Saturday, 23 March 2019

SQL Server Performance Quick Fixer


Performance is a big issue for Microsoft SQL server. Every developer faces the Problem of Query performance and they are try to tune the query accordingly.
Performance of Microsoft SQL Server can be hampering for N number of reason including hardware and networking. We have to find the proper reason behind it.
It need time to find the proper reason and provide an actual solution for that.
It just likes our real world situation.
Suppose we have fever and we go to Doctor for treatment. Doctor knows very well that fever is not a disease, it just a symptoms of disease.  To find the root cause of the disease, Doctors provide us some Tests but before that he needs to provide some quick solution for Fever by providing tablets.
Here in this article, we are trying to prove some quick fix of the Performance related problem without finding the actual cause. We can also tell them the common mistake that we have done with Microsoft SQL Server.

Quick Solution for Performance

Auto Create Statistics in SQL Server

Most of the Microsoft SQL Server Database does not have Auto Create Statistic On.
The statistical histograms are used by the Query Optimizer to choose the optimal query execution plan. If a query predicate contains a column with statistics, the Query Optimizer does not have to estimate the number of rows affected by that query, thus the Query Optimizer has enough information to create the execution plan.
The SQL Server creates statistics in different ways:

  • The statistics are automatically created for each new index.

  • If the database setting AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS is on, then the SQL Server will automatically create statistics for non-indexed columns that are used in your queries.
When we set the AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS option on, the Query Optimizer creates statistics on individual columns used in a predicate, if these statistics are not already available. These statistics are necessary to generate the query plan. They are created on columns that do not have a histogram in an existing statistics object.
These statistics are used by the Query Optimizer to determine the optimal Query Execution Plan.
We can enable the automatic statistics creation by running this SQL statement:


Auto Update Statistics in SQL Server

Statistics are checked before query compilation or before executing a cached query plan. Statistics are considered out-of-date when:

  • There was a data change on an empty table.

  • The number of rows in the table was 500 or less at the time of statistics creation and the column modification counter of the leading column of the statistics object has changed by more than 500 since then.

  • The table had more than 500 rows when the statistics were gathered, and the column modification counter of the leading column of the statistics object has changed by more than 500 + 20% of the number of rows in the table when the statistics were gathered.

  • A table in TempDB with less than 6 rows had at least 6 row modifications.
We can turn on automatic statistics update by running this SQL statement:


The outdated statistics can cause a lot of performance issues therefore it is recommended to enable it. The default option is ON.  The usual symptoms of non-updated statistics are suboptimal query plans and degraded performance. You can also set the database to update statistics asynchronously:


 If we enable this option then the Query Optimizer will run the query first and update the outdated statistics afterwards. When you set this option to OFF, the Query Optimizer will update the outdated statistics before compiling the query. This option can be useful in OLTP environments while it can have negative effects in data warehouses.

Database AutoGrowth

We use SQL Server database Autogrowth setting to automate database file growth. This property is very helpful if you use it carefully with proper planning. But there can be a negative performance impact on your database if we don’t give attention on it and leave it with default values. If we have too many autogrow events in our database, it can degrade the overall performance of the database. Below are the points that we can consider to reduce the autogrow events in a database to improve performance.
Auto growth events are expensive operations that slow down the performance of our database because whenever an auto-growth event is performed, SQL Serverholds up database processing. This equates to slower response time for those SQLcommands that are being processing against the database that is growing.

Best Practice

We can improve the database performance and can manage the disk space utilization by focusing on below points. This will also reduce the number of Autogrowth events to be occurred in the database files.
1.    Analyze your database growth pattern and set optimum size of database with the analyzed growth settings. Our database should have enough size that it never grows and if it grows make sure that Instant file initialization should be enabled on that SQL Server Instance.  This will drastically reduce the Autogrowth events in day to day life.

2.    Proactively monitor database file sizes and their autogrowth events. This helps us to analyze the growth pattern of database files and avoid fragmentation.

3.    Consider defragmenting your database file system if we have lot of auto-growth events occurred on your databases.

4.    Never leave your database autogrowth with default values, change it as per growth pattern that you analyzed over time.

5.    Avoid using autogrowth in percentage; rather give a specific amount of size in MB/GB. Microsoft suggests to set your autogrow setting to about one-eighth the size of the file and test it before deploying on PROD.

6.    Turn on the <MAXSIZE> setting for each file to prevent any one file from growing to a point where it uses up all available disk space.

7.    The growth increment of our transaction log must be large enough to stay ahead of the needs of your transaction units. Even with autogrow turned on, you can receive a message that the transaction log is full, if it cannot grow fast enough to satisfy the needs of your query.

