SQL Server Database Performance

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

If you are struggling with SQL query freezes, hangs, timeouts, and reports running too long you have come to the right place! These problems can be solved with a simple software install (no reboot) like thousands of customers have experienced. Learn why and how here!

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 SQL task will increase the server’s performance of the application.

Experiencing any of these SQL issues?

  • 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
SQL Server Database Performance - DymaxIO Fast Data Software Solves Performance Issues

The truth is that excess and noisy I/O has been found to be the root cause of numerous SQL Server database performance problems such as those listed above. This is crucial because you can solve I/O troubles at their source without code changes and without expensive new hardware.

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.

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 11, Windows 10, or Windows Server 2019).

Joey D’Antoni, Senior Architect and SQL Server MVP,  said it best in the Improving SQL Server Virtual Machine Storage Performance webinar:

“Probably the most important component of databases is to reduce the amount of I/O they do and to have fast I/O because if you don’t do either of those things your user experience is going to be pretty terrible.”

To understand this better we need to look at the 2 Windows I/O inefficiencies that rob SQL Server database performance.

Two Server I/O Inefficiencies

How I/O inefficiencies affect SQL Server database performance:

Windows I/O Tax

The first is the caused by the behavior of the Windows file system. No matter where you run Windows and no matter what kind of storage environment you run Windows on, Windows still penalizes optimal performance due to severe write inefficiencies in the hand-off of data to storage.

Files are always broken down to be much smaller than they need to be. Each piece means a dedicated I/O operation to process the write or read, which causes an enormous amount of noisy, unnecessary I/O traffic that chews up precious IOPS, erodes throughput, and causes everything to run slower no matter how many IOPS are at your disposal.

30-40% of I/O traffic is nothing but mere noise, stealing resources and robbing optimal performance – no matter the Windows storage environment.

The I/O Blender Effect

The second is storage I/O contention, also known as the I/O Blender Effect, which happens when you have multiple systems all sharing the same storage resource.

As small, fractured I/O traffic from several virtual machines pass through the physical host hypervisor (Hyper-V or VMware), the hypervisor acts like a blender. It mixes these I/O streams, causing a randomization of storage I/O packets, before sending out a chaotic mess of small, fractured, and very random I/O streams to the storage controller.

It is essentially amplifying the Windows I/O tax multiple times causing even more performance penalty.

Your performance is penalized twice by these storage I/O inefficiencies causing systems to process workloads about 50% slower than they should.

unhealthy io

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”.

io blender healthy io

This is what a healthy I/O stream SHOULD look like in order to get optimum performance from your hardware infrastructure.

Boost SQL Server Database Performance Now – No Code Changes

DymaxIO includes Condusiv’s patented solutions that 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.

DymaxIO electrifies SQL Server database performance 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.

Microsoft has certified Condusiv’s software for SQL I/O Reliability and Demonstrates Significant SQL Performance Gains! Condusiv's MS-SQL Server I/O Reliability

Condusiv’s “Set It and Forget It” software optimizes both writes and reads to solve your toughest SQL application performance challenges. In fact, with thousands of customers and 30+ published case studies, we guarantee it. Install DymaxIO on your most troublesome servers, follow the best practice tips below, and watch your SQL performance problems disappear.

Lab Test Results: Faster SQL Server Database Performance

You can see the massive performance increases. We recommend you try DymaxIO and see for yourself.

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

Best Practice Tips to Boost SQL Performance with DymaxIO

By following the best practices outlined here, users can achieve a 2X or faster boost in MS-SQL performance with Condusiv’s DymaxIO fast data performance software.

  • 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 40% of I/O traffic, consider adding more memory for the software to leverage and watch the benefit rise on read-heavy apps.
    • Add up to 16GB of DRAM for blazing results. If you cannot add 16GB, then add 8GB or at least 4GB. 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.

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What People are Saying

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