How to Monitor Your SQL Server Efficiently


Efficient SQL Server monitoring is a must for any administrator, and there is definitely a right way to go about this if you aim to save yourself time and effort.

To help out, here are a few tips and tools that are sure to enhance your monitoring experience and let you focus on other things.

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Keep tabs on server performance

In order to troubleshoot problems with your SQL Server setup, you need to be able to detect them in the first place.

This is where using an SQL Server monitoring solution to track its performance is a must. You can look out for hardware-related inconsistencies, predict how your storage needs will change and plan ahead to alter and adapt your database so that it still runs smoothly in the future.

Modern monitoring packages are also a good way of spotting one-off issues with performance so that they can be fixed sooner rather than later. This can include errant processes which are taking more than their fair share of hardware resources to complete.

From an efficiency perspective, tracking server performance with the latest tools is especially important as it allows you to automate a number of admin tasks. So if you feel like you are spinning plates right now, there is a straightforward way around this.

Look into locking

One of the main ways that SQL Server ensures data integrity and allows queries and processes to run concurrently is through locking.

This enables resources to be blocked out by whichever process is using them at a given time, and in normal circumstances is excellent for stability and continuity purposes.

However, when lock-related wait times get too long, or full-blown deadlocking occurs, you will need to take action.

Fixes could be as simple as tweaking a query, or may be more involved. Whatever the case, monitoring locks and looking into wait times will let you proactively prevent problems from being perpetuated.

Check index fragmentation

Lastly, let it be known that database administrators who don’t monitor index fragmentation could be missing out on a serious opportunity to optimize SQL Server performance and avoid all sorts of other issues.

The more each page of a database is used and altered, the more fragmented the index will become. If fragmentation is below 35 percent, then you can simply use the integrated defragmentation tool to address this.

If it is over this amount, then rebuilding the whole index is a better solution in terms of speed and efficiency.

Also worth pointing out is that inefficient indexing is itself a problem. You should aim to remove unused indexes, and avoid using them in the case that they relate to very small volumes of data on a given page or table.

With all of this in mind, you should be perfectly positioned to prioritize the right kinds of SQL Server monitoring, and to harness tools that are made to aid you in your quest. It is also important to prioritize monitoring and maintenance, as putting off important work will only hurt you in the long run.