I have following geoserver status. I have installed JAI but memory used by jai is 0 and image rendering for wms is very slow.
Is it issue with memory allocation? I am using Sql server 2008.
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In particular, installing the native JAI is important for all raster processing, which is used heavily in both WMS and WCS to rescale, cut and reproject rasters. Installing the native JAI is also important for all raster reading and writing, which affects both WMS and WCS. Finally, native JAI is very useful even if there is no raster data involved, as WMS output encoding requires writing PNG/GIF/JPEG images, which are themselves rasters.
So if you are drawing WMS tiles of a vector data set you will see some speed up from using the native JAI but probably not much, if your map is a coverage/raster dataset (satellite imagery or aerial photos) then you will see a speed up by using the native JAI.
If you have slow map generation from a vector source the most likely slow downs are that you don't have a spatial index on yyour datasource, are trying to draw too much data or that you are over styling it (or using an inefficient SLD file).
For more details of possible things to work on see http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/geosolutions/geoserver-on-steroids
Try adding an index to your shapefile, as suggested @iant.
The command for Geoserver is:
java -cp .:gt-shapefile-2.7.3.jar org.geotools.data.shapefile.indexed.ShapeFileIndexer /path/to/your/shapefile.shp
and it must be run from the geoserver/WEB-INF/lib directory as a user who can read/write in the shapefile directory. Depending on your geoserver version you might have to change the jar version numbers.
I first saw it mentioned here where other methods for creating the index are cited.
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