In our firm I develop the applications and our IT department manage the server and never the twain shall meet. Not ideal at all but under the helpful processes of a Shared Service Environment it is what it is.
The present server environment is 4GB of memory on a Windows 2003 32 Bit, I believe the server to be around 8 to 10 years old. My'colleagues' maintain this is sufficient for our setup. We have 19 users regurlarly accessing a range of documents and some experience a X on charts which I assume is performance related. I would also add that this server is also utilized for WSUS updates.
I have read a topic that suggests that a 32bit OS Qlikview can only use 2GB of that 4GB memory additionally while 4GB in the box Windows and other applications would be taking their share of the pie.
I am not looking for a Ferrari style setup but some suggestions on what we should be aiming at for a setup. We only use QVS on this server no publisher, refreshes are performed command line through a Developer install on another machine.
I am technical in so far as scripting but not from the IT community so would appreciate guidance on that basis.
Looking at your present system I would say you do need to upgrade. One of the best resources for this is your account manager. They can work with you to find the system that will work with your environment.
Also, you need to look at server reloads and see if you can use that and move away from command line.
It's correct that the 32bit QVS can only utilize 2GB of memory. That memory must hold the loaded documents, users session states and cached results. If the QVS approaches the thresehold of 2GB, it will be forced to trim the cache. It's quite likely the random performance spikes you experience is to recalculate something that would have been in the cache but was trimmed out due to memory constraints.
Review your memory allocation in the QMC Qvs Statistics -> Performance pane. Using the default working set values, about 1.5GB VM Committed is where you'll see cache trimming. You can see the historical values and trending by looking at the server performance logs.
If you get up around 1.8GB comiitted, you may also subject QVS to paging, which is a performance killer.
Using those numbers (if my speculation is correct), you should be able to justify that moving to a 64bit OS with more RAM would improve performance.