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How to Boost the Performance of Your SQL Server

SQL Servers are a tricky business and requires specialized knowledge so users can maximize its features. When it comes to enhancing their performance, many database administrators find themselves stumped and do not know where and how to begin. Correctly tuning a Microsoft SQL Server involves several processes and layers that are often mastered through trial and error. However, their beginnings are basically the same and it is crucial that DBAs build a solid foundation from where the program will rise.

Knowing the basic elements of performance tuning will help you get started on the right foot and will reduce errors in the future. These also aid in preventing any major performance concerns that might delay or cancel its rollout. Microsoft SQL experts like the team at Red9 can set everything up for you or your company from scratch, which reduces the stress from having to deal with the technical side of database handling. But, just the same, here are five ways DBAs can strengthen how an SQL server operates.

1. Identify I/O bottlenecks.

The purpose of an SQL Server is to be able to push and pull data as fast as possible. When either is slow or lagging, it could be that there is a bottleneck somewhere that needs to be fixed. The most common reasons are the limited capacity of the hardware used and having entered an incorrect T-SQL code that the server uses to perform its tasks. Take note that SQL Servers have very specific needs and will, thus, require specific (higher capacity) devices.

2. Separate log and data files.

Whenever you can, you must split the log files and data files into different drive arrays. The key is to remove the random access files away from the sequential access files, as placing them in one location will only get in the way of a fast processing time.

3. When importing or exporting data, use separate staging databases.

Using this method when the SQL Server instance is in simple recovery mode can dramatically hasten the database import process. Many databases often manipulate data from temporary tables and this procedure often ends up with more work (and, thus, a slower performance) when upgrades are made. With a load that is no too logged, the amount of data being transferred becomes a lot smaller that what it would been if it were from a fully logged system.

4. Expand the MAX memory setting.

Even if you have assigned a specific host server to your SQL, certain parts of the operating system will need to use up memory every now and then. Preparing your memory for what can happen by expanding it to minimum 1 GB so that you are ready for not just your SQL but for whatever else you will have running when the time comes.

5. Get rid of unnecessary indexes.

You will need plenty of I/O and CPU for index maintenance. For this part, the general rule is that if something is not being used, take it out before it brings the rest of the system down.

There are many more ways to fine tune your SQL Server to make it operate to its fullest potential. The ones we discussed here are merely basic approaches to common server problems. Red9’s technical support team can assist in the more advanced SQL digging to ensure that none of such problems ever have to occur with your business.
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