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Thread: System Cache

  1. #1
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    System Cache

    We are running a W2K3, SP1 Server, 4Gb RAM, with the system cache option selected, and have noticed that the System Cache grows over a day from an initial 230Mb, after a cold boot, to around 3Gb if left running over seven days. This server is dedicated to running only one application, with one of the regular steps involving starting Tomcat with an Xmx = 1024 setting. When the difference between the total RAM (4Gb) less the system cache is less than that required by Tomcat (1024K), we can't start Tomcat unless we cold boot the server. We only have access to perfmon and task manager to enable us to try and determine what is causing the memory issues.
    We are using a non current version of Tomcat as we are running an old version of the application which only supports this older Tomcat.
    Any suggestions of what perfmon counters to monitor to see which process/service is causing the issue.
    Any suggestions of third party, free or real cheap, tools which don' t need to be installed on the server which could identify the culprits.
    Any other approach/suggestions gratefully accepted.
    Zinger

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  3. #2
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    Re: System Cache

    Have a look at Microsoft TechNet: Windows Sysinternals for a lot of <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> utilities. Partcularly look at Process Explorer and Process Monitor.
    Using Task Manager, are there any processes that grow to an inordinate size? Did this just start happening? What was changed? Was the application updated?

    Joe

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    Re: System Cache

    Our infrastructure is outsourced and the provider categorically denis that any changes have occurred in the OS space. I look after this mongrel of a legacy application, which is basically a time recording system, and there have been no configuration changes or application updates with the only changes being data growth on the database, SQL Server, which has its own instance on a different server.
    I have just been granted limited access to the box to be able to run perfmon and use task manager, to try and resolve the issues.
    I am in the midst of logically and selectively disabling processes/services, restarting the box for which I need to raise a ticket to the outsourcee which can take up to 4 hours to action according to 'our' SLA's, and watching the task manager and taking screen shots at regular intervals.
    I was hoping for a 'silver bullet' which would identify the culprit.
    I had considered the tools you suggested, but have been told that for additional monitoring tools to be installed on the server will require a change request but the committee doesn't meet for another three weeks, and the feeling is that the request will be denied as there are already basic tools available on the server.
    I have another look at your suggested tools and see if they can be run from a client against the server, rather than running on the server.
    Many thanks.
    Zinger

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    Re: System Cache

    I thought I'd posted about this time yesterday, but it seems not!

    There's a TechNet article which might be of interest: About Cache Manager in Windows Server 2003, and I'd add CacheSet to the list of SysInternals utilities to look at.

    It's always fun having to diagnose problems with two hands tied behind your back, isn't it!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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