Maximizing SQL Database Performance: A Quick Guide

Maximizing SQL Database Performance: A Quick Guide

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One thing you’ll learn in a database 101 class is how to identify bottlenecks in your system. For example, instead of trying to resolve each issue individually, you should try to improve online performance for all your users. 

These 6 tips can rectify issues impacting your performance.


6 Tips You’ll Need to Improve SQL Database Performance

The best way to improve your database (DB) performance analysis is with a DPA (Database Performance Analyzer), as it’ll flag common problems we’ll discuss in the following section.


SQL Database Performance Tip 1: Optimize Queries 

In the vast majority of cases, database performance issues are caused by inefficient queries. To fix this problem, you’ll need to optimize the query, but this can be tricky to do manually. You have to understand if you need to write a subquery, join, or if an EXISTS or IN function is better.

Since a query can fail to run for many reasons, a database performance analyzer is the easiest way to narrow down the problem. Eventually, you’ll be able to locate inefficient queries yourself.


SQL Database Performance Tip 2: Improve Indexes

Another critical aspect of any SQL database is the index. An index contains keys built from one or more columns in a table or view. These keys are stored in a structure that helps the server find the rows associated with the key, but inefficient code can slow down the process.

A query optimizer can execute each available method for retrieving data in the most efficient way possible. If no indexes are available, it’ll use a table scan, which is typically much faster.


SQL Database Performance Tip 3: Defragment Data

Learning how to defragment data in an SQL database is vital, especially if you’ve been using your database for a long time. Overtime, so much data is being written, rewritten, and deleted from your database that it eventually becomes totally fragmented, which tanks your speeds.

When you defragment data, you’re allowing relevant data to be grouped together, erasing index page issues. Now, your I/O-related operations will become streamlined and run much faster.


SQL Database Performance Tip 4: Boost the CPU

The central processing unit (CPU) fetches, decodes, and executes information. A better CPU will naturally translate to a faster database, which is why you should upgrade to a higher-class CPU if your performance is suffering. Plus, a good CPU can handle multiple requests at once.

To assess your CPU, consider all elements of its performance, such as core count, cache size, socket compatibility, core clock frequency, thermal design power, and total number of threads.


SQL Database Performance Tip 5: Increase Memory

All computer functions need enough memory to work correctly, but even if it seems like you have enough of it, your database may be stealing most of your server’s RAM. To see if your database needs more memory, check the amount of page faults your system server has. 

If you have a high number of faults, your hosts are either completely out of memory or are running low on RAM. You’ll need to increase your memory allocation to increase efficiency. 


SQL Database Performance Tip 6: Review Access

If your hardware isn’t the cause of your poor database performance, then review your database access. This includes applications accessing your database. Although it’s possible that a single app or service is affecting your performance, it’s also likely that the whole database is the issue.

You’ll need to figure out what app or service, if any, is causing the problem. Once you narrow down the culprit, look into its metrics to examine the root cause and solve it for good.

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