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M10980 SQL Server Performance Tuning and Optimization

This course is designed to give the right amount of Internals knowledge and wealth of practical tuning & optimization techniques that you can put into production. The 5 day class offers a comprehensive coverage of SQL Server architecture, indexing and statistics strategies, optimize transaction log operations, tempdb and data file configuration, transactions and isolation levels, and locking and blocking. The course also teaches how to create baselines and benchmark SQL Server performance, how to analyze workload and figure out where performance problems are, and how to fix them.

The course has a special focus on SQL Server I/O, CPU usage, memory usage, query plans, statement execution, parameter sniffing and procedural code, deadlocking, plan cache, wait and latch statistics, Extended Events, DMVs and PerfMon.

Audience Profile

The primary audience for this course is individuals who administer and maintain SQL Server databases and are responsible for optimal performance of SQL Server Instances that they manage. These individuals also write queries against data and need to ensure optimal execution performance of the workloads.

The secondary audiences for this course are individuals who develop applications that deliver content from SQL Server databases.

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Learning Objectives

Delegates will learn how to

  • Describe the SQL Server architecture.
  • Describe and monitor SQL Server scheduling.
  • Analyze wait statistics.
  • Describe core IO concepts.
  • Describe Storage Area Networks and it's components.
  • Test storage performance using SQLIO utility.
  • Describe Database structures.
  • Describe Data File Internals and best practices.
  • Describe TempDB Internals and best practices.
  • Describe Concurrency and Transactions.
  • Describe SQL Server Locking Architecture.
  • Describe Extended Events core concepts.
  • Implement Extended Events.
  • Monitor and trace SQL Server performance data.
  • Baseline and benchmark SQL Server Performance.
  • Identify and diagnose CPU performance issues.
  • Identify and diagnose Memory performance issues.
  • Identify and diagnose IO performance issues.
  • Identify and diagnose TempDB performance issues.
  • Identify and diagnose Concurrency performance issues.
  • Describe Optimizer Internals.
  • Analyze, identify and fix Query Plan issues.
  • Identify and minimize index fragmentation.
  • Specify correct index column order.
  • Identify and create missing indexes.
  • Tune slow running queries.


In addition to their professional experience, students who attend this training should already have the following technical knowledge:

  • Basic knowledge of the Microsoft Windows operating system and its core functionality.
  • Working knowledge of database administration and maintenance
  • Working knowledge of Transact-SQL.

Students who attend this training can meet the prerequisites by attending the following courses, or obtaining equivalent knowledge and skills:

  • Course 20461C: Querying Microsoft SQL Server
  • Course 20462C: Administering Microsoft SQL Server Databases
  • Course 20464C: Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases

Course Content

Module 1: SQL Server Architecture, Scheduling and Waits

This module covers high level architectural overview of SQL Server and its various components. It dives deep into SQL Server execution model, waits and queues.


  • SQL Server Components and SQL OS
  • Windows Scheduling vs SQL Scheduling
  • Waits and Queues

Lab : Exploring SQL Server Components and SQL OS

  • Recording CPU and NUMA configuration

Lab : Monitor Schedulers and User requests

  • Monitor Schedulers and User Requests

Lab : Monitor and record wait statistics

  • Monitor waiting tasks and record wait statistics

Module 2: SQL Server I/O

This module covers core I/O concepts, Storage Area Networks and performance testing. It focuses on SQL Server I/O operations and how to test storage performance.


  • Core Concepts
  • Storage Area Networks
  • IO Setup and Testing

Lab : Testing Storage Performance

  • Configure and execute SQLIO utility

Module 3: Database Structures

This module covers Database Structures, Data File and TempDB Internals. It focuses on architectural concepts and best practices related to data files for user databases and TempDB.


