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So You’ve Run Out of Memory

Randolph West explains how the buffer pool handles low-memory situations:

One of the bigger clichés in the data professional vocabulary (behind “it depends”) is that you always give SQL Server as much RAM as you can afford, because it’s going to use it. But what happens when SQL Server runs out of memory?

Recently a question appeared on my post about how the buffer pool works, asking the following (paraphrased):

What happens if a data page doesn’t exist in the buffer pool, and the buffer pool doesn’t have enough free space? Does the buffer pool use TempDB, [and] does TempDB put its dirty pages into the buffer pool?

This is an excellent question (thank you for asking!). I spent 30 minutes writing my reply and then figured it would make a good blog post this week if I fleshed it out a little.

Read the whole thing.

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