• RSS
  • Twitter
  • FaceBook

Welcome to ISAserver.org

Forums | Register | Login | My Profile | Inbox | RSS RSS icon | My Subscription | My Forums | Address Book | Member List | Search | FAQ | Ticket List | Log Out

ISA and Memory Usage

Users viewing this topic: none

Logged in as: Guest
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [ISA Server 2000 General] >> General >> ISA and Memory Usage Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
ISA and Memory Usage - 2.Apr.2001 5:27:00 PM   
WalkerB

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX, US
Status: offline
I have ran Proxy 2 for a number of years in both my production and home networks. I recently upgraded both (home first, then production) to run Windows 2000 Server with proxy 2. This combination proved to be exceptionally stable, to the point that I cannot remember having to reboot either server for a long time. It just plain worked.

My home server is an older Pentium 200 with 128M of RAM and a 6G harddisk. On it I run Proxy 2, IIS 5 (FTP and Web services) and a gaming server (Unreal Tournament). In this configuration it usually runs at about 110M of RAM used.

On friday I upgraded it to run ISA server. The upgrade seemed to go smoothly enough and a quick check afterwards all seemed to be well. It slowed down drastically over saturday and investigation of constant hard drive activity on sunday turned up a used memory of 225M ! Ok I stripped out IIS and my gaming server. Reboot, memory usage is now at 140M !

The upshot of all of this is that I draw the conclusion that if you are going to run ISA server then you had best have at least 256M of RAM, and it better be the ONLY thing that you run on the box.

Sunday night I restored the backup of the server that I had taken on friday before upgrading and returned to a working proxy.

I am a big fan of Proxy server and I was looking forwards to seeing what ISA could do to improve it. I know hardware is cheap these days but some programming efficiency has to come into this.

The bottom line - ISA will be going nowhere near my production network until I get the hardware to upgrade the server and put another server in place to run the SQL server on that I now use to collect logging.

Walker

Post #: 1
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 2.Apr.2001 7:10:00 PM   
tfranken

 

Posts: 8
Joined: 27.Mar.2001
From: Denver
Status: offline
Walker,

All Win2K applications burn memory! Exchange will cost you a hundred megs before you add your first recipient. The good news is, it seems to stay stable once it hogs up the memory it wants. I've got a lab box with 512 megs running everything I can get on it i.e. W2K Adv Serv, ISA, Exchange, Web, FTP, RAS, SQL7.0, and some NetIQ management tools. It is using about 380megs (although none of those services are being used hard). Your ISA memory usage could creep up as it caches stuff.

The other good news is memory is cheap. I talked my boss into getting the 512 megs for the lab when I could get it for under $200. The bad news is my home lab computers are a bit older and don't support the cheap, big memory sticks! I might need to upgrade just to get a board that can handle 512 megs!

Think 256 megs minimum for ANY W2K box. 512 for a server. For most general uses, processor power doesn't seem to be any more important than the application requirements of whatever you will be running on the box.

Tom F


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 2
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 2.Apr.2001 7:38:00 PM   
dwatts

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline
With all due respect, saying "All Win2K applications burn memory!" doesn't deal with the issue at all. Since Proxy did an admirable job in the same environment, what is the deal with ISA Server? I'd also add - Exchange 2000 didn't cost me "a couple hundred megs."

I understand that ISA is a different architecture - but this seems a bit much. Furthermore, on my box, just booting ISA consumes 40MB of RAM, and I havenĘt even done anything yet! SQL 2000 isn't consume that much RAM!

I would also say - memory prices are increasing rapidly. Except in Europe where prices are going down. I saw a price jump of 128MB chips of $11 in a single day. Continually throwing RAM at a server isn't the answer IMHO.

Anyone got any tips other than "live with it."?

[This message has been edited by dwatts (edited 02 April 2001).]


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 3
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 2.Apr.2001 10:17:00 PM   
johnnyq

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: wyoming, oh usa
Status: offline
I ran Win2k server and ISA on a pentium pro-200 with 256 megs and always had 100+ megs free ram on the system. I use Ram Idle to assist in clearing up memory leaks. I have a dual p3-xeon 550-512k with 512 megs running Windows 2k, Office XP, SQL 2k, Exchange 2000, and IIS hosting several web sites, and the current free ram is about 270 megs, (again ram idle assisting). I upgrade ISA to a new machine, P3-450 with 196 megs ram, 3 nics, Wind 2k Server and ram idle and runs about 111 megs free all the time, ( once in a while it goes lowers, but the auto ram recovery assists in keep the system memory open). I run terminal services for remote admin on all the servers.

