Monitor Windows Server System Memory and Pagefile Usage

Available memory is usually the most common source for performance issues on a Windows Server installation. Fortunately, however, it is an easy metric to measure since there are several counters in the memory object which can help troubleshoot memory issues. Most notable there are, two very important counters which provide a reasonably accurate overview of memory pressures, namely Page Faults/sec and Pages/sec memory. Just using these two memory counters alone can highlight if the system is correctly configured and experiencing memory issues. The below are the counters necessary to monitor memory and pagefile usage.

  • Committed Bytes – monitors the amount of memory (in bytes) which has been allocated by the various processes. As this increases above available memory so does the pagefile size  since paging has increased.
  • Pages/sec – Shows the number of pages which are read from or written to the disk.
  • Pages Output/sec – Shows the virtual memory pages written to the pagefile per second which can help to identify paging as a bottleneck.
  • Page Faults/sec – Reports both the soft and the hard faults.
  • Working Set,_Total – Shows the amount of virtual memory which is actually being used.
  • %pagefile in use - Shows the percentage of the paging file which is actually being used which can be used to check if the Windows pagefile is a potential bottleneck. If this consistently remains above 50% or 75% you should consider increasing the pagefile size or alternatively moving the pagefile to a another disk.

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