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Microsoft® SQL Server 2000(TM) Performance Tuning Technical Reference Hardcover – 6 Aug 2001

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Tuning databases can be fun, if it's built into the pre-deployment time allocated to building a system. Tuning ceases to be fun when it's undertaken on a production system, overseen by an unhappy customer with crushing time constraints. Unfortunately, the latter scenario tends to be the more common. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Tuning Technical Reference provides database administrators and (to a lesser degree) developers with the information they need to extract maximum performance from Microsoft SQL Server 2000. This book favours optimisation of SQL Server that can be done via the administrative interface, rather than in application code.

Most of database tuning has to do with sacrificing one aspect of performance (say, disk storage capacity) for the improvement of another (such as the execution speed of a particular kind of query). The authors of this book--a team of consultants from a Texas company that specialises in database tuning, and one from Microsoft--take care to explain the trade-offs involved in various tuning decisions. Choose one option, they say, and performance metric A will improve at the expense of metric B. Having explained the design considerations for various tuning strategies, they walk their readers through how to do the tuning they're talking about. Instructions aren't for the clueless, but they're fully adequate for SQL Server users who know their way around the interface generally. --David Wall

Topics covered: how to make databases served by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 run as fast and as efficiently as possible by tweaking the way it runs. Emphasis is placed on read/write operations (including SQL Server's way of interacting with RAID arrays), performance monitors and settings for processor, disk and RAM usage. There's also a lot of information on capacity planning and system-sizing.

About the Author

Edward Whalen is an expert in database performance, administration, and backup recovery solutions.

Marcilina Garcia specializes in performance benchmarks, database design, and configuration.

Steve Adrien DeLuca Program Manager responsible for developing performance tools at Microsoft Corporation since 1998, Mr. DeLuca is currently developing performance and capacity planning solutions for Microsoft’s Distributed Management Division. While at Microsoft Mr. DeLuca has written three other books and has filed for eleven patents for work in capacity planning and performance. Prior to working at Microsoft, Mr. DeLuca worked as an architect engineer at Oracle Corporation, where he co-invented and developed the Oracle System Sizer. In addition to his work at Microsoft and Oracle, Mr. DeLuca has performed the function of performance engineer specializing in sizing and capacity planning for such organizations as DEC, Tandem, Apple, and the U.S. Air Force. Mr. DeLuca has been participating in performance benchmarks, developing performance tools, and lecturing about them around the world since 1980.

Michael Dean Thompson Dean Thompson has worked as a Senior Consultant for Performance Tuning Corporation and as a Technology Specialist with Microsoft for SQL Server in the Gulf Coast District. Prior to Microsoft, Dean was an application development consultant in Dallas with over 13 years of experience. Currently, Dean is working as a contract database analyst and data architect in the Houston area. When he is not working on SQL Server, he is developing web applications in ASP and Perl, or performance tuning his Ford Mustang. Dean can be reached at His website is

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Performance tuning, capacity planning, and sizing are exciting subjects, offering a great deal of variety and new learning experiences. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Look elsewhere 17 May 2004
By Mr. Jan Tari - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on the basis of the glowing recommendations here. As I have a number of servers to tune which execute some extremely complex SQL, and I need to be able to look inside with Perfmon and the profiler, I thought this book would be very useful. I particularly wanted help with sysmon.
This book gave me virtually nothing. Its coverage of tuning was shallow, information was repeated unnecessarily, text was copied almost verbatim from BOL, and it provided little or nothing that couldn't be found elsewhere and easily.
It tries to cover everything at the cost of giving real value. For example it provides 15 pages on data warehousing of which 12 are a description of data warehousing so cursory that if you don't know the subject you'll only be confused, and 3 pages on actual tuning which basically say that you should find out whether the bottleneck is CPU/disk/memory then add more CPU/disk/memory respectively.
Sizing and capacity planning are introduced with seven equations without justification. Okay, but completions C is given as the number of transactions that were completed during the observation period, but on the facing page C = 96 seconds [sic]. Did anyone proof-read this? With these and numerous other oddities (trunc. log on chkpt on SQL2000?) I don't know what I can trust.
The mathematics for this section is done and finished in 6 pages.
I was particularly looking for a comprehensive description of sysmon counters. Other than a quick rundown of the obvious ones there's a long list in the appendix of others, including such gems as "lock blocks allocated: the total number of allocated lock blocks". The whole point of buying this book was to find out how to use them, or indeed what they mean (Skipped Ghosted Records/Sec - means what?); merely giving me a list of them is redundant. This was the biggest letdown for me - I need this info!
There are other important omissions. I have spent literally weeks identifying and working round failures in the query plan optimiser. This serious issue is not properly addressed except for a chapter introducing query hints. A taxonomy of optimiser failures and ways of tackling each type might save others from the headaches I've had. Optimiser hints do not always suffice.
The book is rated on the back for user levels IT Implementer and Corporate Developer. That is far too generous.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Performance, Performance, Performance 5 Nov. 2002
By Lou Gutnicki - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I tell my clients and users that the two most important services that a DBA provides are security and performance, but not necessarily in that order. If you are a professional SQL Server DBA or a DBA wannabe, performance has to be one of your top skills.

