ICYMI: Query Optimization Phases, Observer Overhead, and Secrets of SP_Updatestats – SQL Server Performance

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Do you do a bit of query tuning? Then check out this treasure trove of performance tuning advice! Optimization Phases and Missed Opportunities and Working Around Missed Optimizations Paul White (b | t) writes two fascinating blog posts that go hand-in-hand concerning query optimization.  He goes into some deep details about how the query optimizer works, comparing various versions of SQL Server, and shows you several useful ways to assess query performance. Plus, there’s one handy trace flag too! Observer Overhead and Wait Type Symptoms Joe Sack (b | t) does a deep dive on … [Read more...]

ICYMI: Troubleshooting CPU, Logging Myths, Missing Indexes, and Query Tuning Examples

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Great Articles at SQLPerformance.com There are so many good articles from SQLPerformance.com this ICYMI article that it’s hard to know which are best to highlight in the limited space. So, I’ll be arbitrary and simply choose a few of my favorite entries as well look back: Troubleshooting SQL Server CPU Performance Issues This outstanding article from Joe Sack (b | t) of SQLSkills steps you through a methodical and insightful series of DMVs and queries that can pinpoint CPU issues on your SQL Server instances. Don’t just blindly create those “missing” indexes! Aaron Bertrand (b | … [Read more...]

The SQL Sentry forum for SQL Statement Tuning

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The SQL Sentry forum for SQL Statement Tuning Have you ever looked at our community site specifically dedicated to helping users tune their SQL queries, http://answers.SQLPerformance.com? You can easily upload an execution plan directly from our free Plan Explorer tool or from good ol' SQL Server Management Studio to the discussion forum.  Once uploaded, our internal team and forum members will provide plenty of tips and input on how to improve the plan and/or explain what the plan is actually doing.  The renown SQL execution plan expert, Paul White (b|t), is the moderator of the site. But … [Read more...]

Four New Slide Decks for SQL Server and IT Pros from the DevLink 2014 Conference

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I always enjoy presenting at the DevLink conference, presented each summer in middle Tennessee.  This year, I'm trying to be a better social media person and actually post my slides (in their most recent forms) on my SlideShare account for everyone to see and share. If you attended my session(s) and enjoyed them, feel free to download the content here. But it'd be even better if you also left a few words in the Comment section. Skip below to grab the slide decks. Thanks very much! Enjoy, -Kevin -Follow me on Twitter! -Google Author Microsoft SQL Server Internals & … [Read more...]

Writing and Delivering a Successful Full-Day Technology Seminar

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I was recently chatting with the current President of PASS, Thomas LaRock (Twitter | Blog), and Pieter Vanhove (Twitter | Blog), a prominent SQL Server consultant and expert in Belgium, about how I go about building and presenting a full-day technical seminar. In the SQL Server world, we tend to call these "pre-cons", as in pre-conference seminar, because they're typically offered as paid add-ons occurring prior to a full technical conference. We call them that even when they come at the end of the conference and, heck, when there's no conference at all. Kevin and Kendal Van Dyke … [Read more...]

Top 10 DBA Mistakes on SQL Server

  Hear one of my most popular session via streaming media at SQLSentry.TV! Microsoft SQL Server is easier to administrate than any other relational database on the market.  But “easier than everyone else” doesn’t mean it’s easy.  And it doesn’t mean that database administration on SQL Server is problem free.  And since SQL Server is constantly growing from small, home-grown applications, many IT professionals end up encountering issues that others had tackled and solved years ago.  Why not learn from those who first blazed the trails of database administration, so that we don’t make … [Read more...]

Squishy Limits in SQL Server Express Edition

It's an old story you've probably heard before.  Provide a free version of your software product with strict limitations on performance or other specific capabilities so that folks can give it a try without risk, while you minimize the chance of cannibalizing sales of your commercial products.  Microsoft has take this strategy with SQL Server Express Edition, not only to increase adoption in the student market but also to counter the threat of open-source (i.e. free) relational databases like MySQL for entry-level applications. One such limitation of SQL Server Express Edition is that it … [Read more...]

Quick Tip – Speed a Slow Restore from the Transaction Log

Here's a quick tip for you: During some restore operations on Microsoft SQL Server, the transaction log redo step might be taking an unusually long time.  Depending somewhat on the version and edition of SQL Server you've installed, you may be able to increase performance by tinkering with the readahead performance for the redo operations.  To do this, you should use the MAXTRANSFERSIZE parameter of the RESTORE statement.  For example, if you set MAXTRANSFERSIZE=1048576, it'll use 1MB buffers. If you change the MAXTRANSFERSIZE, keep an eye on the PerfMon objects for Buffer Manager and … [Read more...]

The Zombie PerfMon Counter That Never Dies! Quick Tip

The PerfMon Counters That Just Won't Die One of the things that's simultaneously great and horrible about the Internet is that once something gets posted out in the ether, it basically never goes away.  (Some day, politicians will realize this.  We can easily fact check their consistency).  Because of longevity of content posted to the Internet, a lot of performance tuning topics become "zombies".  We shoot 'em in dead, but they keep coming back! In other words, those old recommendations were a suggested best practices for long ago, for a specific version of SQL Server, but are now … [Read more...]

Two New Slide Decks. Plus, the Week in Colorado.

I had the honor of traveling the great state of Colorado last week, speaking at the PASS chapters in Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver.  At all three events, we had a stellar attendance and, at least in Denver, broke all the records in recent memory both in terms of overall attendance and in first-timers.  Denver, in fact, was standing room only and had nearly 30 first time attendees.  Great news!  I also want to give a special shout-out of thanks and appreciation to Chris Shaw (Twitter | Blog) whose hard work and tenacity ensured that all of Colorado got to see me speak. From left to … [Read more...]