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Instances are legacy, something we have to carry for the next 3 years, 2008 R2 64-bit, both SQL Server and Windows Server OS. Two copies on two nodes.

Both servers are set to consume "Maximum server memory" parameter set at MAX.

  • VM #1 (8GB RAM total) - memory is utilized to the maximum extent and displayed correctly in Task Manager.
  • VM #2 (32GB RAM total) - memory utilization is shown at ~100MB only, even when I try to force it to eat at least 16GB at startup in the SQL Server properties.

Both task manager and resource monitor on the second VM report barely any RAM consumed by the process.

Is this a SQL Server bug, if the installed OS RAM volume is above certain level? Doubtfully, right?

Or could it be some memory setting on the OS itself?

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My bet is #2 has Lock Pages in Memory privileges granted to the SQL Server service account. In this case, Task manager show only a minuscule memory usage (SQL Server uses a different Windows API in this mode). All is normal.

(As an aside, if you by "forcing at startup" mean setting min server memory, then that is not what happens. Min means that if SQL server climbs over it, then it won't go under it. It won't force that allocation at startup. )

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  • You might be right on both counts: the VM #2 is running SQL Server under a "Local Account". Only 1 account, albeit a named one, has the Lock Pages In Memory priv, based on GS. TaskManager shows the sqlsrvr.exe process being run under "SYSTEM". Now, if I change the server owner to Network or Local Service accounts, the memory starts being reported as expected, gradually increasing, as more and more data is getting hashed in memory. May 17, 2020 at 1:31

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