SQL Server Tips and Techniques for Database Performance Optimization

SQL servers are very complex to grasp, even for professionals. As far as performance tuning is concerned, a lot of DBAs do not even know where to begin. However, there are a lot of facets of the whole system, which means that an SQL server consultant has to consider a lot of variables while tuning the SQL server to perfection. Although experience is the biggest tool in regards to performance tuning, basic knowledge and minimal skill can also be utilized to achieve marked success. The following tips will help in fine tuning the SQL server for database optimization and better performance:

1. Stop making the SQL Server waiting around

Every time the SQL Server gets held up while functioning, it tracks the incident in the form of wait statistics. This is one of the most crucial areas to master while dealing with SQL Server. Usually the server is paused as it is looking for specific resources to come up and assist in completing the function. To find which resources are required, one must have the knowledge of wait statistics. If the cause of blockage can be conveniently found, solving it will no longer be a problem. A lot of time will be saved while doing this instead of looking at the I/O issues.

2. Locate the I/O Bottlenecks


I/O bottlenecks are one of the top reasons for performance issues in SQL Servers. To find if you have I/O issues, follow the given methods:

  • Check if there is high page_IO_latch or log_write in your wait statistics
  • Use DMF sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats() to find any possible areas where there are excessive I/O stalls
  • Use PerfMon counters

If you locate any physical I/O bottlenecks, find all the queries which are causing the problem. Tune them finely before adding additional hardware. Do not hold up the writing to the log file, as all the DML operations will become impeded. High latency for log writes is also a sign of problem.

3. Find the problem queries

In any SQL server, there are usually 8 to 10 queries or stored procedures which hinder the activity of the system. Locating these queries and fine tuning them will be beneficial for mysql performance improvement and consistency without any additional hardware or software. There are a lot of queries which will cater to specific problems. An essential tip is to not give much weightage to the elapsed time, and let the codes do their work of solving the issue. Statement lengths might be surprising, but they will effectively solve the blocking issues present in the system.

4. Strategize to reuse

As hardware is getting more powerful and affordable, the transaction rates in the database applications are ever-increasing. This is one of the reasons why programmers pack more stuff in one server and increase the activity in the system. However, compiling the query plans is one of the most crucial operations when it comes to the performance and memory of the SQL server. There are a lot of applications which can increase the speed of the development of a function, but do not reuse the query plan. This can be detrimental over a long period of time as the resources and time will be constantly wasted over a command which has been previously run. It is better to use counts column and order the plans by the text column, so the similar entries can be classified as a singular unit.

5. Look out for the index usage

One of the most underutilised source of information is the sys.dm_db_index_operational_stats() DMF. This DMF helps in deciphering all kinds of information for determining the indexes and how they are used.You can get to know if you are scanning the index or using seeks. Even small data like elapsed time for a particular process can be gained. This DMF is one of the most useful tools for crucial information.

6. Separate the Log and Data files

This is one of the most basic but disregarded rules for better performance of the system. Separating the log and data files onto other physical drives seems tedious to do, so most people skip this step. This step is quite advantageous as it can help in enhancing the performance levels of the system by many folds, as the user will witness the volumes of the transactions going up.


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