  • Database Structure Internals
  • Data File Internals
  • TempDB Internals

Lab : Exploring Database Structure Internals

  • Explore Page and Allocation Structure

Lab : Enabling Instant File Initialization

  • Configuring Instant File Initialization

Lab : Reducing TempDB Latch Contention

  • Re-configure TempDB Data Files

Module 4: Concurrency and Transactions

This module covers Transactions and Locking Internals. It focuses on architectural concepts and best practices related to Concurrency, Transactions, Isolation Levels and Locking.


  • Concurrency and Transactions
  • Locking Internals

Lab : Implement Snapshot Isolation

  • Implement Snapshot Isolation

Lab : Locking Internals

  • Implement Partition-Level Locking

Module 5: Statistics and Index Internals

This module covers Statistics and Index Internals. It focuses on architectural concepts and best practices related to Statistics and Indexes.


  • Statistics Internals and Cardinality Estimation
  • Index Internals

Lab : Statistics Internals and Cardinality Estimation

  • Fixing Cardinality Estimation Errors

Lab : Index Internals

  • Implement the right index

Module 6: Extended Events

This module covers Extended Events. It focuses on architectural concepts, troubleshooting strategy and usage scenarios for Extended Events.


  • Extended Events core concepts
  • Implementing Extended Events

Lab : Extended Events core concepts

  • Reviewing Extended Events system health session

Lab : Implementing Extended Events

  • Tracking Page Splits using Extended Events

Module 7: Monitoring, Tracing and Baselining

This module covers tools and techniques to monitor, trace and baseline SQL Server performance data. It focuses on data collection strategy and techniques to analyze collected data.


  • Monitoring and Tracing
  • Baselining and Benchmarking

Lab : Monitoring and Tracing

  • Collecting and Analyzing Data using Extended Events

Lab : Baselining and Benchmarking

  • Implementing Baselining Methodology

Module 8: Troubleshooting Common Performance Issues

This module covers common performance bottlenecks related to CPU, Memory, IO, TempDB and Concurrency. It focuses on techniques to identify and diagnose bottlenecks to improve overall performance.


  • Troubleshooting CPU Performance
  • Troubleshooting Memory Performance
  • Troubleshooting I/O Performance
  • Troubleshooting TempDB Performance
  • Troubleshooting Concurrency Performance

Lab : Troubleshooting CPU Performance

  • Identifying and Diagnosing CPU Performance Issues

Lab : Troubleshooting Memory Performance

  • Identifying and Diagnosing Memory Performance Issues

Lab : Troubleshooting IO Performance

  • Identifying and Diagnosing IO Performance Issues

Lab : Troubleshooting TempDB Performance

  • Identifying and Diagnosing TempDB Performance Issues

Lab : Troubleshooting Concurrency Performance

  • Identifying and Diagnosing Concurrency Performance Issues

Module 9: Query Execution and Query Plan Analysis

This module covers Query Execution and Query Plan Analysis. It focuses on architectural concepts of the Optimizer and how to identify and fix query plan issues.


  • Query Execution and Optimizer Internals
  • Analyzing Query Plans

Lab : Analyzing Query Plans

  • Identifying and Resolving Common Plan Issues

Module 10: Plan Caching and Recompilation

This module covers Plan Caching and Recompilation. It focuses on architectural concepts, troubleshooting scenarios and best practices related to Plan Cache.


  • Plan Cache Internals
  • Troubleshooting Plan Cache Issues

Lab : Troubleshooting Plan Cache Issues

  • Troubleshooting excessive Re-Compilation

Module 11: Index and Query Tuning

This module covers various techniques to tune indexes, queries and procedural code. It focuses on index fragmentation, index column order, overall indexing strategy and various aspects of query tuning like re-writing T-SQL code and applying hints.


  • Index Fragmentation
  • Indexing Techniques
  • Indexing Strategy

Lab : Index Fragmentation

  • Reducing Index Fragmentation

Lab : Indexing Techniques

  • Re-ordering Index columns

Lab : Indexing Strategy

  • Identifying Missing Indexes

Lab : Tuning Queries

  • Re-Write T-SQL code
  • Applying Hints

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