SQL Server Tuning Top 10

May 6, 1999

Heres the real basics, how to get the most from your server, at the very least you should:

  1. Memory - you can never have enough of it...use sp_configure memory, value to set it to the right level for your system.
  2. Design for performance - Effective initial database and application design is very important.
  3. Check basic configuration - Things to look for include:
    • Procedure Cache
    • Max Async IO
    • Number of Locks
    • Number of User Connections
    Again use sp_configure
  4. Disk subsystem - check for disk queuing using (Physical or Logical)Disk Queue - try load balancing across mulitple drives.
  5. RAID - if you can afford it try and make sure your system is using hardware RAID.
  6. Learn importance of FILLFACTOR and PAD_INDEX - try using SQL Server:I/O Single Page Writes/Sec and DBCC SHOWCONTIG to determine if page splitting is occuring. Use FILLFACTOR with the PAD_INDEX option to set up your system to optimal I/O throughput.
  7. Tempdb in Ram? - popular question, answer is no :)
  8. Index Design - efficent index design can make all the difference. Use SHOWPLAN to make sure your queries are using the correct indexes.
  9. Learn to use performance monitor - to monitor your installation. Take a look here to put you on the right track.
  10. Avoid slow SQL - such as:
    • WHERE column != value
    • WHERE column <> value
    • Try not to use NOT!

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