Book Review: SQL Server 7 Performance Tuning Technical Reference

This book is probably one of the best I’ve read so far on SQL Server 7. It is definitely a must read. It is structured in five parts:

1. Part1, Basic concepts, focuses on understanding the SQL architecture, the I/O subsystem and RAID arrays and using the Performance monitor.

2. Part 2, Sizing and Capacity Planning, deals with what to do to size the database and the server and how to collect data to plan the future needs.

3. Part 3, Configuring and tuning the system, defines what to do to tune OLTP and OLAP systems, describes performance enhancements on replicated databases and for backup and recovery

4. Part 4, Tuning SQL Statements, describes the use of the Query Analyzer to tune SQL statement and stored procedure, the choice of indexes and how to use hints.

5. Part 5, Appendixes and Glossary, focuses on the configuration parameters and the Performance monitor counters.

This book is perfect for consultants, dbas, developers and IT teams to get the most of SQL Server. It will make you understand that even SQL Server is an excellent DBMS, it cannot do miracles if the hardware is not adapted, if the database is not well designed and if the application is not well written.

I particularly appreciated the chapters on sizing a system (chapter 10) and on capacity planning (chapter 11), and generally the whole Part II on sizing. Furthermore, it’s the only book I’ve seen explaining how to tune replication (chapter 14), explaining the profiles and all their parameters.

On the other hand, I found the part on tuning SQL statements less interesting than the others. May be because it’s too close from what you’ll find in BOL and because I prefer Inside SQL Server that goes deeper.

But, even if some chapters are better than others, the whole book has to be read.

If you are dba, you can rely on this book to explain your IT Manager (and he will be able to explain the board) why you need that wonderful 4-way Xeon for the new order processing application and to demonstrate him that it’s the only way to meet the terms of the service level agreement.

This book is available directly through MS Press web site, for $49.99
(they announce more than 30% of rebate) or from here.

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