Start to Finish Guide to SQL Server Performance Tuning

Book Review

Start to Finish Guide to SQL Server Performance Tuning
by K. Brian Kelley
Copyright 2002
NetImpress Publishing

While there are a lot of books that offer a chapter or two on how to use Performance Monitor (System Monitor) or Profiler to help tune SQL Server, it is hard to find in-depth information on this topic, that is, until now.

Start to Finish Guide to SQL Server Performance Tuning provides in-depth information on how to use Performance Monitor and Profiler to help tune SQL Server. This is a very good introductory book for every DBA and developer who want to master these important SQL Server tools and to learn how to use them to help identify and correct performance-related problems. If you are an experienced DBA, you might not get a lot of new information from it, but old-timer DBAs are not the target of this book.

Essentially, this book is divided into these sections:

Performance Tuning Methodology

  • In this brief section, you learn a good approach to follow when tuning SQL Server.

Performance Logs and the System Monitor

  • Here, you learn how to use Performance Monitor’s many features, how to choose the correct counters to monitor, create baselines, and perform trend analysis.

SQL Profiler

  • Here, you learn how to use Profiler, along with how to properly configure traces to capture data about cursors, errors and warnings, locks, objects, stored procedures, transactions, and more.

Stored Procedures, Caching and Recompiles

  • This section covers a variety of important topics, some of which include information on the importance of the procedure cache, execution plans, unwanted stored procedure recompiles, temp tables, and more.

No, this book does not cover everything there is to know about these tools, and it leaves out information on how to use Query Analyzer to help performance tune SQL Server activity. On the other hand, it does a better job of explaining Performance Monitor and Profiler than most other sources, and that in itself is enough to highly recommend this book.

Now here’s the interesting thing about this book. You can’t buy a paper copy of it. It is only available as an e-book, although you can print your own copy of it if you like once you purchase it. This e-book is in the PDF format, so you will need an Adobe Acrobat reader to read it. In many ways, it being an e-book provides several benefits. These include: it is less expensive, you can purchase and download it immediately, you can perform a keyword search to more quickly find what you are looking for, and you can install in on your desktop for handy reference. Based on some other e-books I have seen, this one is well formatted for easy reading on a screen, although I still prefer a paper book over an e-book.

If you want to master the basics of using Performance Monitor and Profiler to tune your SQL Servers, Start to Finish Guide to SQL Server Performance Tuning is a book you will want to get.


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