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We are running Windows Server 2008r2 on VMware and are experiencing extremely high memory use when nothing is running. The server memory usages slowly creeps up to 98-99%. The server is configured to use 8GB of memory. Is there some setting we should be using so the server can better manage it's memory usage. It's behaving as if there is a memory leak.

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The Resouce Monitor should show you what is consuming the RAM. Have you had a look to track down the process? – Mark Henderson Feb 25 '11 at 4:00
VMWare is a company, not a product. What product are you using? Also, are you running a database on the server, or any other applications? – Chris Thorpe Feb 25 '11 at 7:25
Is VMware Tools installed on the guest? – ST8Z6FR57ABE6A8RE9UF Apr 15 '11 at 3:18
I'll note a similar question on MS Technet:… - if that goes away, one suggestion is that if the VM has a resource limit on memory instead of "Unlimited" it may trigger this; resolved by changing & restarting guest. Also suggests filling RAM with RAMMAP to "deflate" balloon without restarting the guest. Still going to be checking on an affected server we have. – fencepost Apr 14 '15 at 0:13

What version of VMware are you running? Server, ESX 3.5, vSphere, or something else?

Assuming you're running in ESX/vsphere, it sounds like you're just seeing memory ballooning in action.

With ballooning, a driver installed as part of the VMware tools grows in size in memory, forcing other inactive applications to page, consuming under-utilised memory in one server, and thus marking it as free to be allocated to other, busier, servers that need the memory now.

Under normal operation the memory ballooning technique is very effective and has little or no performance impact, which seems to be the case here - you've not actually said it's causing any impact, it just looks odd, right?

There's lots more on the subject in the vSphere Best Practices PDF

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It's probably taking the memory to use for its cache.

Found some other things you can try here if it's causing an issue for you:

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Well to better assist with your question:

-Which VMware Product & Version -What is the Windows 2008 R2 VM running? -Where are you seeing the high memory usage? Windows or your VMware product?

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Use RAMMap application to identify the memory leakage in VM guest. If driver locked is taking a high usage of the memory then its issue with the vmware try to disable dynamic memory allocation on vmware settings.

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