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Master Data Services Insufficient Memory Error

A business case that requires the usage of Master Data Services finally landed on my desk. As part of delivering this business case, I had to install and configure SQL Server 2014 Master Data Services in production. I had previously installed and configured SQL Server Master Data Services in a test virtual machine environment so I was certain that the production setup would go smoothly. Boy, was I wrong πŸ™ ?
Everything was going fine until I had to click the Explorer link (shown below) to manage master data and hierarchy relationships.
As the page was loading, I received the Error message [HttpWebRequest_WebException_Remoteserver] Arguments: NotFound…. as shown below:
I tried to ignore this message by clicking the OK button but when the error message went away, I received a blank page as shown below:
I then tried to access my MDS models by using Excel but I received an error message The requested service “/service.svc/bhb” could not be activated as shown below:
With both browser and Excel add-in not allowing me to access my Master Data models, I was forced to further investigate this issue.
So I tried following different ways to no avail:

  1. Verifed Minimum Master Data Services Installation Requirements
  2. I ensured that applicationHost.config contains a location tag element
  3. In Excel, I tried specifying my MDS server with and without default.aspx (i.e. http://localhost:8080/default.aspx)
  4. Verified that IIS Handler Mappings supports *.svc extension

Finally, I remembered that in a previous life I used to masquerade as a Windows System Administrator. So, I logged onto the server hosting my MDS instance and went through the application error logs. Immediately, I noticed an error message coming from System.ServiceModel
As I read through the details of a very-loooooong error message, I noticed an exception along the lines of “Memory gates checking failed because the free memory (1867968512 bytes) is less than 5%” as shown below:
I cleared the cache and increased total memory and bang! It worked! I could access the Explore page and successfully connect from Excel.
I haven’t yet explored Master Data Services in SQL Server 2016 but I know that Microsoft has made some improvements. I hope that one of those improvements is making sure that SQL Server developers or administrators don’t have to spend hours trying to troubleshoot an error that relates to Windows Server! The least they could do – is display a correct error message in the browser or Excel Add-In. I shouldn’t have to go through the logs to find out that this whole thing was about insufficient memory.
I am hoping that Master Data Services in SQL Server 2016 easily returns an error message saying “Insufficient memory!”.



October 13, 2022
Sifiso is Data Architect and Technical Lead at SELECT SIFISO – a technology consulting firm focusing on cloud migrations, data ingestion, DevOps, reporting and analytics. Sifiso has over 15 years of across private and public business sectors, helping businesses implement Microsoft, AWS and open-source technology solutions. He is the member of the Johannesburg SQL User Group and also hold a Master’s Degree in MCom IT Management from the University of Johannesburg.

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