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Tamarick Hill

July, the 31 Days of SQL Server DMO’s – Day 18 (sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats)

The sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats Dynamic Management Function is used to return IO statistic information about each of your database files on your server. As input parameters, this function takes a database_id and a file_id. If you want to return IO statistic information for all files, you can simply pass in NULL values for both of these. Let’s have a look at this function  and examine its results:

SELECT db_name(database_id) DatabaseName, * FROM sys.dm_io_virtual_file_stats(NULL, NULL)


The first column in the result set is the DatabaseName which is just a column I created using the db_name() system function and the database_id column from this function. Next we have a file_id which represent the ID for the file, whether it be a data file or transaction log file. The ‘sample_ms’ column represents the total time in milliseconds that the instance has been up and running. Next we have the ‘num_of_reads’, ‘num_of_bytes_read’, and later ‘num_of_writes’, and ‘num_of_bytes_written’. These columns represent the number of reads or writes and number of bytes read or written against a particular file. These columns are beneficial when determining how often a particular file is being accessed. The ‘io_stall_read_ms’ and io_stall_write_ms’ columns each represent the the total time in milliseconds that users have had to wait for reads or writes against a file respectively. The ‘io_stall’ column is the sum of both read and write io stalls. The ‘size_on_disk_bytes’ column represents the size of the respective file on your disk subsystem. Lastly the ‘file_handle’ column is simply the Windows File handle.

This Dynamic Management Function is useful when you are needing to analyze your database files for the purposes of segregating high IO databases. This DMF gives you a good view of which of your database files are being accessed the most and which ones may be generating the largest IO stalls. These could be your best candidates for moving into separate IO channels.

For more information about this DMF, please see the below Books Online link:

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Published Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:06 AM by Tamarick Hill


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