Are You Sure?

I make a lot of assumptions in my day-to-day life, as well as in my job as an IT consultant.

To mitigate the inherent arrogance of making assumptions, I have to remember to ask myself “Are you sure?” when something appears obvious.

A client this week said that their SharePoint installation is slow. It runs out of memory, and pages to disk, despite there being almost 8GB of RAM free every time they look.

A lot of knee-jerk responses were noted in the email thread, which is a big warning sign.

So I had a look.

It turns out that the 32-bit version of SQL Server had accidentally been installed. No one checked until I ran my standard set of scripts, and noticed “X86”.

Moral of the story: the server was being starved of memory, despite there being plenty on the server. This is an easy fix, to install the 64-bit version. No need for Lock Pages in Memory, no need to move tempdb (yet), no need for any of the suggestions in the email thread.

Next time you’re working on a server, double-check. Ask yourself, “Are you sure?”.

Author: randolph

Randolph West is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, and has worked with SQL Server since the late 1990s. When not consulting, he can be seen acting on the stage and screen, or doing voices for independent video games. Connect with Randolph on Google+ or Twitter.