(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 4
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 2.Apr.2001 10:41:00 PM   
WalkerB

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX, US
Status: offline
Guess that I should not have really been all that surpised at the result - Page 8 of the Installation and Deployment guide available from the ISA web page lists it as a minimum of 256M of RAM.

Come on - what sort of blubberware is this ?? Proxy 2 can handle most of the same functionality in 64M. I am not an advocate of Linux, but I know at times like this why they laugh themselves silly as you can do the same thing on any Linux box in under 32M.

I know Microsoft want their products to be scalable to the highest end uses, but I think that to a degree they are forgetting their market. What is your small to medium business supposed to do with this kind of nonsense ? Typically a small business has one server running email, proxy, database and web server. With Windows 2000 you now need to be running a Gig of memory for this all to play together ??

IMHO old Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot...

[This message has been edited by WalkerB (edited 02 April 2001).]


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 5
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 3.Apr.2001 2:55:00 AM   
jcentimano

 

Posts: 15
Joined: 3.Mar.2001
From: Overland Park, KS USA
Status: offline
Come on guys... grow up. This isn't a Linux board.

Anyway, you can tweak ISA to use only a specific percentage of available RAM via the GUI. And secondly, Proxy didn't cache pages to RAM... and ISA does. I think this is GOOD engineering on Microsoft's part.


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 6
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 3.Apr.2001 4:08:00 AM   
WalkerB

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX, US
Status: offline
jcentimano -- LOL -- I am no Linux advocate, and I'm not trying to start a pointless Linux vs Windows debate. I was trying to point out that code efficiency has been thrown out of the window in favor of throwing RAM at the server. As has been pointed out all of Microsofts flagship applications eat RAM like it is going out of fashion (Exchange 2000, SQL 2000, ISA) and all in one way or another require AD. This is fine if you are a big corporation and can afford the kind of servers necessary to run this. What of the smaller companies who took up NT 4, Exchange 5.5 and proxy ?

Yes the use of RAM by ISA for caching purposes sounds like a good idea, but not when it takes more RAM than you have I turned it down to 1% in the interface by the way and it still managed to run the memory into paging range...

A grumbling post - yes it is; but I think it raises a valid point about Microsofts direction. What is the small business user left with - I would assume Windows 2000 NAT and a third party caching product.

johnnyq - Thanks for the suggestion of RAM Idle, I'll try it and see how it does

Peace,
Walker


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 7
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 3.Apr.2001 5:13:00 AM   
dwatts

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline
Has anyone else seen the "Percentage of available memory to use for caching" option do anything? I mean, it's nice to have a little text box - but I'd prefer it if it actually *worked.*

How about an option to NOT cache it to RAM. At least in Proxy server if the server crashed I never lost my cached objects. What happens to the stuff in RAM (no need to tell me, I think I got that covered.)

I wonder why people so blithely accept double-digit resource increases. If nothing else, Linux has proved that you don't have to eat RAM. I'm not a Linux freak - but it sure would be nice if we at least took the *good* things from it.

Anyway - getting off topic. Right now ISA looks feature reach - but not without cost.


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 8
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 3.Apr.2001 9:39:00 PM   
tfranken

 

Posts: 8
Joined: 27.Mar.2001
From: Denver
Status: offline
Where were you all in 1984? That is the year Microsoft released Excel and Word for DOS. Both those programs ran with 256k of memory. The first task I ever had with PC hardware was to upgrade the memory from 256k to 640k at about $1500 apiece so we could run Lotus v2 and Word Perfect. Billy-boy himself said it was not right to make people buy more hardware to run their software. It took him 7 years to recover from that mistake. And, when Windows 3.1 was released in 1991, Lotus and Word Perfect shunned it because ū you guessed it ū it was a resource pig. Is Lotus even published anymore? And isnĘt Wordperfect a Linux add-on or some such thing?

Tom F


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 9
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 4.Apr.2001 12:02:00 PM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hey Guys,

Come on now! I just bought four 256 MB sticks of RAM last weekend for $79.95/stick. So, for less than $350US, I have a GIG of RAM in one of our ISA Server installations.

A few years ago, you couldn't get 128 MB for that much! RAM is cheap and you don't even need a GIG of RAM to make ISA Server work well. With one 256 MB RAM chip it works just fine. Although you do need to dial down the % of Free RAM used.

Note that ISA uses a percentage of Free RAM. If you have a lot of RAM free, then the Web Proxy Service will use a percentage of that RAM. It doesn't suck up RAM needed by other applications. I have one machine that is very RAM starved (128 MB) and the W3Proxy service is only using 4 MB, which is probably just enough to load the service with little cached content.

