What is a SQL Server Health Check?

At Koderly, we’ve been providing our comprehensive SQL Server Health Check to medium and large organisations for 23+ years. In this blog, we’ll help you decide whether you can benefit from a SQL Server Health Check, and what’s involved. 

Every customer scenario is different, however, here are a couple of example scenarios from recent customers:

“Users are complaining that our business-critical applications are slow or unresponsive at certain times of the day. This slowness seems to be getting more frequent. We’re concerned that before too long, these performance issues will start severely impacting our business.”

“We have a reasonable knowledge of SQL Server in-house. We have a System Administrator who ensures the data is backed up and secure. We also know how to write efficient queries. However, our SQL Server environment is now so critical to us that we feel we need a partner with in-depth knowledge who can analyse our SQL Server configuration and help us get the maximum value from it.”

If this sounds like your organisation, then rest assured that it is very common. Most vendor apps are backed by a fairly standard ‘off the shelf’ SQL Server configuration. Whilst this often works well initially, an increased and differentiating workload can highlight that SQL Server is no longer optimised to meet the new levels of demand.

This is when your database server becomes a bottleneck. As a result, applications begin to slow down, overnight routines take longer and begin to impact system users the next day. Throwing hardware at the problem often seems like the best solution for a quick fix, but it’s not always clear where the bottleneck is and improvements in the wrong area will only exacerbate the problem.

What's involved in a SQL Server Health Check?

Our comprehensive SQL Server Health Check ensures you’re getting the most out of your SQL Server or Azure SQL environment. The service can be tailored to focus on specific areas of concern or cover all aspects of your SQL Server environment, including:

Workload Analysis and Optimisation

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Every SQL Server workload is different and small changes to its configuration can have a startling impact on performance. We’ll dive deep into the activity of your SQL Server to understand the nature of its workload, and we’ll suggest or implement ways of configuring SQL Server so that you’re getting the most from your investment.

Query Tuning

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We’ll review your server’s most expensive queries and recommend ways of improving their performance. This will reduce the overall load on the server, avoiding the need to spend more money on hardware.

Hardware Review and Capacity Planning

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Whether it’s physical, virtual, or in the cloud, we’ll establish how hard your SQL Server’s hardware is working. We’ll identify bottlenecks that are hurting your server’s performance and provide ways of improving throughput. Crucially, our recommendations will be evidence-based, so you can have complete confidence that the changes will have a positive impact.

Security Review

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The security of your data is critical! Our SQL Server Health Check includes a thorough review of your server security configuration, and we will identify any areas of concern and recommend actions.

Disaster Recovery Review

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How resilient is your critical SQL Server environment to a disaster? How much data could you lose and how long would it take you to get your databases back online if disaster strikes? Our SQL Server Health Check will answer these questions, and, if necessary, we’ll make recommendations for improving the resilience of your SQL Server environment.

SQL Server Health Check Report

In addition to implementing any ‘quick wins’, Koderly will provide you with a comprehensive, evidence-based report that includes our short, medium, and long-term recommendations. We’ll then work with you to implement those recommendations, or, if you prefer, your DBAs are free to make the changes themselves!

If you want to know more about how a tailored SQL Server Health Check could help your business, please get in touch.

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Picture of Shaun Austin

Shaun Austin

Shaun has been working with SQL Server for over 20 years, as both a developer and DBA. He is passionate about optimising and troubleshooting SQL Server environments, ensuring that customers get the maximum value from their cloud or on-premise infrastructure. Shaun regularly blogs about SQL Server administration and performance tuning, frequently contributing to user group channels on platforms such as LinkedIn.