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How Parallelism Works in SQL Server

You might have noticed that January was a quiet blogging month for me.  Part of the reason was that I was working on a series of articles for Simple Talk, examining how parallel query execution really works.  The first part is published today at:

This introductory piece is not quite as deeply technical as my SQLblog posts tend to be, but I hope there be enough interesting material to make it worth a read.

Paul White
twitter: @SQL_Kiwi

Published Saturday, March 5, 2011 9:28 PM by Paul White
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Amit Banerjee said:

Another very well written article, Paul!

March 5, 2011 6:18 AM

jamiet said:


Read it last night - awesome work.

A request - when the other articles in the series have been posted can you stick another blog post up here pointing to them? I want to make sure I don't miss them.



March 5, 2011 10:44 AM

Paul White said:

Sure thing, Jamie.

March 5, 2011 11:01 AM

GrumpyOldDBA said:

I'm so pleased to see a positive writeup on parallelism, I get "grumpy" when I keep seeing articles/posts almost saying the moment you see a parallel plan turn off parallelism. With the route we have to take with servers seeming to aquire more and more cores but not so much processing speed getting things to work in parallel will become more and more important to get the performance we need. It's always difficult to generalise and there's a certain risk to running demos to prove one thing or another, but I've been showing demos of parallel plans giving 600% and more gain vs single threaded in my presentations for a while now.

March 7, 2011 11:05 AM

Paul White said:

Hi Colin,

Yes, that was one of the main motivations for starting this series: the preponderance of MAXDOP 1 and anti-CXPACKET advice out there.

Parallelism is not always the best solution for sure, but it is a tool that more and more DBAs and developers are going to need to get very familiar and comfortable with.

I glad you enjoyed part 1, stay tuned!


March 7, 2011 12:04 PM

Martin said:


Any clues as to when the other parts will become available? Looking forward to them.

November 10, 2011 5:12 AM

Paul White said:

Hi Martin,

Soon as I can :)


November 10, 2011 5:40 AM

Praveen said:

Hi Paul,

Are other parts in this series already available?


February 12, 2013 6:49 AM

Tis Me said:

The other parts still not on :(

October 3, 2014 9:16 PM

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