<Caution>This post is based on the SharePoint 2013 Consumer Preview. Thus, behavior described here may change in the next release of the platform</Caution>
While working on a SharePoint 2013, after several hours of uptime, the user interface showed me an error message when I wanted to save an item in a list : “The server was unable to save the form at this time. Please try again.” Looking at different possible causes, I found that the available memory was drastically low. Indeed, on this 8GB RAM front-end server virtual machine (the database is hosted on a second VM), only few megs were still available.
Then, in the “Processes” tab, I saw that the noderunner.exe process was eating a lot of memory. A quick tour on Google and I found this Marc Molenaar’s blog post about the noderunner.exe process.
I decided to give it a try and, as suggested in the post, I restarted the “SharePoint Search Host Controller” service. Same observation as Marc, the service took a long time to restart and a huge part of the memory was released. The good thing is that at the same time it solved my item-saving issue. The error disappeared.
To be sure this service restart was “solving” the issue, I worked again several hours, playing also with the search and when the VM got short in memory, the same error message was shown to me again.
Another side effect of this low-memory case occurs when browsing the Managed Metadata tree. I suddenly received constantly an “Unexpected response from server. The status code of response is ‘500’. The status text of response is ‘System.ServiceModel.ServiceActivationException’. Unfortunately, it was impossible to get out of this message loop, and the only way to get rid of it was to kill the Internet Explorer application.