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  • Performance impact: the cost of NUMA remote memory access

    These days if you get a new server-class machine to run SQL Server, you can almost be 100% sure that it’ll be running on NUMA hardware. The recent AMD Opteron and Intel Nehalem-based processors are all built on some form of NUMA architecture. The current consensus is that as the number of processors grows, their shared memory bus can easily get ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 30, 2012
  • Performance impact: driving up context switches/sec

    Too many context switches per second are considered bad for your database performance. But how many is too many has never been clear. With the core count of new servers going up rapidly, it becomes even less clear how we should evaluate this counter to help understand the SQL Server behavior in the environments we support. Recognizing that any ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 12, 2012
  • Performance impact: hyperthreading for OLTP queries -- II

    This is in part a response to a comment by Paul White (@SQL_Kiwi) to my previous post on the performance impact of enabling hyperthreading (HT) on OLTP queries, and in part due to my desire to capture a more complete set of test data for future investigation on this very topic. I’m posting below the results of re-running the same exact test as ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 11, 2012
  • Elephant in the room: TPC-E

    Over the past few months in several semi-formal occasions, I ran into folks from your well-known vendors (minus Microsoft). Some of the folks were from the vendors’ performance labs and were involved in conducting benchmark tests and publishing benchmark results. So naturally they were very happy and eager to talk about performance, I mean any ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 7, 2012
  • Performance impact: hyperthreading for OLTP queries

    My previous post focuses on the performance impact of enabling hyperthreading (HT) on a machine with four Intel Westmere-EX processors on reporting queries. Let’s turn our attention to OLTP queries. To oversimplify it, reporting queries are generally processed by scanning a large number of pages, whereas quick index seeks are the hallmark of OLTP ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 5, 2012
  • Performance impact: hyperthreading for reporting queries

    There are a lot of questions on hyperthreading, but not a lot of answers.  There is no shortage of opinions, but very few are based on significant first hand experience or solid test data. We know that the hyperthreading technology in the older generations of the Intel processors was not well received by the SQL Server community. ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 5, 2012
  • Evaluating server hardware: a sign of the times

    For nearly ten years, I have had success in using a specifically modified version of the TPC-C benchmark for evaluating server hardware running SQL Server. Depending on your purpose, you can evaluate computer hardware in numerous ways with numerous benchmarks. Arbitrarily picking a generic benchmark to evaluate a server is of no interest to me. ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 3, 2012
  • Performance impact: Don’t assume they are the same

    When you deploy a production cluster, you want any failover to be as transparent to your users as possible. It follows that the nodes within the cluster should be identical in terms of their hardware and software configurations. It further follows that the nodes are expected to perform the same or virtually the same. In practice, performance ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on October 1, 2011
  • Would you optimize SQL for less performance?

    What do you mean? Okay, that does sound like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Let's say you are trying to optimize a stored procedure, and your proposed change results in the stored procedure running not faster, but perhaps a bit slower than it currently does. Can you then declare your optimization effort a success? Just some food (well a question) ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on January 8, 2010
  • SQL Server challenge: show me trace flag 1118 is significant -- a quick update

    I posted the following SQL Server challenge yesterday:   Describe a reproducible workload that would see significant throughput improvement when trace flag 1118 is enabled.   In response, Konstantin Korobkov wanted to know whether the number of data files in tempdb would make a difference.   I did test that scenario and did ...
    Posted to Linchi Shea (Weblog) by Linchi Shea on October 2, 2009
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