Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook

Book Review

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook
by Ken England
Copyright 2001
Digital Press

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook Find out more about this book,
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Author Ken England is not new to performance tuning. In fact, he is one of the pioneers of SQL Server performance tuning, and wrote one of the very first, if not the first book on performance tuning for SQL Server. It was called The SQL Server 6.5 Performance Optimization and Tuning Handbook, and it is still available if you need to performance tune some legacy SQL Server 6.5 servers you are still running.

But I imagine that most of you are wanting to learn how to better performance tune SQL Server 2000. If that is the case, England’s new book on SQL Server 2000 performance tuning might be of interest.

The best way to describe England’s writing is “to the point”. His writing is simple, straight-forward, and unembellished. This means that you will find his book a relatively easy read, and perhaps one that you can finish in a long weekend. It is obvious that England has used SQL Server for many years as he focuses on the essentials that you need to know to performance tune SQL Server. Because most performance tuning requires a strong knowledge of how SQL Server works internally, the essentials of SQL Server internals are covered, but only enough to provide you the information you need to learn how to performance tune SQL Server. You won’t get bogged down in unrelated minutia.

Here’s what the book covers:

  • Introducing Performance Tuning and Physical Database Design

  • SQL Server Storage Structures

  • Indexing

  • The Query Optimizer

  • SQL Server 2000 and Windows 2000

  • Transactions and Locking

  • Monitoring Performance

  • A Performance Tuning Checklist

If you are looking for a book that includes everything you ever wanted to know about SQL Server performance tuning, this is not the book, nor is there any book on the market that can yet make this claim. As you can see from the list of topics, England has focused his efforts on a narrow set of issues of interest to DBAs. Another way to describe this book is that it is a good introduction to the fundamentals of SQL Server performance tuning for DBAs.

So who should read this book? I would recommend it for DBAs who are new to SQL Server performance tuning. It provides a good introduction to the subject. This book, along with the information you find on this website, can help turn you into a professional SQL Server performance tuning guru.

If you are an experienced DBA who has already spent a good amount of time performance tuning, you probably won’t pick up too much you don’t already know. If you are a SQL Server developer, I would recommend that you instead pick up a copy of Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming. (While this programming book is not designed as a performance tuning book, it provides the best performance tuning information I have seen that would be of interest to developers.) While England’s book provides a good introduction to the fundamentals of SQL Server performance tuning and optimization, it is not really geared to developers.


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