Performing fast SQL Server delete operations

There have been quite a few queries on the forums this past week with regard to performing fast delete operations on large tables and I wanted to share some of the possible solutions here with you. Fast ordered delete using a view To perform a fast ordered delete, take a look at the article Fast Ordered [...]

Reporting Services date control issue using Analysis Services data source

Here’s a solution to an issue that you may have come up against when designing a SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) report requiring Datetime parameters, that uses a SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) data source. What’s the problem? When you create a dataset from a SSAS data source, by default the date values returned from [...]

Whitepaper: Troubleshooting Performance Problems in SQL Server 2008

No doubt you already know that I love nothing more than getting my hands on excellent technical resources for SQL Server. Well hot off the press is the latest Whitepaper offering from Microsoft that looks at troubleshooting performance problems in SQL Server 2008. Naturally you may already be familiar with some of the techniques and [...]

The SQL Server Buffer Pool and Buffer Cache Hit Ratio

Buffer Cache Hit Ratio

There seems to be some confusion surrounding Buffer Cache Hit Ratio and the SQL Server Buffer Cache. Having answered several queries concerning this over the last few weeks on a variety of forums I thought I would post here in order set the record straight. What is the SQL Server Buffer Cache? The Buffer Cache [...]

Automate SQL Server Index Defragmentation,Optimisation

This week I came across what could quite possibly be, the best SQL Server index defrag script I have seen. This little beauty is fully customisable and is freely available courtesy of Michelle Ufford (aka SQL Fool) on her blog As you know, it is just not practical to use a SQL Server Maintenance [...]

SQL Server Memory Configuration, Determining MemToLeave Settings

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Determining the appropriate memory configuration for a SQL Server platform is a task that all database administrators are required to perform. It is essential to ensuring that an appropriate level of performance can be provided. I am going to discuss some of the additional memory configuration tweaking that you may wish to undertake so that [...]

SQL Server Stuff Discovered This Week

Virtualisation As you may already know, I am big fan of the work of Brent Ozar, a talented SQL Server professional and online author of excellent quality SQL Server content. I particularly enjoy his podcast series and think the clear, direct style of his presentations are brilliant. You can learn a great deal in a [...]

Performance Comparison of (SELECT TOP 1) Verses MAX()

Figure 1: Select Top query, with no index.

I recently came across a post on Stackoverflow regarding the performance of using a SELECT TOP 1 query in comparison to using the MAX() function. My initial thoughts on this were that the MAX() function would provide the best performance however, in order to be absolutely certain and prove my initial hypothesis I decided to [...]

Finding Bad Indexes Using SQL Server DMVs

Today I want to show you how to go about finding bad indexes. SQL Server indexes are often promoted as the answer to all of our performance optimisation needs. It may then surprise you to hear that indexes can also be bad for performance. “What are you yapping on about John” I hear you shout. [...]

What is your biggest SQL Server mistake?


You know the one I am talking about. We have all been there at some point. You get that awful feeling of dread as a chilling realisation sets in and you ask yourself, oh my god did that actually just happen. Sure you can laugh about it now though, right. So come on and share [...]

New SQL Server Resources

    One of the joys of working with SQL Server technologies is that there are some truly great knowledge resources available for use. You just have to know where to look. With the volume of information available it can be difficult to sift out the really good stuff. I know throughout my time as [...]

Disaster Recovery Planning – Getting Started

The starting point for a rock solid disaster recovery (DR) strategy is to establish what the true cost of server/platform downtime would be to the business. The project will require you to collaborate with your key business decision makers and you will need to communicate to them what the associated costs of downtime are and [...]

TempDB configuration, optimal number of data files to use

Have you ever wondered what is the optimal configuration for your tempdb database within SQL Server? There is often significant debate surrounding this subject and so Paul S. Randal, discusses using multiple files for a user DB on a multi-core box in an effort to set the record straight. I have been doing some very [...]

Performance Dashboard Report – Datatype Overflow Error

When you try to execute the Performance Dashboard Reports for the first time, you may be presented with an error of the form: “the difference of two datetime columns caused overflow at runtime” This is because the DATEDIFF function returns an int value and once you have a connection that is more than 24 days [...]

Being Organised

An essential skill trait for a good DBA in my view is being organised. With the responsibility of administering and managing vast numbers of servers/jobs/processes simultaneously across the globe, it goes without saying that being organised can come in handy. What with so much going on at any given time, it can be tricky to [...]