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Memory Fragmentation Issue with NetWare 6.0/6.5

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 22 Sep 2004

Having memory problems? If your NetWare 6.x server runs out of memory after a few days of normal operation, abends during a backup, or throws mysterious Short Term Memory Allocation errors or Cache Memory Allocator errors, this one's for you.

NetWare is a 32-bit operating system. Although NetWare can handle up to 64 GB of physical RAM, Intel's 32 bit architecture limits any OS to a 4 GB area for mapping Logical Memory. (The memory above 4 GB must be accessed by mapping pages in and out of the 4 GB space). Because most applications run in the "Kernel Space" or "Ring 0" in NetWare (as opposed to "User Space" or "Ring 3" in other operating systems), all NLMs running in the kernel have a finite amount of RAM to work with.

Depending on the applications and NLMs running on the server, it can become necessary to adjust the settings on servers to reduce the instance and frequency of memory fragmentation.

With the release of CSP11 (Consolidated Support Pack 11) comes newer server.exe files for NetWare. NetWare 6.5 Support Pack 2 and NetWare 6.0 Support Pack 5 contain the latest fixes and updates specific to the memory fragmentation issue. Novell strongly recommends that customers use these latest support packs for this issue. Additional improvements continue to be made in NetWare's memory management system to better accommodate newer hardware configurations and different combinations of modules running on NetWare servers.

There's a new TID that outlines specific actions to take if your NetWare server is experiencing problems with fragmentation of logical memory. You should apply the steps in the order presented for best results. In our experience, nearly all problems with memory fragmentation will be addressed by applying the suggestions in the first 4 steps. Step 5 can be followed if there's still trouble, but Novell recommends stopping after Step 4 and letting the server run for a few days before applying Step 5.

Check out TID 10091980

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