I am running a VPS server with 6 .net web sites/applications running on it. I am having issues with performance on the server, mainly it running out of memory. I contacted the company that lease the server to me and they told me it was because I also had sql server 2008 express also running on the server. So I went ahead and removed this, uninstalled etc. However I still seem to be having issues.

For example at present, looking at resource consumption, the virtual memory is:

  • ID: vprvmem
  • Current Use: 894,328,832 bytes
  • Limit: 1,073,741,824 bytes

This means useage of ~80%.

Is there any way I can check out exactly that applications, web sites, software is taking up most of the servers memory, so I can look at rectifying it. I feel that 80% is much to high to allow for contingency for a spike in traffic. I have got extra memory resources added to the box recently, but I would prefer finding the source of the problem rather than throwing extra memory at it.

Maybe these levels are correct and alls running ok, but would like to investigate it to make sure. My knowledge of hardware is limited as I mostly deal in the spectrum of software.

So any tools out there that can help me or any pertient advice.


You should be able to turn on some performance counters to see what's happening.

I'd start with Memory, Cache and possibly some of the .net counters. But as @Josh mentions, 1 GB is pretty low for a server, even if it's not running SQL Server.

To see what running programs are using for resources, install procman to see where the memory is going.

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Microsoft servers (especially SQL Server) tend to automatically allocate as much available memory as possible for better caching / performance, which often confuses people into thinking that their system is running low on memory. Under such conditions this is normal behavior.

Bear in mind that Microsoft servers need at LEAST 1GB of RAM to run a very minimal set of applications / sites (whereas Linux-based boxes can use as little as 128MB for basic Apache servers). The more applications / services you add, the more RAM you need. There may be other services that you can disable to give you more available RAM.

Based on your description, it is more likely that it is the hardware environment in which your server sits that is causing the slowness. VPS servers run in a shared-hardware environment, which means your virtual instance is sharing the same physical CPU or CPU's with a number of other virtual instances.

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