Thursday, June 13, 2013

Free Pages removed from Buffer Manager counterset in SQL 2012 Performance Counters

While creating some PowerShell to collect performance counters against servers for some performance analysis I am doing (more on that to come), I noticed that the script was throwing an error when trying to retrieve the SQLServer:Buffer Manager\Free Pages counter in my lab against my SQL 2012 instance. Yet it was working on site today against some earlier releases of SQL.

While there is no official guidance on this the counter is certainly no longer listed on the Buffer Manager Object definition

So word of warning if you are migrating any performance collector sets to SQL 2012. Or if you are using PSSDiag/SQLDiag and PAL and you wonder why that counter is no longer reporting data.

I'd suggest focusing on Page Life Expectancy as your indication of buffer pool usage. Honestly I never really worried about Free Pages only to make sure that if it dropped that PLE also reported changes so that I knew it was normal behavior.