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10 SQL Server Performance Tuning Tips to Make Your Database Soar

10 SQL Server Performance Tuning Tips to Make Your Database Soar

Regular maintenance and upgrades are an essential parts of ensuring that databases and servers maintain their usability. Many common practices come with a high price and low results, and many developers have begun using alternative methods to improve the performance of their server.

Query tuning can fix queries that have been poorly written and indexes that are not efficient. Use these 10 tips to improve your database in a snap.

1. Separate Data and Log Files

This practice is often overlooked for no good reason. The data and log files should be separated into different physical drives arrays whenever possible, especially when using DAS or SAN. The purpose is to separate the random access of data from sequential access, that happens when writing transaction logs.

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Sometimes, drives are carved from the same larger disk array rather than different physical drives, which defeats the purpose of separating them.

2. Limited Data Selection

A query will run faster when there is less data to be retrieved. Do as much filtering that you can on the server’s end. Less data will be sent and results can be seen faster. For example, even the smallest changes like removing the term “City” from “New York City” will improve the SQL server performance.

3. Don’t Shrink the Data Files

Shrinking data files is a bad practice in general and can impact performance in a few ways, including fragmentation and causing the queries to suffer. If Instant File Initialization isn’t turned on, the resulting growth can negatively impact performance and cause timeouts. There may be times when shrinking data files is needed, but be sure to know the impact before you take action on it.

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4. Database Statistics

An optimizer will analyze the statistics and choose the least expensive path, in order to satisfy a query. Statistics that are outdated or missing will cause a prolonged response time because the path chosen will be less optimized.

5. Predetermine the Expected Growth

You can minimize the negative effect of indexes by specifying the appropriate fill factor value when indexing. When the value of a table is changed, the database has to reorganize the data stored to account for the new rows. If you are expecting regular additions of new rows, you can specify this growth for an index.

6. Alter the MAX Memory Limit

64-bit versions of SQL Servers have seen recent improvements in terms of allocating memory and sharing with an operating system, but leaving the MAX memory setting at default is not ideal.

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You should set the MAX memory setting at a minimum of 1 or 2GB less than the total amount of memory on the server. How much memory you leave will depend on the programs that you have running and how much memory those require.

7. Stick With Single Changes

Rather than making many changes at one time and risking the effectiveness of your query, aim to find the most expensive queries and then adjust the query based on this. Making small changes one at a time will more likely produce optimal results.

8. Before Loading Data, Drop Indexes

This will aid the insert statement in running faster. Once the inserts are done, you can remake the index. Use a temporary table to load data if you are going to insert thousands of rows in a system. Moving data from one table to another is much quicker than loading it from an external source.

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9. Utilizing Constraints

Advanced query analysis can benefit from knowing and using constraints. Avoid overlapping or duplicating indexes by reviewing existing indexes, keys and constraints. Information for existing indexes can be accessed by running sp_helindex.

10. Extra Columns

When there are extra columns within the database, the system will perform poorly. This is because, it becomes increasingly difficult for the execution of the process to use specific operations of the index. To find any additional columns, use the SELECT* or scalar functions to closely examine the query.

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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