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15 SQL Server replication tips in 15 minutes

This list of tips and tricks will help you enhance your replication techniques. It is broken up into three groups: performance, monitoring and miscellaneous.

The following list of tips and tricks will help you enhance replication performance and monitoring.

Keep in mind that transactional replication offers the best performance of all the replication types. Far too often, clients use snapshot or merge replication when transactional replication is the best choice. For instance, you should use snapshot if your data changes infrequently, if a large portion of data changes or if clients don't require an up-to-date data set.

In all other cases, consider transactional replication as only the changes that will go across the wire to your clients. Snapshot will send the entire data set (potentially in gigabytes) each time, whereas transactional could be sending megabytes. The difference will be especially acute if you are replicating over low-bandwidth lines.

Replication tips: Performance

  1. Replicate tables without primary keys
  2. Achieve bi-directional replication
  3. Replicate stored procedure execution
  4. Create lightweight tables on the subscriber
  5. Put subscription database in Bulk Logged recovery model
  6. Use the independent agent option
  7. Change your polling interval
  8. Maintain your log
  9. Set performance profiles

Replication tips: Monitoring

  1. Check subscriber status with Replication Monitor Group
  2. Expire subscribers

Replication tips: Miscellaneous

  1. Replicate to objects with different schemas
  2. Reveal replication commands
  3. Check number of commands to be replicated
  4. Prevent updates, inserts and deletes from being replicated

About the author
Hilary Cotter has been involved in IT for more than 20 years as a Web and database consultant. Microsoft first awarded Cotter the Microsoft SQL Server MVP award in 2001. Cotter received his bachelor of applied science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and subsequently studied both economics at the University of Calgary and computer science at UC Berkeley. He is the author of a book on SQL Server transactional replication and is currently working on books on merge replication and Microsoft search technologies.

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