FIX: You receive out-of-memory error messages when you use merge replication with Web synchronization in SQL Server 2005 or in SQL Server 2008

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Article ID: 974660 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

You use SQL Server 2005 Merge Replication or SQL Server 2008 Merge Replication with a Web synchronization based subscriber. A memory leak occurs after repeated synchronizations and you may receive "Out of memory" errors after a period of time. This becomes noticeable when the host process is not restarted for a long time, such as when the Merge Agent (Replmerg.exe) is used with the -Continuous switch or when the Continuous parameter is specified in the Agent Profile that is applied to the agent. Also this issue can affect a RMO application or service that you developed that runs synchronization in a loop when the application runs for several days without exiting.

CAUSE

Several internal objects are leaked upon each synchronization.

RESOLUTION

SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 6 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3. For more information about this cumulative update package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
974648 Cumulative update package 6 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3
Note Because the builds are cumulative, each new fix release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2005 fix release. Microsoft recommends that you consider applying the most recent fix release that contains this hotfix. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
960598 The SQL Server 2005 builds that were released after SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 was released.
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 hotfixes are created for specific SQL Server service packs. You must apply a SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 hotfix to an installation of SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3. By default, any hotfix that is provided in a SQL Server service pack is included in the next SQL Server service pack.

The release version of SQL Server 2008

Important You must install this fix if you are running the release version of SQL Server 2008.

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 8. For more information about how to obtain this cumulative update package for SQL Server 2008, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
975976 Cumulative update package 8 for SQL Server 2008
Note Because the builds are cumulative, each new fix release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release. We recommend that you consider applying the most recent fix release that contains this hotfix. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
956909 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 was released

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1

Important You must install this fix if you are running SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1.

The fix for this issue was first released in Cumulative Update 5 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. For more information about this cumulative update package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
975977 Cumulative update package 5 for SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1
Note Because the builds are cumulative, each new fix release contains all the hotfixes and all the security fixes that were included with the previous SQL Server 2008 fix release. Microsoft recommends that you consider applying the most recent fix release that contains this hotfix. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
970365 The SQL Server 2008 builds that were released after SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 was released
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 hotfixes are created for specific SQL Server service packs. You must apply a SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 hotfix to an installation of SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1. By default, any hotfix that is provided in a SQL Server service pack is included in the next SQL Server service pack.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

WORKAROUND

To work around this problem, use one of the following methods:

Method 1

If you are using a merge agent in continuous mode, stop the merge agent process periodically, and start it again.

For example, you receive "Out of memory" errors after five days, and your Merge Agent is scheduled as a job. Then, you schedule a new SQL Server Agent job to call sp_stop_job followed by sp_start_job specifying your Merge Agent job name, which will cycle the affected process every five days. When you stop the Merge Agent (Replmerg.exe) process, any leaked memory inside the process memory space will be released.

For more information about usage of the -Continuous switch on the Merge Agent, see the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms147839.aspx

sp_stop_job http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms182793(SQL.90).aspx

sp_start_job http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186757(SQL.90).aspx

Method 2

If you use the Merge agent from a job, you could configure manual looping logic inside the job by using additional steps instead of relying on the Continuous parameter. Instead of the one merge agent process looping internally forever continuously, schedule the Merge Agent as a job step that repeats on a frequent basis such as once every minute. The process will exit between retries, and this frees any leaked memory.
Edit the Merge Agent job so that the steps repeat in a loop with a pause between repeats.
  1. After Step [3] "Detect nonlogged agent shutdown," add a new Step [4] named "Indefinite Retry Loop." Set the type to TSQL and the command to "waitfor delay '0:00:05'", this TSQL delay will provide a 5 second pause which you can configure as a polling interval in such a way that the merge agent will pause briefly between executions and not run constantly. On the advanced tab specify the "On Success Action" as "Go to Step [2] Run Agent" and "On Failure Action" as "Go to Step [2] Run Agent."
  2. Edit Step [2] Run Agent to ensure the loop Step [4] is reached. On the advanced tab of Step [2], set the On Success Action, "Go to step: [4] Indefinite Retry Loop" and set the On failure action to "Go to the next step."
  3. Edit Step [3] "Detect nonlogged agent shutdown" to make sure that the loop in Step [4] is reached. On the advanced tab of step [3], set the On Success Action, "Go to the next step". You can also decide if you want the Step [3] On Failure Action to be set as "Go to the next step" or "Quit the job reporting failure." If it is configured to quit, it will show the job failure in Replication Monitor and the Job Monitor. If it is configured upon failure to go to the fourth loop step, the merge agent may rerun indefinitely, and the errors logged indefinitely.

Method 3

Similarly if you use an RMO application to call the MergeSynchronizationAgent.Synchronize() method which synchronizes the subscriber database in a loop, stop and restart the process periodically to free any memory which is leaked because of this problem.
For more information about this object and method, see the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/microsoft.sqlserver.replication.mergesynchronizationagent.synchronize(SQL.90).aspx

REFERENCES

For more information about how to use the -Continuous switch on the Merge Agent, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms147839.aspx

For more information about the sp_stop_job stored procedure, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:
http://http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms182793(SQL.90).aspx

For more information about the sp_start_job stored procedure, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms186757(SQL.90).aspx

For more informationabout how to obtain SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
913089 How to obtain the latest service pack for SQL Server 2005
For more information about the new features in SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 (SP3) and about the improvements in SQL Server 2005 SP3, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131442
For more informationabout the naming schema for SQL Server updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
822499 New naming schema for Microsoft SQL Server software update packages
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Properties

Article ID: 974660 - Last Review: October 6, 2011 - Revision: 4.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard X64 Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise X64 Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition for Itanium-based Systems
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Web
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Workgroup
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