Performance tuning advanced SQL Server workloads is as much of an art form as it is a science. Tuning involves looking at storage performance, interconnect speeds, physical server tweaks, virtualization host-layer optimization, VM construction, and operating systems – both Windows and Linux – and then finally we can start looking at the SQL Server instance and databases. It’s a significant challenge and one that has many silos within IT organizations shooting in the dark on their own. The left hand isn’t communicating clearly with the right hand, so to speak, and the SQL server database performance tuning tasks may not have the desired effect, both at a micro level and at a macro level.
So, what’s the “right” approach? In successful larger SQL Server environments, we find that the two-step approach creates the greatest bang for the buck. First, establish the most optimal reference architecture for enterprise-virtualized SQL Servers using industry-standard best practices. In this case, it’s the SQL Server on VMware best practices guidance from VMware Corporation. This guide presents many general and specific optimizations that help your SQL Server data platform get most of the way there with a common set of improvements from which all SQL Server workloads will benefit.
That gets you to 80% of the way to an optimal database and data platform. The second step is to understand the workload characteristics, database design, usage patterns, and data hotspots within the databases themselves. Take the reference architecture standards and improve even more when you can tune for the application’s specific database workload, largely around CPU usage and storage command path optimization. Leverage the optimizations underneath to further minimize any bottlenecks that might be brewing and squeeze the most performance out of your enterprise databases.
Let Oleg Ulyanov, author of the SQL Server on VMware Best Practices Guide and Senior Cloud Architect with VMware Corporation, and David Klee, Microsoft Data Platform MVP, VMware vExpert, and Founder of Heraflux Technologies, guide you through this on-demand VMware performance tuning two-step dance with a one-hour deep-dive webinar so that you know all of the major points to look for and then optimize to get the most out of your SQL Servers!