SQL Server Database Performance

How do I get the most performance from my SQL Server?

SQL Server applications are typically the most I/O intensive applications for any enterprise and thus are prone to suffer performance degradation. Anything a database administrator can do to reduce the amount of I/O necessary to complete a task will increase the server’s performance of the application.

Excess and noisy I/O has typically been found to be the root cause of numerous SQL performance problems such as:

  • SQL query timeouts
  • SQL crashes
  • SQL latency
  • Slow data transfers
  • Slow or sluggish SQL based-applications
  • Reports taking too long
  • Back office batch jobs bleeding over into production hours
  • User complaints; users having to wait for data

Some of the most common actions DBAs often resort to are:

  • Tuning queries to minimize the amount of data returned.
  • Adding extra spindles or flash for performance
  • Increased RAM
  • Index maintenance to improve read and/or write performance.

Watch On Demand Webinar: Improving SQL Server Virtual Machine Storage Performance

Most performance degradation is a software problem that can be solved by software

None of these actions will prevent hardware bottlenecks that occur due to the FACT that 30-40% of performance is being robbed by small, fractured, random I/O being generated due to the Windows operating system (that is, any Windows operating system, including Windows 10 or Windows Server 2019).

Two Server I/O Inefficiencies

As the storage layer has been logically separated from the compute layer and more systems are being virtualized, Windows handles I/O logically rather than physically which means it breaks down reads and writes to their lowest common denominator, creating tiny, fractured, random I/O that creates a “noisy” environment that becomes even worse in a virtual environment due to the “I/O blender effect”.

This is what a healthy I/O stream SHOULD look like in order to get optimum performance from your hardware infrastructure. With a nice healthy relationship between I/O and data, you get clean contiguous writes and reads with every I/O operation.

Return Optimum Performance – Solve the Root Cause, Instantly

Condusiv’s patented solutions address root cause performance issues at the point of origin where I/O is created by ensuring large, clean contiguous writes from Windows to eliminate the “death by a thousand cuts” scenario of many small writes and reads that chew up performance. Condusiv solutions electrify performance of windows servers even further with the addition of DRAM caching – using idle, unused DRAM to serve hot reads without creating an issue of memory contention or resource starvation. Condusiv’s “Set It and Forget It” software optimizes both writes and reads to solve your toughest application performance challenges Video: Condusiv I/O Reduction Software Overview.

Lab Test Results with V-locity I/O reduction software installed

Best Practice Tips to Boost SQL Performance with V-locity

By following the best practices outlined here, users can achieve a 2X or faster boost in MS-SQL performance with Condusiv’s V-locity I/O reduction software.

  • Provision an additional 4-16GB of memory to the SQL Server if you have additional memory to give
  • Cap MS-SQL memory usage, leaving the additional memory for the OS and our software. Note – Condusiv software will leverage whatever is unused by the OS
  • If no additional memory to add, cap SQL memory usage leaving 8GB for the OS and our software Note – This may not achieve 2X gains but will likely boost performance 30-50% as SQL is highly inefficient with its memory usage
  • Download and install the software. No SQL code changes needed. No reboot required. Note – Allow 24 hours for algorithms to adjust.
  • After a few days in production, pull up the dashboard and look for a 50% reduction in I/O traffic to storage Note – if offloading less than 50% of I/O traffic, consider adding more memory for the software to leverage and watch the benefit rise on read heavy apps.

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Finding The Right Solution

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What People are Saying

Slide “Typically, IT professionals respond to application performance issues by reactively buying more hardware. Without the luxury of a padded budget, we needed to find a way to improve performance on the hardware infrastructure we already have. It saved us from having to make a heavy investment in SSDs or do a complete rip and replace of our entire hardware infrastructure. To this day, I still can’t believe software is doing this.” R. Ortiz, IT Manager, ASL Marketing Slide “I have been using Diskeeper for many years, it is installed as a routine on all servers, networked clients, SHO and any other computer. It has never presented any problem and has always demonstrated improved drive performance in both servers and clients. With each new release Condusiv does not merely provide "window dressing", they actually improve the product with the objective of making it easier to use, more reliable, more effective and easier to use."
Mark Sills, Systems Administrator / Manager, Home User
Slide “I have used Diskeeper since it was first introduced. It has always worked well in keeping my drive defragged for the fastest response times for all of my apps. Thank you again for this fine piece of software.” Philip Baldwin, NVQB Slide “The Undelete software that we use on all our Regional Servers is undoubtedly worth every penny. It has saved our Techs numerous hours in restoring files inadvertently deleted as opposed to having to restore from backup tape.” Michael Lucas, Gancom (Division of Gannet Fleming) Slide “Undelete saves backup restores when someone accidentally deletes a file from a Windows share. We store tapes off site so Undelete can save a big delay for file restores of that type. Undelete does what it says on the box – really - and it works nicely as a network recycle bin.” Glenn Edwards, Infrastructure Analyst, Itron

What People are Saying

“Typically, IT professionals respond to application performance issues by reactively buying more hardware. Without the luxury of a padded budget, we needed to find a way to improve performance on the hardware infrastructure we already have. It saved us from having to make a heavy investment in SSDs or do a complete rip and replace of our entire hardware infrastructure. To this day, I still can’t believe software is doing this.” R. Ortiz, IT Manager, ASL Marketing

“I have used Diskeeper since it was first introduced. It has always worked well in keeping my drive defragged for the fastest response times for all of my apps. Thank you again for this fine piece of software.” Philip Baldwin, NVQB

“The Undelete software that we use on all our Regional Servers is undoubtedly worth every penny. It has saved our Techs numerous hours in restoring files inadvertently deleted as opposed to having to restore from backup tape.” Michael Lucas, Gancom (Division of Gannet Fleming)

“Undelete saves backup restores when someone accidentally deletes a file from a Windows share. We store tapes off site so Undelete can save a big delay for file restores of that type. Undelete does what it says on the box – really – and it works nicely as a network recycle bin.” Glenn Edwards, Infrastructure Analyst, Itron

“I have been using Diskeeper for many years, it is installed as a routine on all servers, networked clients, SHO and any other computer. It has never presented any problem and has always demonstrated improved drive performance in both servers and clients. With each new release Condusiv does not merely provide “window dressing”, they actually improve the product with the objective of making it easier to use, more reliable, more effective and easier to use.” Mark Sills, Systems Administrator / Manager, Home User