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Controlling the runaway cache on Windows Server 2008

Article ID: 39
Last updated: 05 Jan, 2011

Problem

The cache manager on Windows Server 2008 (including R2) overallocates physical memory to the cache causing the StorageServer to swap which in turn causes excessive performance degredation. 

Fix

This problem has been addressed in V6.0.1.39 and later.  For earlier versions, follow the instructions below.

There is a tool called SetSystemFileCacheSize.exe which can be used to permanently set the upper usage limit of the file system cache.  You can read up on the tool here.   

Instructions

Before executing anything open the task manager on the Perfomance tab and monitor the Physical Memory Usage graph (blue line).  When you set the upper cache limit you want to see the blue line drop.  
Now extract SetSystemFileCacheSize.exe to a folder.  Open a command prompt in Administrative mode (right click, run as Administrator) and cd to the folder containing SetSystemFileCacheSize.exe.  Run the following command:

SetSystemFileCacheSize off 1024

where off indicates we don't want to set a lower limit and 1024 is the upper limit in MB.  A good guideline is to ensure the cache does not use more than 20% of the physical memory.  Monitor the Physical Memory Usage when the limit is applied.  The idea is to make sure the usage stays under 90%.

Article ID: 39
Last updated: 05 Jan, 2011
Revision: 1
Views: 7467
Comments: 0
Posted: 18 Oct, 2010 by Marais D.
Updated: 05 Jan, 2011 by Marais D.
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