Identifying the Missing Index

When we think about the performance of the query, the very first time we have to think about index. Finding the proper column of a table for indexing is a challenge.
We can identify missing indexes in your SQL queries by 3 ways primarily —
·         Running the Database Engine Tuning Advisor

·         Executing Missing Index Dynamic Management Views

·         SQL Server Engine prompts missing indexes when you generate Execution Plans in SSMS

         user_seeks * avg_total_user_cost * ( avg_user_impact * 0.01 )) AS   
         [index_advantage] ,
         migs.last_user_seek ,
         mid.[statement] AS [Database.Schema.Table] ,
         mid.equality_columns ,
         mid.inequality_columns ,
         mid.included_columns ,
         migs.unique_compiles ,
         migs.user_seeks ,
         migs.avg_total_user_cost ,
         migs.avg_user_impact ,
         OBJECT_NAME(mid.[object_id]) AS [Table Name] ,
         p.rows AS [Table Rows]
FROM     sys.dm_db_missing_index_group_stats AS migs WITH ( NOLOCK )
         INNER JOIN sys.dm_db_missing_index_groups AS mig WITH ( NOLOCK )
         ON migs.group_handle = mig.index_group_handle
         INNER JOIN sys.dm_db_missing_index_details AS mid WITH ( NOLOCK )
         ON mig.index_handle = mid.index_handle
         INNER JOIN sys.partitions AS p WITH ( NOLOCK )
         ON p.[object_id] = mid.[object_id]
WHERE    mid.database_id = DB_ID()
ORDER BY index_advantage DESC

Identify Unused Index

We are creating Index to improve the performance of SQL query. What happens if the Index is not used by SQL Server or we are creating index in those column that are not needed to create index. Moreover by creating index we decrease the performance of Insert/Update. Over indexing is also bad.
SQL Server provides a significant amount of index information via Dynamic Management Views (DMVs). The dm_db_index_usage_stats DMV displays essential information about index usage, and it can be a useful tool in identifying unused SQL Server indexes. When an index is used for the first time, a new row gets created in the dm_db_index_usage_stats DMV and subsequently updated every time an index is used. However, as with every DMV, the data present in dm_db_index_usage_stats contain only the data since the last SQL Server service restart (SQL Server service restart resets the data in the DMV). Therefore, it is critical that there is a sufficient time since the last SQL Server restart that allows correctly determining which indexes are good candidates to be dropped

SELECT AS Table_name, AS Index_name,
    INNER JOIN sys.objects
      ON dm_db_index_usage_stats.OBJECT_ID = objects.OBJECT_ID
    INNER JOIN sys.indexes
      ON indexes.index_id = dm_db_index_usage_stats.index_id
         AND dm_db_index_usage_stats.OBJECT_ID = indexes.OBJECT_ID
    indexes.is_primary_key = 0 -- This condition excludes primary key constarint
    indexes. is_unique = 0 -- This condition excludes unique key constarint
    dm_db_index_usage_stats. user_lookups = 0
    dm_db_index_usage_stats.user_seeks = 0
    dm_db_index_usage_stats.user_scans = 0
    dm_db_index_usage_stats.user_updates DESC

Using Proper Data Type

Did you know that poor data type choices can have a significant impact on our database design and performance. Developers and DBAs can improve database performance by understanding the data types supported by SQL Server and the implications of choosing different ones. A best practice is to “right size” data types by asking business questions and determining the data types that are best suited to the organization’s and application’s needs.
Right-sizing can result in tremendous storage savings, which can lead to faster database performance. Other considerations to keep in mind are SQL Server’s 8KB data page size limit and the conditions that can lead to page splitting. Also watch out for implicit conversions, an unfortunate by-product of mismatching data types. Taking steps to avoid mismatches and page splitting can greatly enhance performance.

Clean T-SQL

When writing T-SQL code we have to make it simple. If we make the complex SQL (Suppose joining so many table), the SQL optimizer don’t get the proper time to make multiple cost execution plan and choosing the most effective one. So we must keep our SQL as simple as possible.
We have to check the EXECUTION PLAN and try to understand the root cause of the poor performance of the query.
There are several things that we have to take care when writing SQL Statement. Some of them are mentioned bellow.
1.    Don’t use SELECT * statement. Use the proper column in SELECT statement

2.    Try to make JOIN within the column that have INDEX

3.    Don’t use any UDF within the SQL Statement

4.    Don’t use any function within WHERE clause

5.    Don’t use any Co-Related Sub query

6.    Don’t try to join a lot of table together
7.    Don’t use IN clause, use EXISTS

8.    In Stored procedure try to use SET NOCOUNT ON

9.    We are not preferring any APPLY Clause in SQL statement. Try to convert it in JOIN

10.  Avoid Cursor and always try to make SET Based SQL

11.  Try to make Logic as Simple as Possible

12.  If needed use Temp Table

13.  Try to avoid DISTINCT, ORDER BY Clause

14.  Try to use Proper data type in Table and try to avoid the Data conversion in SQL statement