Microsoft SQL Server: How to Optimize Performance



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SQL Server: why optimization is important

In most organizations, IT teams are often understaffed and overworked as they deal with what tends to be a distributed IT environment. Numerous dashboards and constant notifications are part of everyday life. However, one of the most important components to manage and monitor is a database server. As a company’s databases grow and become more complex, it falls Database administrators (DBAs)data analysts and developers are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain them efficiently.

Good database design is directly related to the performance of an application. A poorly designed database can cause SQL queries to execute slowly and affect overall performance. For mission critical applications, a delay of a few milliseconds in information retrieval can cause significant problems. As a result, database administrators need to find ways to optimize the database server. Before DBAs begin to adjust, they should have a concrete execution plan in hand to identify areas that need attention. Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio is often the ideal entry point for generating graphical execution plans.

Use Database Engine Tuning Advisor

An important tool for SQL performance tuning is the Database Engine Tuning Advisor. With this tool, administrators can evaluate individual Transact-SQL statements or a series of statements to determine where improvements can be made. Based on the scan result, the tool recommends certain actions to take.

Analyze waiting statistics

Whenever SQL Server slows down, the first thing to check is for software-related errors. There are scenarios where the server goes down and needs the support of certain resources to complete the function. To track the request, it is important to monitor the wait statistics. This can be done by looking at the performance of different threads. To do this, thread wait statistics are calculated with sys.dm_os_wait_stats. This concept is called Dynamic Management View (DMV) Tagged because it helps detect and diagnose SQL Server performance issues.

Find the queries that are causing a problem

Typically, there are a number of queries or stored procedures that degrade application performance. Database administrators should be able to find them using SQL Server’s Dynamic Management View (DMV) and modify them for consistency without implementing additional software or hardware. Administrators should carefully analyze query results and keep track of the average execution time.

Fine tuning queries

Fine-tuning a query is an important step for the proper functioning of the database. Developers must have enough experience and knowledge to write appropriate T-SQL queries and implement indexes to allow the SQL optimizer to perform the required task.

Some steps to consider in fine-tuning your queries are:

– Identify the operators that increase consultation costs

– Try to run analytic queries outside of peak hours

Get a stronger CPU for higher performance

A powerful CPU isn’t exactly irrelevant to running queries quickly and efficiently. If your database performance is below average, you should consider upgrading your CPU to a higher class.

Keep log and data files separate

Organizations generally avoid placing their data and log files on separate physical drives when setting up a database. This seems tedious, but it is useful in the long run. Log and data files must be stored on separate drives because log files are written and accessed sequentially, while data files are written and accessed non-sequentially. Storing separate data and log files on different physical drives can improve system performance.

Update database versions

Database performance is highly dependent on the version of the currently deployed database server. Installing the latest version of the database server can significantly affect the overall performance of the database. Although some queries may work better on older versions than on the newer version, it’s generally better to use the newer version for current updates.

In addition to the optimization points mentioned above, businesses should also have a proper SQL Server monitoring solution in place to keep server performance intact. An ideal SQL Server monitoring tool not only generates timely notifications, but also provides deep insight into the root cause of problems and suggests solutions to quickly fix them. There are many commercial SQL performance tuning solutions on the market.

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