The Integration Service uses the Sorter Cache Size property to determine the maximum amount of memory it can allocate to perform the sort operation. The Integration Service passes all incoming data into the Sorter transformation before it performs the sort operation. You can use a numeric value for the cache, you can use a cache value from a parameter file or you can configure the Integration Service to set the cache size by using the Auto setting. If you configure the Integration Service to determine the cache size, you can also configure a maximum amount of memory for the Integration Service to allocate to the cache. If the total configured session cache size is 2 GB (2,147,483,648 bytes) or greater, you must run the session on a 64-bit Integration Service.
Before starting the sort operation, the Integration Service allocates the amount of memory configured for the Sorter cache size. If the Integration Service runs a partitioned session, it allocates the specified amount of Sorter cache memory for each partition.
If it cannot allocate enough memory, the Integration Service fails the session. For best performance, configure Sorter cache size with a value less than or equal to the amount of available physical RAM on the Integration Service machine. Allocate at least 16 MB (16,777,216 bytes) of physical memory to sort data using the Sorter transformation. Sorter cache size is set to 16,777,216 bytes by default.
If the amount of incoming data is greater than the amount of Sorter cache size, the Integration Service temporarily stores data in the Sorter transformation work directory. The Integration Service requires disk space of at least twice the amount of incoming data when storing data in the work directory. If the amount of incoming data is significantly greater than the Sorter cache size, the Integration Service may require much more than twice the amount of disk space available to the work directory.
The Integration Service also writes the amount of memory the Sorter transformation uses to the session log when you configure the Sorter transformation tracing level to Normal.