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I'm running Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Service Pack 2 on a VM Ware instance with 10Gb ram allocated. I'm not running IIS or SQL Server. Under 'normal' conditions, the machine uses ~5.5Gb of memory.

However, when I login to the server through remote desktop, the memory usage slowly climbs up to 9.8Gb of memory in use. After several minutes the memory slowly creeps back down to the 5.5Gb mark.

I've tried killing all the processes associated with my login, on login, barring the taskmanager without success, and I can't see any process that is growing in memory usage when the memory is increasing.

I'm assuming this is some system level cache that is growing / shrinking... but why is it doing this?

Update : thanks to Grub for pointing to this picture -

This picture couldn't be more accurate in describing my situation. I'm investigating vSphere and will update accordingly

alt text

share|improve this question
Sounds like the system cache; why it would be caching up that much data is a better question. I wouldn't worry about it much as long as it frees up RAM for applications on demand. – Chris S Jun 16 '10 at 13:21
Another thing which could lead to such high mem usage is the vmemctl balloon (i'm assuming you're running the vm on an esx or esxi host) theoretically it should always reserve the free memory and the remote login should not have any influence. check the memory balloon graph from your vSphere Client. – grub Jun 16 '10 at 13:57
Silly Question: Have you tried this with more than one account to verify that it's a system wide problem, not some oddity with something in one account's login profile? – RobM Jun 16 '10 at 17:38

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