This book, by Edward Whalen, gives you the information that you will need to accomplish the very important task of planning a new SQL Server installation. There is a lot of very useful discussion that relate the physical hardware parameters of the server to the expected performance that users will experience. This discussion includes a comprehensive survey of how the I/O subsytem contributes to the overall server performance. There are also two chapters on sizing and capacity planning, with carefully worked-through examples detailing how to size memory and how to determine appropriate disk and processor configurations for a new installation.
Of course, the other major task in the performance arena is troubleshooting. Although Whalen's book doesn't present a performance troubleshooting checklist, the major theme of this book centers on recognizing and remediating performance problems. In many cases, the book also discusses the origins of the preformance problems. By the time you internalize this book, you'll be able write your own troubleshooting checklist.
In my opinion, the two best aspects of this book are:
a) Unlike some other "Performance" books that I have read, this book focuses on performance and not a million other things. It discusses performance, not DTS, not Security, not Internet, etc. It just talks about performance.
b) With the Acknowledgments section thanking Bill Gates twice, and this book being written by Microsoft insiders, I would have expected lots of hype. Pleasantly suprising, but true, this book has no hype. Just plain facts about performance. Good show.
I did have one small disappointment with this book, though - I was hoping to get more insight into the use of the Query Analyzer execution plan tools. The fact is that Whalen's discussion of this facility is probably the best information that's out there, but it still falls short. If the authors write another edition, we would all benefit if they could work up some detailed examples that explain the various aspects of the execution plan tools. It would be super if they would provide samples that we could download.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Introduction to performance tuning 7 Sept. 2004
By Ww Leenen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The `SQL Server 2000 Performance Tuning' provides the reader with an extensive overview of the functionality that MSS2000 has for performance tuning. This book has been written by the manufacturer of MS2000, and has therefore some specific properties a reader has to taken into account. One of them is that every single tuning-feature is mentioned, although their relative impact (hence importance) on performance is not discussed. Another one is the white-book nature of the information presented; very general advice for the entrylevel DBA. For example: in the chapter `Hi-performance Backup and recovery' (it has only 18 pages) is says: "plan full backups for off hours", " use differential backups", "use multiple data files" etc.

This book has the title `Technical Reference' and should be regarded as such. The DBA, working in a company which doesn't consider performance-tuning important enough to dedicate a policy to, who is confronted with a sudden structural diminishing of performance and is to find out where this bottleneck stems from will not benefit from this book. For example, the book dedicates a mere two pages on "interpreting Graphical Execution Plans" and gives only 1 example. For a useful checklist on where to look first when confronted with the so-called `query from hell' one should read other books. But for the novice in tuning, the one who is unfamiliar to concepts like locks, RAID, system monitor, I/O,page vs rowlevel, differential backups, how to log in on queryanalyzer, index tuning wizard, etc this book can serve as an introduction. But once past this introduction, this book has served it's purpose.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good book to have just for reference 31 Jan. 2006
By Elijah Li - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Had this book for a while and only used it for couple times. I found some scripts that are useful for me in Chapter 17 (Tuning SQL Statements and Stored Procedures). I wrote two scripts which I assigned the jobs on SQL Server Agent and allow the Agent do its work at 3 a.m every day when the average connections between 5 to 10 concurrent users. The book does covered other areas such as system I.O (Hardware & RAID configuration) and SQL Analyzer which I already know. I would recommand other book over this one (Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Administrator's Pocket Consultant-ISBN 0-7356-1129-7). The most useful part of this book is Chapter 17 for me. This is good book for someone who needs to know how to optimized your hardware investment and tune your SQL server. It is a good book to have if you don't mind spending $50.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 29 Dec. 2003
By Robert A. Reding - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considering the difficulty of the topic, this book is a fairly easy read. The single best thing about the book is that the advice is actionable. You can read this book and immediately begin tuning.
Coverage is excellent - performance tuning, capacity planning, setting up disk drives, managing cpu, I/O, network, and memory, index tuning, backups, replication, OLTP versus OLAP, etc.
For each subject area, the authors explain the applicable concepts and SQL Server tools, and then systematically explain their application using practical examples.
Compared to other performance tuning books, it is an 80/20 book. By this I mean that the authors focus on what is most important and then move on to the next topic. They don't get carried away demonstrating how much they know about each concept or go into the minutia of the options of each SQL Server tool.
I hope they write more books.
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