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               How to set SQL Server max memory for VMware

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SQL Server has two settings that kinda-sorta govern how a lot memory we’ll use to cache records: min server reminiscence and max server reminiscence. I explain the fundamentals of how they work in my Sysadmin’s eBook to SQL Server reminiscence, but issues are a bit distinct beneath virtualization.

VMware does an excellent job of sharing memory between diverse virtual machines, but to try this, on occasion it has to steal memory from one VM to deal with one more. Simply because we gave 16GB of memory to our VM doesn’t mean the reminiscence’s at all times there. If a bunch crashes and we all at once need to boot up a bunch more guests on our existing host, we may pull some reminiscence far from the different visitors temporarily. If our business’s definitely low-priced, we simply could have under no circumstances purchased adequate reminiscence to start with, and the memory may be stolen completely.

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To work round that, VMware admins can set a reservation for any guest’s memory. it really works like a reservation for a table in a cafe – we’re guaranteeing that a nook table reminiscence can be attainable every time the digital server needs it. By means of default, guests don’t have reservations – they just stroll up and take a look at to take anything they need on the time. That works in reality neatly for most functions, however now not for SQL Server. SQL Server starts at close-zero memory used, after which progressively caches more and more facts as queries request it. Not like most apps, SQL Server’s memory needs don’t go back down. It’s like that guy who maintains going to the buffet over and over and claiming all of the meals for himself.

When we construct new digital machines, we need to come up with three numbers:

• The guest’s memory – this is the volume of memory the visitor thinks it has when it begins up. Let’s say we’re building a virtual computing device with 32GB of reminiscence.

• SQL Server’s max memory – i love to set this to go away 4GB of memory for the OS or 10%, whichever is more suitable. During this case, we’d set SQL’s max reminiscence at 28GB, which would depart 4GB free for the OS.

• The VMware reservation – the lowest amount of reminiscence the visitor could have. Ideally, this is one hundred% of the visitor’s reminiscence, but that’s now not all the time useful. If a bunch crashes, I’d quite be able to boot up all my visitors with less memory than no longer be capable of boot them up in any respect. For SQL Server, I generally set my reservations at seventy five% of the visitor reminiscence – during this case, 24GB.

So now we now have a captivating difficulty: within the event of a disaster, VMware’s balloon driver can also stir up and declare 25% of the reminiscence, leaving just 24GB total for the guest. This could come as an unsightly surprise for SQL Server as a result of he turned into buzzing alongside the use of 28GB of reminiscence (our max).

That’s the place SQL Server’s min reminiscence comes into play. I have to set the minimum memory in a way that comprises my reservation. If my reservation is simply 24GB, that means the balloon driver might pipe up and steal 8GB of my reminiscence at any time. If I still need to depart 4GB or 10% free, that skill my min reminiscence should be 20GB.

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The max reminiscence quantity doesn’t change – but unexpectedly we need to pay greater attention to our min server memory number. It’s fully k to set that number even lessen so long as you’re k with decreased efficiency. As an instance, if this server is a worth meal that also hosts SSAS/SSIS/SSRS, you’ll need to set min reminiscence lots reduce to let those other apps get their jobs carried out.

If the VMware team refuses to set a reservation, that you couldn’t false your approach round it via environment a high min server reminiscence quantity. When issues delivery swapping to disk, SQL Server is going to run slower – even if it’s not the one paging to disk. When the OS ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

Want to be trained greater? Check out our VMware, SANs, and Hardware training video clips. It’s a 5-hour practicing video collection explaining the way to purchase the appropriate hardware, configure it, and set up SQL Server for the most beneficial efficiency and reliability.

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