Shaun Austin

Getting the most out of your SQL Server

If you’ve stumbled on this blog, then the likelihood is that SQL Server performance is pretty critical to your business. Whether you’re chiefly responsible for your organisation’s IT strategy, or a newly-appointed DBA needing to make an impact, the onus is on you to maximise the not-inconsiderable investment your organisation has made. Over the past six months, we shared hints and tips on our LinkedIn page to help you get the most out of your SQL Server database environments. In this blog, we’ve brought together and expanded on that information. Navigation Databases and Tables Drop unused Indexes Measure Throughput Measuring

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SQL Server – Hashing an Email Address

“When storing an email address in a SQL Server table, is it more performant to store it as a hashed value rather than plain text?” This question was asked by one of our Remote Database Administration clients, to much speculation around the (remote) office. So, let’s find out by generating some data and running some simple tests. First things first: We’ll use the 50GB version of the StackOverflow2013 database, which contains 2.3million user records. You can get from here if you want to try this out yourself. These tests are carried out using SQL Server 2019, compatibility mode 130 (2016).

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SQL Server – Transparent Data Encryption is Standard!

Last year, Microsoft announced that Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) would be part of SQL Server 2019 Standard edition. This was BIG news – TDE has been around since SQL Server 2008, but until now, it’s been for those lucky guys with Enterprise-deep pockets.   You can read about TDE here in one of my earlier blogs (which I now need to update!), but briefly, TDE encrypts your data files and log files at rest. It also encrypts your backup files. This is really important as, without encryption, the data you hold is at risk from anyone with access to the files, even if they

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SQL Server – Plan Cache Bloat

Plan Cache bloat is generally bad – it wastes CPU, it wastes memory. Plan Cache bloat happens when SQL Server stores multiple query plans for seemingly identical queries….except they’re not identical. Let’s look at an example. Before we begin, let’s ditch the plan cache as this will help highlight the impact of our code. DON’T DO THIS IN PRODUCTION! DBCC FREEPROCCACHE Now let’s run a simple query using dynamic SQL. This one happens to output the file sizes for tempdb. Note how we’re outputting the current date/time using a variable we’ve declared higher up – this is important and we’ll come

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