Limiting Exchange 2010 SP1 Database Cache

Some time ago, I blogged about on how to limit the amount of memory Exchange 2010 can allocate for database cache. After the introduction of Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 this didn’t seem to work anymore, as many people reported.

After some investigation, it turns out you also need to set the msExchESEparamCacheSizeMin value for Exchange 2010 SP1?s cache manager to honor the minimum and maximum limits for allocating database cache memory.

To show you this, I’ll first show Exchange 2010 SP1 where I only set msExchESEparamCacheSizeMax. In this example, I’ll use a value of 1024 which corresponds to 32 MB (1024 * 32kb pages). I then turned on Performance Monitor and started monitoring the following MSExchange Database Cache\Information Storecounters:

  • Database Cache Size, the current allocated database cache size;
  • Database Cache Size Min, the minimum database cache size;
  • Database Cache Size Max, the maximum database cache size.

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Limiting Exchange 2010 store.exe Database Cache

Note (6apr2011): Setting the MsExchESEParamCacheSizeMax only doesn’t produce the required result as of Exchange 2010 SP1. For more information on how to limit the database cache size in Exchange 2010 SP1, see Limiting Exchange 2010 SP1 Database Cache.

I received a question from someone implementing Exchange 2010 who was surprised to see Exchange taking up all available memory. This is because in Exchange 2010 (2007 as well) memory allocation is dynamic, contrary to Exchange 2003 and earlier versions where, depending on the situation, you had to fiddle around with boot.ini switches like /3GB to make memory available to Exchange. Also, the maximum database cache size was limited in Exchange 2003 to around 1.2 GB due to virtual address space limitations (see MSKB 815372).

The main reason Exchange 2007/2010 claims memory for its database cache is performance. The more memory is assigned to the database cache, the less I/O’s are generated because things can be dealt with in-memory and the database cache becomes more effective. When a certain amount of transactions has been reached, changes will be physically written to databases (so far they’ve been stored in-memory and written to transaction logs). This limit is called the log checkpoint depth target.

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Small Business Server 2003 Lost/Missing/Disappeared CAL’s

Windows Small Business Server 2003 logo

If you still have the old server’s backup and you can get at the C:\windows\system32 folder, you “might” be able to restore the Service, rename “ in the system32 folder, copy “” to Service and look in the Server Management Console to see if the licenses have been restored.  If so, back those extra CALs up immediately with the licensing wizard and put the backup file in a safe place under lock and key.

As for why the licenses have disappeared make sure your antivirus software on the Small Business Server 2003 is not scanning the licensing files/folders:

The licensing files are located at:

Files and Folders to exclude from AV scanning both real-time and scheduled (assuming all programs are installed to the C: drive)

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business
Server\Networking\POP3\Incoming mail
C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr
C:\Program Files\Trend  (substitute your AV program)
C:\Program Files\Trend Micro  (substitute your AV program)


Mailbag – October 3rd 2010

How to delete windows.old folder?

People have been asking me, how can I delete the Windows.old folder in my C: drive after upgrading Windows?

A lot of people try and just right click and delete but this will only present you with aces denied issues. Well the best way to delete this folder is to use Disk Clean-up Tool by doing the following:

1. Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disc Cleanup

2. When the dialog box comes up, select the drive that has the .old files on it and click OK

3. The system then scans for the files to be cleaned up and another dialog box opens with the selection.  Click on the button labelled Clean up system files at the bottom of that dialog box.

4. Another dialog box will come up, select the drive again that has the .old files on it.  The system will perform another scan for the system files that need to be cleaned up.

5. After scanning, another dialog box opens up and there you will find a list of check boxes.  Scroll through and check on the box labelled older versions of Windows and click OK.

Disk Cleanup

It will take about 10 – 20 minutes dependent on how big the folder is, but essentially that’s all you have to do.