrade a test server and replay existing production workloads to test and validate functionality.  I would also want to know why you are interested in upgrading memory now. I am sure that reason would also justify upgrading to latest 64bit OS and latest version of SQL Server.  Since you are on SQL Server 2005 I would also consider upgrading SQL Server and the OS at the same time so you can get both of those tested and completed in the same project. This way you also would have 64bit for SQL and OS at the same time.

    I would also be interested in seeing a baseline of your Page Life Expectancy counter and several other counters.  With 500GB of databases I would most likely be pushing to add more than just 8 GB of RAM. 

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 6:14 PM
  • Yes, you are right to be worried.  Not only is adding memory on 32bit Windows tricky, you are using Windows Server 2003, which is no longer supported.

    Please don't do this.  Instead move to a supported version of 64bit Windows Server.

    I whole-heartedly agree. It's one thing to stick to a server that runs Win 2003 + SQL 2005, if it performs the job and there are no issues with it. But if it does not, any money you spend on it is wasted.

    Yes, upgrading will cost both licensing, hardware and testing, but it is a step that you will need to take at some point anyway.


    Erland Sommarskog, SQL Server MVP, esquel@sommarskog.se
    • Proposed as answer by Charlie LiaoModerator Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:41 AM
    • Marked as answer by MAXKA Thursday, August 20, 2015 10:54 AM
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 9:41 PM
  • Well, you might as well try the upgrade, what does 8gb of server RAM cost these days, $200?  You can always take it back out!  I think the risk is minimal.  But the benefit may also be minimal.  500gb data is still going to thrash even on 16gb, especially on 32bit where the extra memory runs more slowly.

    Josh

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 11:07 PM