Can Memory Profiler read a memory dump from file?

Memory profiling for .NET developers

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Can Memory Profiler read a memory dump from file?

Postby jaap.q42 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:31 pm

How would you recommend to track a potential memory problem that occurs on live servers (so no installing memory profiler there) after a full day of serving pages.

Perfomance counters show an steady increase in used memory from 1.5GB to 5 GB for the .NET bytes in all heaps on a server that only runs 1 ASP.NET website.

Any advice from the guys that have build a great tool for development memory profiling, on this production memory profiling issue???

Thanks for any pointers/help.
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Postby Brian Donahue » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:24 am

Hello Jaap,

Memory leaks that build up over long periods of time on production servers can be difficult to diagnose with memory profiler. The memory profiler will introduce even more memory usage, and in a 5GB process, I'd say this is stretching the limit of practicality for a memory profiling tool.

Unfortunately, Memory Profiler cannot analyze a dump file -- I think we do have this on the wish list for a version down the road if at all practical.

Windbg and sos.dll can provide a lot of the raw stats about objects on the managed heap, so that give you some idea where to look. When SOS is loaded, you can use these commands:

!dumpheap -stat counts objects by their type
!dso lists the objects currently on the stack
!gcroot <obj address> will show what objects are holding a reference to <obj...

Tess Ferrandez has lots of practical examples of debugging memory leaks in ASP .NET.

Once you get a feel about what objects could be leaking, you can then run some smaller tests with the Memory Profiler to get a better picture of where the references are.
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Postby jaap.q42 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:53 pm

Brian, thank you for your advice.

The ability to import memory dumps into the great interface of the Memory Profiler would be awesome. But I can see that mapping 5GB of object would also be problematic for the Profiler.
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