Identifying and Fixing Forwarded Records Performance Issue

Before going through the Forwarded Records performance issue and resolving it, we need to review the structure of the SQL Server tables.

Table Structure Overview

In SQL Server, the fundamental unit of the data storage is the 8-KB Pages. Each page starts with a 96-byte header that stores the system information about that page. Then, the table rows will be stored on the data pages serially after the header. At the end of the page, the row offset table, that contains one entry for each row, will be stored opposite to the sequence of the rows in the page. This row offset entry shows how far the first byte of that row is located from the start of the page.


Monitoring Azure SQL Database with Azure SQL Analytics

The most important and challenging responsibility of a database administrator is monitoring performance metrics. Because monitoring performance and troubleshooting performance issues are considered to be difficult. For this reason, we need diagnostic and monitoring tools to measure performance counters and metrics. For Azure SQL there is a tool which is named SQL Analytics. With this tool, we can measure and monitor Azure SQL databases and elastic pools. At the same time, we can create alerts for notifications. SQL Analytics offers performance metrics in graphical form. In this article, we will learn how to enable Azure SQL Analytics. (more…)

Azure SQL Database Automatic Tuning

Microsoft has recently announced an incredible new feature – automatic tuning in Azure SQL Database. To be honest, I am thoroughly impressed with this feature because Microsoft engineers have sophisticatedly used artificial intelligence in SQL Azure performance tuning. The aim is to monitor Azure SQL database and send these observations to the built-in intelligence service that generates some recommendations. They can be applied at offpeak times. This feature has also simplified the work of database administrators; they don’t have to worry about SQL Azure database performance now.


Understanding the Importance of Memory Setting in SQL Server

Memory is one among the resources forming the performance triangle—CPU and storage being the other two. If one is hit, the other two take the load to try to bring the performance to acceptable levels, but there’s always the trade-off. Whatever transactions cannot be committed to the memory they would be forwarded to the disk subsystem by SQL Server. This causes a performance bottleneck. Therefore, the wait statistics can help identify performance issues on a SQL Server.

In this article, the following topics are discussed:

  1. Understanding internals of SQL Server memory setting and configuration
  2. The SQL Server memory and its impact on the database and application performance
  3. Discuss various SQL Server components that contribute to the memory usage
  4. Best practices and recommendation for memory sizing
  5. Multi-server memory report
  6. And more…


Real-Time Operational Analytics and Non-Clustered Column Store Index

In this article, we will focus on real time operational analytics and how to apply this approach to an OLTP database. When we look at the traditional analytical model, we can see OLTP and analytic environments are separate structures. First of all, the traditional analytic model environments need to create ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) tasks. Because we need to transfer transactional data to the data warehouse. These types of architecture have some disadvantages. They are cost, complexity and data latency. In order to eliminate these disadvantages, we need a different approach.  (more…)

Using Indexes in SQL Server Memory-Optimized Tables


In this article, we will discuss how different types of indexes in SQL Server memory-optimized tables affect performance. We will examine examples of how different index types can affect the performance of memory-optimized tables.

To make the topic discussion easier, we will make use of a rather large example. For the purposes of simplicity, this example will feature different replicas of a single table, against which we will run different queries. These replicas will use different indexes, or no indexes at all (except, of course, the primary keys – PKs).

Note, that the actual purpose of this article is not to compare performance between disk-based and memory-optimized tables in SQL Server per se. Its purpose is to examine how indexes affect performance in memory-optimized tables. However, in order to have a full picture of the experiments, timings are also provided for the corresponding disk-based table queries and the speedups are calculated using the most optimal configuration of disk-based tables as baselines.


Implementing a Common MS SQL Server Performance Indicator


There is often a need to create a performance indicator that would show database activity related to the previous period or specific day. In the article titled “Implementing SQL Server Performance Indicator for Queries, Stored Procedures, and Triggers”, we provided an example of implementing this indicator.

In this article, we are going to describe another simple way to track how and how long the query execution takes, as well as how to retrieve execution plans for each time point. 

This method is especially useful in the cases when you need to generate daily reports, so you can not only automate the method but also add it to the report with minimum technical details.

In this article, we will explore an example of implementing this common performance indicator where Total Elapsed Time will serve as a metric.


SQL Server Index Backward Scan: Understanding, Tuning

Table indexing strategy is one of the most important performance tuning and optimization keys. In SQL Server, the indexes (both, clustered and nonclustered) are created using a B-tree structure, in which each page acts as a doubly linked list node, having an information about the previous and the next pages. This B-tree structure, called Forward Scan,  makes it easier to read the rows from the index by scanning or seeking its pages from the beginning to the end. Although the forward scan is the default and heavily known index scanning method, SQL Server provides us with the ability to scan the index rows within the B-tree structure from the end to the beginning. This ability is called the Backward Scan. In this article, we will see how this happens and what are the pros and cons of the Backward scanning method. (more…)