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Memory sparing

In memory-sparing mode, one memory rank serves as a spare for other ranks on the same channel in case they fail. The spare rank is held in reserve and not used as active memory until a failure is indicated, with reserved capacity subtracted from the total available memory in the system. After an error threshold is surpassed in a system protected by memory sparing, the content of a failing rank of DIMMs is copied to the spare rank. The failing rank is then taken offline and the spare rank placed online for use as active memory in place of the failed rank. Since the failover process involves copying of memory content, the level of memory redundancy provided by memory sparing is less than that provided by memory mirroring: memory mirroring is the preferred failure-protection choice for critical applications.

See Memory module installation rules and order for memory sparing requirements and recommended memory module population sequences.