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After months of preparation, we launched a new SharePoint intranet portal today. Immediately, some users began getting a "server out of memory" error when they tried to log in. The SharePoint server appeared to be fine, but the SQL Server was reporting 100% memory use. (It has 4 GB.)

We rebooted the server and have not had further memory problems, though memory usage is hovering around 60% or above. I'm not convinced that we have solved the problem; I suspect it may return Monday morning when the whole staff tries to log in again.

I'm not a database guy, and I'm stumped about how to troubleshoot this. Do we need more memory, or is there somewhere I should look to reduce memory usage?

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Is your server 64-bit or 32-bit. Is AWE enabled? – Brian Knight Feb 26 '10 at 18:55
It's 64-bit. Does AWE apply? – Bruce Alderman Feb 26 '10 at 21:40
Not if you are running 64-bit. – Brian Knight Mar 1 '10 at 21:06

Well, first thing to note is by default SQL server will suck up all memory available on the server over time. You can change this setting by going into the management studio, going to the server properties, memory and modifying the "maximum server memory" option to some number smaller than your 4GB of memory. If the server doesn't have enough memory for your installation you will of course have poor performance still but at least this will prevent SQL from eating it all up directly.

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If I reduce the memory available to SQL Server, wouldn't it still report "out of memory" when it reached the limit? Or am I missing something? – Bruce Alderman Feb 26 '10 at 18:00
Not so much - the limitation is a top amount for SQL Server. SQL will begin to flush buffer pages to disk in order to free up memory when this threshold is approached. Like Charles said, it will not be great performance, but it will save your server from crashing due to lack of memory. – Brian Knight Feb 26 '10 at 18:54
Well, and from your comments it sounds like sharepoint is out of memory not SQL, which would make sense if SQL is hogging it all. Limiting the amount SQL can use would leave memory available for OS, Sharepoint, etc. – Charles Feb 26 '10 at 20:20
I should add that Sharepoint and SQL Server each have their own dedicated server. The SQL Server machine is the one reporting 100% memory usage, but maybe that's normal. – Bruce Alderman Feb 26 '10 at 21:38

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