Because Microsoft® SQL Server® is such a widely used database, slowdowns within its environment can lead to issues for multiple applications. More often than not, the root cause of such slowdowns is usually memory bottlenecks. There are many issues that affect SQL Server performance and scalability. Let’s look at a few of them.


  • Paging: Memory bottlenecks can lead to excessive paging which can impact SQL Server performance.
  • Virtual memory: When your SQL Server consumes a lot of virtual memory, information will constantly move back and forth from RAM to disk. This puts the physical disks under tremendous pressure.
  • Memory usage: No matter how much memory is added to the system, it appears as though SQL Server is using all of it. This can happen when SQL Server caches the entire database into the memory.
  • Buffer statistics: When other applications consume lots of memory and your SQL Servers don’t have any then there can be issues related to page reads, buffer cache, etc.
  • Other: Memory bottlenecks can occur if databases don’t have good indexes, and applications or programs constantly processing user requests.


Monitor SQL Server Memory

You must continuously monitor your SQL Server in order to improve its overall performance. During this process, it’s vital to check the statistics (optimally, through alerts) of various performance counters related to SQL Server memory. This is especially true when you’re constantly adding more databases to your SQL Server. Along with memory resources you’ll also have to monitor CPU load, storage performance, physical and virtual memory usage, query responsiveness, etc., which also cause performance issues in the database.


Improve Your SQL Server Performance

If you’re really looking to improve your SQL Server performance, it’s imperative to understand your existing environment, and which performance counters you really need.


A server monitoring tool should provide out-of-the-box user experience for your SQL Server database. It will allow you to simulate end-user transactions and proactively measure the performance and availability of your SQL Server. The tool will also:

  • Ensure the availability and performance of your SQL Server.
  • Give you visibility into statistics, the health of your SQL Server, and then set performance thresholds.
  • Build custom reports to show SQL Server availability and performance history.
  • Get real-time remote monitoring of any WMI performance counters to troubleshoot application issues.


SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM) comprehensively monitors SQL Servers, and other Microsoft applications running in them. Try the fully functional free 30 day trial.