Server has no associated SOC machines or all SOC machines are at capacity

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Error Message

When attempting to start additional GIS services or more instances of an existing GIS service in high isolation, the following error message may be returned by ArcGIS Server regarding the capacity of SOC machines:

"Server has no associated SOC machines or all SOC machines are at capacity."

ArcGIS Server log files may contain any of the following errors:

"Server object instance creation failed on all SOC machines."

"Document <path to map document> cannot be opened."


The number of ArcSOC.exe processes that can be started on a machine is limited by the amount of Available Physical Memory on the server. The amount of Available Physical Memory is not equal to the total memory since other processes, such as the operating system, also use memory. The amount of memory used by each process depends on the complexity of the services it handles.

ArcSOC.exe processes are considered user processes. By default, on a server with 4GB of RAM, the total of all user processes cannot exceed 2GB of RAM.

Windows 2003 Server and Windows 2000 operating systems include a control that adjusts how memory is allocated to system and user processes. This switch in the boot.ini file is called /3GB. For more information about how this switch allocates memory, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article located in the Related Information section of this article.

If the server machine has more than 4GB of RAM, then the /3GB switch in the boot.ini file must be turned off to allow user processes to consume more than 3GB of memory.

Solution or Workaround

Depending on the memory capacity of the server, the solution to this limitation is as follows:

  • For servers with 4GB of RAM or less, using the /3GB switch may help expand the amount of RAM available for the user-processes, including ArcSOC.exe. If this switch is already enabled and RAM is fully utilized on the machine, then additional SOC machines should be added to start additional ArcSOC.exe processes.
  • For servers with over 4GB of RAM, the /3GB switch must be disabled to allocate more than 3GB of RAM to ArcSOC.exe processes.

Article ID:000009914

  • ArcGIS Server

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