Database Journal
MS SQL Oracle DB2 Access MySQL PostgreSQL Sybase PHP SQL Etc SQL Scripts & Samples Links Database Forum

» Database Journal Home
» Database Articles
» Database Tutorials
MS SQL
Oracle
DB2
MS Access
MySQL
» RESOURCES
Database Tools
SQL Scripts & Samples
Links
» Database Forum
» Sitemap
Free Newsletters:
DatabaseDaily  
News Via RSS Feed


follow us on Twitter
Database Journal |DBA Support |SQLCourse |SQLCourse2
 

Featured Database Articles

MS SQL

Posted Oct 22, 2003

SQL Server Bulk Copy Optimization Tips

By Alexander Chigrik

If you're having trouble with bulk copy, check out these 14 tips from Alexander Chigrik.
  • Use nonlogged bulk copy whenever possible.
    The nonlogged bulk copy is much faster than the logged one, but to use it you must provide all the following conditions:
    1. The database option 'select into/bulkcopy' is set to true.
    2. The target table is not being replicated.
    3. The TABLOCK hint is specified.
    4. The target table has no indexes, or if the table has indexes, they are empty when the bulk copy starts.


  • Use native mode bulk copy whenever possible.
    This can improve performance in comparison with the character mode.

  • Try to use the BULK INSERT command instead of bcp or DTS to load data into SQL Server.
    The BULK INSERT command is much faster than bcp or the data pump to perform text file import operations, however, the BULK INSERT statement cannot bulk copy data from SQL Server to a data file.

  • Use the bcp utility instead of DTS when you need to export data from the SQL Server table into a text file.
    The bcp utility is much faster than DTS, so try to use it whenever possible.

  • Specify the number of the first and the last row to bulk copy, if you do not need to bulk copy all the rows from the specified data file.
    This can result in good performance benefits, because the total amount of data copied will be less.

  • Specify the number of rows per batch of data copied, if the transaction log was filled before the bulk copy is complete.
    Because each batch is copied to the server as one transaction, SQL Server commits or rolls back the transaction for every batch. When you bulk copy large data files, the transaction log can be filled before the bulk copy is complete. In this case, enlarge the transaction log, allow it to grow automatically or specify the number of rows per batch of data copied.

  • Try to increase the packet_size option.
    The packet_size option specifies the number of bytes, per network packet, sent to and from the server. The packet_size can be from 4096 to 65535 bytes with the default of 4096. Increased packet size can enhance performance of bulk copy operations. Try to set the packet_size option to 8192 bytes and continue monitoring.

  • Use the ORDER hint, if the clustered index exists on the table and the data file is sorted according to the clustered index.
    This can significantly improve performance of the bulk copy operation, because SQL Server will load data in the clustered index order without any reorder operations.

  • If you create a new table and bulk copy data into it, try to bulk load data first and only after that create any indexes.
    This can significantly improve performance of the bulk copy operation, because data will be loaded into the SQL Server table without any index pages creation during the bulk copy.

  • If you load data into an empty table with the existing nonclustered indexes, try to drop the nonclustered indexes, bulk load data and only after that re-create the nonclustered indexes.
    This can significantly improve performance of the bulk copy operation, because data will be loaded into the SQL Server table without any index pages creation during the bulk copy.

  • If you load data into a nonempty table with the existing clustered and/or nonclustered indexes, and the amount of data added is large, it can be faster to drop all indexes on the table, perform the bulk copy operation, and then re-create the indexes after the data is loaded.
    Check the time needed to load data with dropping/re-creating indexes and without dropping/re-creating indexes on your test server before running the bulk copy operation on the production server.

  • If your SQL Server box has multiple CPUs, try to divide loaded data into two or more sources and run multiple instances of bcp on separate clients to load data in parallel.
    Because SQL Server allows data to be bulk copied into a single table from multiple clients in parallel using the bcp utility or BULK INSERT statement, try to use parallel data loads whenever possible. To bulk copy data into SQL Server in parallel, you must provide all the following conditions:
    1. The database option 'select into/bulkcopy' is set to true.
    2. The TABLOCK hint is specified.
    3. The target table does not have any indexes.


  • Specify the TABLOCK hint, if you bulk copy data into an empty table from a single client.
    This can improve performance of the bulk copy operation, because this causes a table-level lock to be taken for the duration of the bulk copy operation.

  • Try to avoid using CHECK_CONSTRAINTS and FIRE_TRIGGERS hints.
    Using these hints can significantly degrade performance of the bulk copy operation, because for each row loaded the constraints and insert triggers defined on the destination table will be executed.

» See All Articles by Columnist Alexander Chigrik



MS SQL Archives

Comment and Contribute

 


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.

 

 




Latest Forum Threads
MS SQL Forum
Topic By Replies Updated
SQL 2005: SSIS: Error using SQL Server credentials poverty 3 August 17th, 07:43 AM
Need help changing table contents nkawtg 1 August 17th, 03:02 AM
SQL Server Memory confifuration bhosalenarayan 2 August 14th, 05:33 AM
SQL Server Primary Key and a Unique Key katty.jonh 2 July 25th, 10:36 AM


















Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date