Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: CPU usage

Without a doubt, the first metric most IT professionals use to understand SQL Server performance is the overall CPU usage, which is typically determined in one of two ways: First, you may use a remote-desktop technology to review the overall CPU usage in Task Manager.

Windows Task Manager

Second, you could take the more scientific route and employ these Performance Monitor counters:

  • Processor: % Privileged Time
  • Processor: % Processor Time
  • Processor: % User Time
  • System: Context Switches/sec
  • System: Processor Queue Length

Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You know that CPU is running at a high percentage or is pegged. Now it is time to dig deeper and determine the status of other key SQL Server metrics.

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Hunt down SQL Server performance problems

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: CPU usage
 Step 2: Disk IO queuing
 Step 3: Memory consumption
 Step 4: Network bandwidth
 Step 5: Transaction-level performance

Jeremy Kadlec
Jeremy Kadlec is the Principal Database Engineer at Edgewood Solutions, a technology services company delivering professional services and product solutions for Microsoft SQL Server. He has authored numerous articles and delivers frequent presentations at regional SQL Server Users Groups and nationally at SQL PASS. Jeremy is also the Performance Tuning expert. Ask him a question here.
Copyright 2005 TechTarget

This was first published in December 2005

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