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Wednesday, October 07, 2015     | Register
Performance Monitoring & Tuning Techniques


Troubleshooting Performance Problems in SQL Server 2008


From the whitepaper summary "This paper provides step-by-step guidelines for diagnosing and troubleshooting common performance problems by using publicly available tools such as SQL Server Profiler, Performance Monitor, dynamic management views, and SQL Server Extended Events (Extended Events) and the data collector" ... Source : - Whitepaper



Performance Troubleshooting Flowchart


The SQLCat team keep delivering great content. This one's no exception; a flowchart to address the most common performance and scalability issues that crop up. Read left to right and top down, it addresses the big issues first such as table scans and out of date stats and includes links to recommended reading. Great stuff ... Source : Sharon Bjeletich -



Performance Tuning with Waits and Queues


Helps identify the areas of slow performance by looking at the problem from two directions called Waits and Queues. An analysis of Waits indicates where SQL Server is spending lots of time waiting. In addition, the biggest waits point out the most important or relevant queues ... Source : - Technet Article



Wait Stats (for the last second)


Using the sys.dm_os_wait_stats DMV to identify wait statistics is a crucial step in any performance tuning exercise, however, the results returned are accumulated since the last server restart. In this post, Jason demonstrates a technique for using this DMV to return wait stats for the last second, useful for troubleshooting performance problems in real time ... Source : Jason Massie - Blog Post



TCP Chimney Offload


In this post, Sarah discusses the TCP Chimney Offload setting and the possible problems it brings to SQL Server implementations including working set trimming and general network errors ... Source : Sarah Henwood - CSS SQL Server Engineers - Blog Post



Troubleshooting Performance Problems in 2005


This paper provides step-by-step guidelines for diagnosing and troubleshooting common performance problems by using publicly available tools such as SQL Server Profiler, System Monitor, and the new Dynamic Management Views in SQL Server 2005 ... Source : - Technet Article



Perfmon Counters thresholds


Grumpy blogs about a great post from the UK SQL Server Premier Support Field Engineers. They provide suggested performance monitor counters for SQL Server, Reporting Services, Analysis Services and Windows Server. As well as listing the actual counters to monitor are explanations of likely values and causes ... Source : Grumpy Old DBA



How to Clone a Database


The ability to clone a database i.e.; take an exact copy including statistics but excluding data, is a crucial part of any good development process. Using this technique, you can examine execution plans for poorly performing queries in a test environment that takes hardly any space at all, as the data itself is removed, but the statistics for the query optimizer remain. In this blog post, Kalen talks about the process of cloning a database ... Source : Kalen Delaney - - Blog Post



Create fake statistics for testing query plans using undocumented UPDATE STATISTICS commands


This technique allows you to test T-SQL performance and see the expected results against varying table sizes, without actually need to load/remove data  ... Source : SQL Server Query Optimization Team - Blog Post



SQL Server Urban Legends Discussed


True or False ? SQL Server Uses One Thread Per Data File -- A Disk Queue Length greater than 2 indicates an I/O bottleneck ... Source : Bob Dorr - Microsoft PSS SQL Support - Blog Post



Disk Queue Length: Some Data Points may Help!


An analysis of the usefulness of the "Disk Queue Length" performance counter ... Source : Linchi Shea - - Blog Post



Did You Know? Run a batch multiple times


Kalen discusses a feature not generally know about the batch separator command 'GO' - that it takes an integer parameter and will repeat the batch that many times  ... Source : Kalen Delaney - - Blog Post



Improving Performance with SQL Server 2005 Indexed Views


This document describes the improved indexed views capability of SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition. Indexed views are explained and specific scenarios in which they may provide performance improvements are discussed ... Source : - Technet Article



eBook :: Making SQL Server Perform


eBook from Kalen Delaney. This three-chapter eBook offers insight into SQL Server 2005 performance and provides tips for improving user management, disk (physical) management and application management (query plans). Covers new 2005 features including DMV's ... Source :



Database Engine Tuning Advisor (DTA) in SQL Server 2005


Given a workload of SQL queries and updates, DTA recommends an appropriate physical design, and generates a script to implement the recommended physical design ... Source : - Technet Article



Session Level Wait Stats


Whilst sys.dm_os_wait_stats is undoubtedly powerful, its information is collected and exposed at a server level. In this post, we're shown how session level wait information can be exposed using the new extended events feature ... Source : IvanPe - SQLOS Team Blog - Blog Post



Performance Baselines - Include Application Stats!


Linchi blogs about a common absentee in SQL Server performance baselines - Application Stats. He argues that as well as including SQL related performance data, application stats should be included ... Source : Linchi Shea - - Blog Post 

Performance Monitoring & Tuning Tools


RML for SQL Server 2008


Version 9.01 of the (very powerful) RML Utilities has been released, including support for SQL Server 2008 ... Source : PSS SQL Server Engineers - Blog Post



Performance Monitoring Tools


Kalen provides a nice summary of links to free performance troubleshooting tools including SQL Nexus and PSSDiag ... Source : Kalen Delaney - - Blog Post



SQL Server query performance testing tool


A great (free) tool from Adam Machanic that allows you to perform simple load testing of a stored procedure or T-SQL command. It allows randomization of parameters and includes basic reporting of resource use. This is a great tool for testing contention issues and validating performance increases/decreases from code changes ... Source :



Relog Utility


The relog utility allows us to convert a native .blg performance monitor counter file to a csv version, which then allows us to easily import it into a variety of tools for further analysis ... Source : SQLServings - Blog Post



Trace Replay Tools


This post discusses the pros and cons of two trace replay tools used to simulate production load in test environments; SQL Profiler and Ostress, now included in RML Utilities. As well as providing a description of each tool, the post provides recommendations on which tool is appropriate for different scenarios ... Update; This codeplex tool can also be used to generate a load test using a Profiler trace ... Source : Microsoft SQL ISV Program Management Team - Blog Post 



SQL Nexus


SQL Nexus is a tool that helps you identify the root cause of SQL Server performance issues. It loads and analyzes performance data collected by SQLDiag and PSSDiag. Further information this tool is discussed in this blog post from Ken Henderson ... Source :



A SQL Profiler trace Swiss Army Knife


Have you ever needed to find your most expensive queries and quickly grew weary of writing T-SQL against trace tables to try to ferret them out?  Have you ever had to wade through gigabytes of trace data just to find one ill-behaving query?  Have you ever struggled to decide what performance metrics really matter when analyzing Profiler traces:  duration, reads, writes, etc? Ken Henderson recently wrote a tool to address precisely these issues ... Source : Ken Henderson - Blog Post



RML Utilities for Microsoft SQL Server Released


The Microsoft SQL Server support team uses several internally-written utilities to make it easier to work on a typical customer support case. These utilities may also be useful to database developers and system administrators. With the RML Utilities you can answer questions such as the following; 1) Which application, database or login is consuming the most resources, and which queries are responsible for that. 2) Whether there were any plan changes for a batch during the time when the trace was captured and how each of those plans performed. 3) What queries are running slower in today's data as compared to a previous set of data  ... Source : - PSS Server Engineers - Blog Post



Simulating Network Latency


Part of any good testing strategy is simulating the network conditions that exist in the production environment. One of the network attributes that needs to be taken into account is the latency, and is a particular issue with sites connected with high latency links such as satellite connections. In this post, John Paul Cook blogs about a tool that can be used to simulate higher network latency ... Source : John Paul Cook - - Blog Post



General Tips & Best Practices


PASS Summit follow up answers


Another 2009 PASS Summit follow up blog post from Bob, this one dealing with common questions he fielded during the Summit ... Source : Bob Ward - CSS SQL Server Engineers -



Wait Type Repository


As a follow on from the 2009 PASS summit, Bob has created this page as a wait type reference point, answering frequent questions on SQL Server wait types ... Source : Bob Ward - CSS SQL Server Engineers -



SQL Server 2005 OLTP Best Practices


Powerpoint slide from SEAS-2006 covering general SQL Server performance best practices ... Source : - Download



Top 6 OLTP Performance Problems


How to tell if performance problems are due to ; CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, Design or Blocking ... Source : - Technet Article



OLTP Blueprint - A Performance Profile of OLTP applications


This excellent blog post from the SQL CAT Team provides performance objectives for an OLTP application. They list counters, target values and the DMV or Performance counter to measure the objective  ... Source : Tom Davidson - SQL Server Customer Advisory Team - Blog Post



Performance Checklist


Grumpy lists 18 external factors that may reduce SQL Server performance. Items include Raid levels, AntiVirus Software, NIC Teaming, Drivers, Page Files, Windows Services and lots more ... Source : Grumpy Old DBA - - Blog Post



Disabling Windows Services not Required


Grumpy takes a look at improving system performance by shutting down windows services not required ... Source : Grumpy Old DBA - - Blog Post





In this post, Slava provides a great overview of the SQL Server Operating System (SQLOS), introduced in SQL Server 2005 to take advantage of emerging hardware trends such as NUMA and multicore cpus ... Source : Slava Oks - - Blog Post


Binary Collation - Worth the effort?


As Linchi points out, the performance benefits of binary collation is directly related to the string length, and varies from negligible to substantial ... Source : Linchi Shea -



Disk I/O Pressure


Bad habits to kick : ignoring I/O


A great post from Aaron covering a series of tips for reducing disk I/O, a sure fire way of improving performance ... Source : Aaron Bertrand - 



IO, IO, It’s Off To Disk We Go!


How do you determine that storage is a performance bottleneck on your system? Denny provides some hints from the perspectives of SQL Server, Windows and the Storage Array itself ... Source : Denny Cherry -



Easy Ways to Detect I/O Pressure in SQL Server 2008


In this post, Glen offers a series of DMV scripts that can be used to determine the existence of I/O pressure, an important diagnostic skill for any DBA ... Source : Glenn Berry - Blog Post 



Disk I/O Bottlenecks


Whilst Avg. disk sec/transfer is an important disk I/O performance indicator, it's an average, and therefore may mask an underlying acute performance problem. In this post, the PSS Engineers team remind us of a number of other disk I/O performance indicators to consider ... Source : PSS SQL Server Engineers - - Blog Post



Database File I/O Analysis


A good article from Yan which points out how the sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats DMF can be used to analyze database file I/O and subsequent opportunities to rebalance load ... Source : Yan Pan -



Ghost Cleanup


As Paul explains, disabling the ghost cleanup task can be beneficial in very busy databases with a very heavy delete load ... Source : Paul Randal -


CPU Pressure


Signal Waits


In addition to the classic CPU usage % performance counter, signal wait % is an important consideration when measuring SQL Server CPU pressure ... Source : Tom Davidson - - Blog Post



Is my system CPU bound ?


In this log post, Slava uses DMV's to answer questions such as 'Do I need more CPUs ?', 'Should I configure SQL Server to use more threads ?', and 'What is affinity of my schedulers to CPUs ?' ... Source : Slava Osk - Blog Post



Signal Waits, CPU and SQLOS Scheduler


High signal waits = CPU pressure right? Maybe not. In this post, Linchi refers to a blog from Mario Broodbakker who argues that it perhaps points to pressure on the SQLOS Scheduler ... Source : Linchi Shea - - Blog Post



Schedular Contention for concurrent BULK INSERTS


This example from the SQLCat team illustrates the inner workings of the SQLOS schedular mechanism, in turn explaining how CPU usage may be low despite significant processor contention ... Source : - Technical Note



Understanding/Diagnosing SQL Server Scheduling Problems 


Thanks to Kevin Kline for this link. This white paper thoroughly documents SQL Server scheduler health details and associated troubleshooting techniques. As Kevin comments in his blog, this paper will also cover reading and understanding SQL Server dump files  ... Source : - Technet Article

Memory Pressure


Locked pages in memory


Sankar provides a quick and painless way to determine if a SQL Server instance is using Locked Pages in Memory ... Source : Sankar Reddy -



Monitoring Memory Usage


A great post from Elisabeth on monitoring memory usage in SQL Server. The first part covers an overview of how memory is managed by SQL Server and the responsibility of its various components such as the Lazywriter and Checkpoint manager. She completes the post with coverage of the various performance monitor counters and how they can be used to detect memory pressure ... Source : Elisabeth Redei -



Memory Troubleshooting


Troubleshooting memory related errors and performance problems is arguably one of the more complex tuning tasks. In this post, SQL Server MVP Kevin Kline answers some common questions on this topic ... Source : Kevin Kline -



Does SQL Server always respond to memory pressure?


In this blog post, Slava talks about using the Max Server Memory option in SQL 2005, and have some suggested values based on total server memory. He also touches on the use of the "max worked threads" option ... Source : Slava Osk - Blog Post



Buffer Pool Usage by Database


In this post, Jason provides a script which breaks down the buffer (memory) usage per database, useful for troubleshooting memory pressure on systems with multiple databases ... Source : Jason Massie -



Paging Issue in x64 versions of SQL 2005


Whilst this KB Article is focused on a particular paging issue in SQL 2005, it does provide a good overview of how paging works in 64 bit Windows/SQL ... Source : - KB Article



Memory deep dive


The first of Ulrich's 9 part series on memory. Whilst not written for a SQL Server audience, it's a great read nonetheless. Lots to be learned here ... Source : Ulrich Drepper -


Compilation & Procedure Cache


Plan Caching in SQL Server 2008


In this paper, Greg explains the inner workings of plan caching in SQL Server 2008, including best practices for reducing recompilations and plan cache pollution ... Source : Greg Low - Technical Article -





It looks like Jason and I have shared the same nightmare. In this post, he explores the possible causes of the infamous Resource_Semaphore_Query_Compile error ... Source : Jason Massie -



Find the most expensive operations in Execution plans


As Mladen points out, analyzing very large execution plans can be difficult and time consuming. In this post, he shows us a method for quickly finding the most expensive sub-statements within the plan ... Source : Mladen Prajdic -



Query Optimizer Tricks


The execution plan chosen for a query depends upon a number of things including the volume of data present. In this post, Ben demonstrates a method for tricking the optimizer into thinking there's a lot more data present than there really is, which is very useful in performance testing exercises ... Source : Ben Nevarez -



Optimize for Unknown


Parameterized queries enable many benefits including plan reuse, however, the one downside is the possibility of the first execution creating a plan which leads to subsequent executions performing poorly. One of the options for addressing this issue is the OPTIMIZE FOR UNKNOWN option, covered in this blog post ... Source : SQL ISV Program Management Team - Blog Post



Plan Guides


Plan guides are useful in situations where the source query cannot be changed e.g.; a 3rd party application, but control over the execution plan is required. In this post, Sergey walks us through plan guides in both SQL Server 2005 and 2008 ... Source : Sergey Pustovit - SQL Server Support Blog



Diagnosing Plan Cache Related Performance Problems


In this post, Plan Cache problems are diagnosed using input from 3 sources; sys.dm_os_wait_stats, Performance Monitor counters and dbcc sqlperf(spinlockstats) ... Source : sangeethashekar - SQL Programmability & API Development Team Blog - Blog Post



Procedure Cache usage in 64Bit Systems


One of the great things about 64 bit systems is that the procedure cache has access to the full amount of memory, unlike 32 bit systems where AWE only provides access to memory above 4GB to the data cache. Whilst this is a big improvement, certain (bad) applications that do not parameterize their queries can overwhelm the cache with query plans that will never be reused limiting the effectiveness of the cache for data access. In this post, Lara looks at some of the ways we can tame such applications, including Forced Parameterization, Plan Guides and DBCC free proc cache ... Source : Lara Rubbelke - - Blog Post



Batch Compilation, Recompilation, and Plan Caching Issues in SQL Server 2005


This paper explains how batches are cached and reused in SQL Server 2005, and suggests best practices on maximizing reuse of cached plans. It also explains scenarios in which batches are recompiled, and gives best practices for reducing or eliminating unnecessary recompilations. ... Source : - Technet Article



Managing the Procedure Cache of Adhoc SQL


SQL Server 2008 introduces the "Optimize for Adhoc Workload" option which greatly assists in reducing Procedure Cache bloat from Adhoc SQL. In this post, Maciej introduces another option in this regard; the ability to clear the "bad" cache whilst retaining the "good" cache i.e.; disposing of Adhoc plans and keeping Stored Proc Plans. Great Stuff ... Source : Maciej - - Blog Post



Optimize for ad hoc workloads


In this post, Adam covers a new option in SQL Server 2008 called "Optimize for Ad Hoc Workloads" that enables the procedure cache to be used more effectively for applications with lots of ad hoc sql and little parameterization ... Source : Adam Machanic - - Blog Post



Parameterized queries and procedure cache


Perhaps the best blog post I've seen on the effect of non parameterized sql on the procedure cache. Tony uses an example that exhausts the procedure cache, and rewrites it using parameterization. He also shows how the procedure cache can be inspected to see the level of usage. Great stuff ... Source : Tony Rogerson - - Blog Post



Procedure Cache Size


At what point does SQL Server decide that the Plan Cache is getting too large? As this post points out, it depends on the version of SQL Server ... Source : WesleyB -



Plan Cache Sizing Q & A


In this post, Kalen answers questions originating from her SQL Server Magazine article on Plan Cache Sizing. How to calculate target memory and determining plan cache pressure limits ... Source : Kalen Delaney - - Blog Post



Ad Hoc vs. Parameterized


Linchi blogs about SQL Server's Forced Parameterization setting and its effects on transactions/sec  ... Source : Linchi Shea - - Blog Post



SP2 does NOT limit the amount of plan cache you can have 


Great blog post from Kalen covering the plan cache hard limit (or lack of) depending on the version of SQL Server you are running, and the differences in possible plan cache size between 32 and 64 bit versions  ... Source : Kalen Delaney - - Blog Post



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