Buffer Manager: Free Pages is removed as a performance monitor counter in SQL Server 2012. Are any of you using this counter, and if so, what for? Since it's gone, what do you plan to use in it's place?
I plan to just keep tabs on PLE. I would assume that Free Pages is sort of like Buffer Cache Hit Ratio, sorta useless. If Buffer Cache Hit Ratio drops below 99.999% it typically means FLE is taking a hit. If Free Pages gets really low, wouldn't it also mean PLE is taking a hit as well? Curious to see the rest of the responses.
I have a monitor that I developed which displays Buffer Hit Ratio, PLE and uses the Free Pages as a way to show memory use. The two I keep an eye on most is BHR and PLE however having the memory graph displayed does come in handy. I will use this information to adjust the memory depending on stats like stolen memory free up more to the OS or other processes if I have to. I rarely rely on SQL Server to determine how much memory it grabs dynamically, however most of our installations of SQL Server we have kind of have a massive overkill on available memory anyway. Although the PLE and BHR are important, it is also interesting sometimes to see the memory timeline change as processes run on the server over time.