Recently one of our read servers (SQL Server 2017 CU2 - yes, way out of date) had its Page Life Expectancy drop from an avg of 15K seconds to 250 seconds.

It is one of 2 load balanced read servers and its twin did not experience this drop.

What I'm finding interesting is that the perfmon counter "Free Memory (KB)" is sitting around 303,100,000, while its twin is occupying far more free memory: its counter is at 30,125,800 (an order of magnitude smaller).

Both servers have target server memory of 409,000,000.

My assumption is that the PLE plummeted because SQL Server is not occupying the free space and therefore not caching like it did. How do I track down what is going on?

  • You think you're out of date - take a look at this - Extended Maintenance Support ended in 2006. :-)
    – Vérace
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 1:22
  • Is Lock Pages In Memory enabled for your service account?
    – AMtwo
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 20:51
  • @jim I am not sure you should be worried just because PLE plummeted once. Are you seeing any performance issue ?
    – Shanky
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 6:44
  • @Shanky agreed that its not a terrible concern if it drops just once, but we dropped and are stuck at 250 seconds. It's been a full week now.
    – Jim Clouse
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 16:21
  • @JimClouse: did you manage to find the cause of this issue? I've experiencing the same with SQL Server 2019, free memory never goes below 40GB (no matter what I try) Commented May 6 at 15:41


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