Tweaking the performance of your SQL server can provide a host of advantages, but unless you know exactly what perks your tinkering will unlock, you might not be that eager to dedicate the time to this process.
With that in mind, here are just some of the reasons that the various elements of SQL Server performance tuning, which you can read about in the full article here, are worth pursuing.
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Fix flawed queries
One important aspect of performance tuning in an SQL server context is that you will be able to assess the effectiveness of your database’s queries and look for any poorly written examples which could be creating issues.
By analysing queries you will be able to boost the speed and responsiveness of the server, which in turn will mean that you can gain productivity benefits using any apps and services that rely on it.
Make the most of existing hardware
Whenever an SQL server starts to suffer from subpar performance, the first conclusion that many might draw is that the underlying hardware is getting long in the tooth and it is time for an upgrade.
While it may be beneficial to switch to a better CPU, add more memory or shift from spinning platter storage to a speedy SSD, this may not be viable for budgetary reasons. Furthermore, it may ultimately prove unnecessary if you use other approaches to performance optimisation.
The end result is that a well tuned, carefully maintained SQL server will be able to maximise its use of the hardware resources that it has to hand, saving you money and prolonging the lifespan of perfectly serviceable components. This will also save you time and avoid the disruption of downtime that comes with rolling out upgrades.
Improve analytical abilities
One of the most important reasons to check in on the performance of your SQL server and make adjustments where necessary is that if you do not do this regularly, you might not be in a position to determine whether or not it is operating as expected.
If you rarely analyse performance, you might assume that the current server setup is behaving entirely normally, when in reality there are a whole host of issues that have accumulated over time.
Conversely if you have carried out performance tuning on a consistent schedule, you will have a baseline for performance against which you can take measurements in the future. This will also give you a broader picture of how usage and performance fluctuate, which can be useful for other administrative tasks involving the database.
The performance of your SQL server will be closely tied to indexing, and part of the tuning process will be establishing whether index fragmentation has occurred.
A fragmented index will slow the entire server down, since more operations will be involved in calling up the required information when a request is made. By defragmenting indexes regularly you will be able to boost responsiveness, address instability and combat apparent I/O bottlenecks which might otherwise have been attributed to other factors.
Boosting user satisfaction
At the end of the day, the main reason to make sure that your SQL server is performing optimally is so that end users are able to harness its capabilities without tearing their hair out in frustration.
DBAs are responsible for keeping servers running smoothly and any issues that do arise will inevitably end up in their laps. By making sure that performance is consistent and flaws are fixed proactively, administrators will be able to focus their efforts on other aspects of their roles rather than constantly having to juggle smaller support requests from users.
Note: This article was contributed by Sentryone.com
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