I have experimented with changing the percentages, and it does make a big difference on what you set them at. However, you won't see that much of a difference on a RAM starved machine, because there's just not enough free RAM for it work with.

HTH,
Tom

------------------
Tom Shinder
http://www.isaserver.org/shinder/

[This message has been edited by tshinder (edited 04 April 2001).]


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 10
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 4.Apr.2001 4:48:00 PM   
WalkerB

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX, US
Status: offline
I guess I come from the old school Tom S -- I find it ludicrous to call a machine with 128M 'RAM Starved'

You have a cheaper source for memory than I have my friend - a 256M DIMM still costs me about $150 here in Houston.

I do take your point that hardware is cheap - at $1000 for a system that would run ISA very well I guess it is a tad of a moot point, but I do still hold the opinion that at some point programmatic efficiency has to come into this.

As for the memory % - when does it actually take the memory and does it free it back up should the free memory shrink ? I think that ISA was starting first on my box, grabbing its chunk of free memory and then not returning it when the free memory shrank due to my other services loading. It's either that or it had a massive memory leak somewhere. Possibly the upgrade process from Proxy 2 is flawed somewhere and a clean install of ISA would be better ?

Tom F -- In 1984 I was three years into my IT career

Walker


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 11
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 4.Apr.2001 5:08:00 PM   
WalkerB

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX, US
Status: offline
As a side note --

Doing a little research (reading Microsofts 'How ISA was deployed at Redmond' white paper amongst others) suggested that some server tuning was in order.

My home server was returned to Proxy 2, IIS and UT running at between 110 and 120M of RAM used. So it had about 15M of RAM free on average.

Taking Microsofts own suggestion of removing unnecessary services -- Computer Browser, DFS, Distributed Link Tracking, Fax, Licence Logging, Telephony, Spooler and some others that were more specific to my server, this gave back an impressive 20M of RAM.

Taking Johnnyqs suggestion of installing RamIdle worked and it managed to gain back an impressive 30M of RAM.

The bottom line is that after tuning the server I am now running with a whopping 64M of RAM free on average. I have been prodding and poking the server for the past few days to see if I can make it fall over or have to page something back in, and so far I haven't been able to make it so much as blink.

Sometimes throwing RAM at a server isn't the only answer

Walker


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 12
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 7.Apr.2001 3:59:00 AM   
WalkerB

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 2.Apr.2001
From: Houston, TX, US
Status: offline
The Final Analysis --

Base Machine
P166 128M 12G Disk with 2x4G NTFS Partitions
Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 1
IIS 5 running Web and FTP services
File and Print services
DHCP Server
DNS Server
Terminal Services in Remote Admin mode
Non Domain Controller

Technology /Commit Load /Free /RamIdle
RRAS NAT /72M /56M /77M
Proxy 2 /76M /52M /67M
ISA (5%) /92M /36M /48M
ISA (25%) /117M /27M /45M
ISA (50%) /156M /10M /40M

The initial ISA upgrade that I did to my home machine must have been flawed somehow as this one didn't memory leak like a seive...

Conclusions --
* Upgrading Proxy 2 doesn't work so well - remove proxy and clean install ISA
* NAT costs 4M of commit load
* Proxy 2 costs 10M of commit load
* ISA costs between 30M and 100M of commit load
* RamIdle gave back free memory, at the cost of paging increasing overall (more spread out over time, therefor less noticable)

Running ISA on 128M of RAM, it needs to be set to use 25% of free memory at a maximum.

Changing to a domain controller added 20M of commit load as well as disabling 2Ks disk caching.

Peace,
Walker

[This message has been edited by WalkerB (edited 07 April 2001).]


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 13
RE: ISA and Memory Usage - 7.Apr.2001 7:53:00 AM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hi Walker,

That's some fine research! In 1984 I was almost finished with my undergrad at UC Berzerkley.

I do understand you feelings regarding the amount of memory required to run the server, but I don't think MS thinks backward when they develop these things, because RAM will get cheaper over time, and two years from now, I think a low end machine is going to have at least 512 MB with servers always running over 1 GB.

This just seems like the nature of the business, and a trend that's likely to continue.

Now, regarding exactly how ISA Server decides when to commit and release the RAM used by the Web Proxy service Web Cache, well, right now that goes into the book of "Unsolved ISA Server Mysteries".

Tom

------------------
Tom Shinder
http://www.isaserver.org/shinder/


(in reply to WalkerB)
Post #: 14

Page:   [1] << Older Topic    Newer Topic >>
All Forums >> [ISA Server 2000 General] >> General >> ISA and Memory Usage Page: [1]
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts