Optimizing SQL: How to Supercharge Your Database Performance

Optimizing SQL: How to Supercharge Your Database Performance - blog post

If you're among the 7 million people using SQL Server, optimizing your database performance is important. Since you're storing a lot of information, it's critical that you take steps to ensure that you can execute queries and extract data quickly and efficiently.

Here, we will give you some tips for optimizing SQL so you can supercharge your production databases. Read on for some database management tips that can streamline your business ASAP.


Optimize Your Queries

SQL queries are the instructions that database management systems interpret and follow. Typing them in lets you alter data within the SQL database. You can add tables, organize information, manipulate tables and data, or delete and update stored information.

Queries follow specialized sets of rules so that the software can correctly understand them. Accurate query interpretation makes the database management system run exactly as you want it to.

Lots of database performance problems arise when you don't optimize your queries. The SQL system won't follow a direct set of well-written instructions, so that it will perform slowly and inefficiently.


Use Performance Analytics Solutions

To optimize your queries, it's important to use database performance analytics technology.

This software will guide you through how you can optimize your system. It will point out the worst queries you're using automatically. This would take a long time and a lot of guesswork to find manually.

Plus, the tech will also give you professional-level advice on how to improve these poorly-optimized commands.

You'd need to know when to write a join vs. a subquery to do this without software. You'd also need to figure out when to use EXISTS or IN commands. This is hard for most developers and can waste unnecessary time.

An expert can help you determine which analytics software will best suit your specific needs. They'll help you think about the size of your business, how much data you store, and how often you manipulate it. This makes picking the right software system for your SQL database easier.


Avoid Certain Commands

There are some commands that you shouldn't use when writing queries. OR operations are useless because they split the query into several parts. This separates expressions and makes it harder for the server to process them in one go.

It'll start to evaluate all components of the OR, which is a slow process that will make your system lag.

Instead, split it into two SELECT queries. Put them together with a UNION operator. The server can then use the indexes that it stores to make things run faster.

You also want to avoid using a lot of JOINs that could overload the database management system. The server will use too many tables and retrieve data slowly and inefficiently. The server needs to see how the tables are joined and in what order so that they can apply filters.

Without many JOINs, you can split one query into multiple commands. You'll be able to join them together later. This will stop the database management system from using unnecessary subqueries and tables when processing commands.


Use INNER JOIN to Create JOINs

The SQL WHERE clause filters rows on a table based on the condition that you specify. SQL's INNER JOIN statement returns all the matching rows from joint tables for that condition.

If you're trying to get data from multiple different tables based on the WHERE condition, you're using NON-ANSI JOINs. These are much more difficult to understand and assess than ANSI JOINs are. Since using INNER JOIN statements gives you ANSI JOINs, it's much more prudent to use that.

When you use ANSI JOINs, you can clearly see whether you miss any JOIN or filter predicates during your analysis. You'll also be able to ensure you joined all required tables.


Run Queries Off Peak

It's also a good idea to execute queries at off-peak hours. These are the times when you're using the database the least. This is especially important when working with large tables, running several different SELECT queries, or executing complex queries with subqueries.

When you try doing this at peak times, you'll wind up overloading your server and making it slow down. You also will restrict other people's access to some of the data, which isn't ideal on shared databases during prime on-peak hours.


Optimize Your Indexes

Table indexes are one of the most important parts of administering a SQL database. They help you get information from the database more efficiently.

When you enter a query, SQL generates a plan for executing that query. It does so in the most optimal way. If it finds the missing index, you can create it to make it operate better, and it will suggest to you what this index is.

It'll tell you which existing SQL columns to index. It will also tell you how this indexing will improve the performance of SQL's data management system.

Adding missing indexes is only half the battle. It's important that you have everything you need, but you don't want to have too many indexes, either. That's why you'll also need to check for indexes you're not using to optimize SQL database performance.

If you have indexes that you aren't using, the software will attempt to run unnecessary indexes. This step wastes time and stops the system from optimizing. Ensure you're not having problems with implicit data type conversion or filtered indexes. 


Increase Database Memory

It's important that your database has enough memory to store all the information that you keep inside it. If you don't, you might find your system accidentally deleting data. Even if this doesn't happen, you're still going to slow down your database performance significantly since it will be harder to retrieve and use data.

You can determine if you need more memory by checking the number of page faults in your system. If the fault number is high, your hosts run low on available memory. In some cases, they may even be out of memory altogether.

Remember that even servers with a lot of memory might not meet their database's demands. There's no limit to how much storage you might need.


Strengthen Your CPU

Higher-class CPUs mean higher-class databases. This is because powerful processing units don't need to strain themselves to deal with many requests simultaneously. They can also run more applications efficiently at the same time.

Check your CPU regularly to ensure it's holding up well over time. Make sure that you specifically assess CPU ready times. These alert you to the number of times your system tried to use the CPU but couldn't because all its resources were too busy to do so.


Avoid Data Fragmentation

Data fragmentation happens when a collection of information within the database is broken up. They usually stop being stored near each other because someone tried to insert an already externally fragmented large object into the database.

Fragmentation can slow down the process of retrieving data. Your queries aren't going to be able to locate what you're searching for fast, so it's going to take a long time to execute commands.

Luckily, you can easily defragment data by right-clicking the index and selecting "rebuild." Click "OK" to prompt the system to rebuild the index, then choose "reorganize."

Doing this makes the system group relevant data together again. It erases all the problems with the index page so that your I/O operations will run more quickly.

You can later right-click the ended, click on Properties > Fragmentation, and see the total fragmentation value. This will let you determine when you need to defragment data again in the future.


Use Professional Database Tools

Manually streamlining your database management system is important, but professional tools can help save you time and money. A top-notch SQL monitoring solution can help you consistently assess your database's performance. You won't need to expend unnecessary energy to make your tables, stored data, and queries operate efficiently.

SolarWinds DPA

SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) technology automatically optimizes your index and queries. It uses response time analytics to fine-tune your operations and improve all aspects of your performance. It will also give you insights to help you provision resources for your database to ensure that hardware doesn't interfere with its operations.

SolarWinds DPM

The SolarWinds Data Performance Monitor (DPM) is primarily for monitoring performance rather than enhancing it. It checks your database performance 24/7 to ensure everything works properly. It will also send you information on underperforming queries and recommend ways that you can improve them,

Network Performance Monitoring Technology

Other network performance monitoring systems like Paessler PRTG Monitor also emphasize performance monitoring. You can find information about specific applications, cloud services, bandwidth, packets, and traffic. These customizable technologies are a great fit for anyone with precise SQL monitoring needs.

ProTech Management Tools

ProTech's Enterprise Systems Management & Data Center Automation system is specially designed for large and elaborate IT structures. It automates things like policy implementation, environmental integration, central management, and system behavior. You'll get great big-picture oversight and day-to-day optimization, making it the perfect software for any enterprise.


Start Optimizing SQL the Right Way

Now that you know some strategies for optimizing SQL performance, it's time to upgrade your database management strategy.

ProTech is committed to helping you access the most recent IT training and consulting services for enterprise businesses. Contact us to learn more about our hands-on courses and how you can streamline database performance.


Published August 4, 2023