If you are one of the thousands of users of our SolarWinds Products, or one the users of thousands of other products that use SQL for the back-end database, you already know that the importance of SQL performance cannot be overstated. Any application that interfaces with a database is only as fast as the database it uses. The good news for Microsoft SQL users is that there are a lot things you can do to make sure your SQL Server is a screaming machine. Here are some of my recommendations:


  • Keep your primary files (yourdatabase.mdf and yourdatabase.ldf) and your temporary files (tempdev.mdf and templog.ldf) on separate arrays. Moving the I/O intensive temp traffic off of your primary file drives will result in a nice performance boost.
  • Use RAID 10 for primary and temp files. RAID 5 or 6 will kill you array speed. Raid 01 is a poor choice as well as many controllers do not implement it well.
  • USE 15,000 RPM drives or high end SSDs if possible. SSD price continues to fall and longevity now rivals spindle storage.
  • Use 64 bit SQL and lots of RAM.
  • If SSDs are not an option, try RAMDisk for your primary .MDF files.

Just implementing 3 or 4 of these will have a huge impact on your SQL performance and the application using SQL for data storage.


For more tips, take a look at this Technical Reference on Managing Orion Performance.