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Step 1: Invest in good application design

To get the most from your hardware, spend your up-front resources on solid SQL server application design and an exhaustive QA process.

Nothing has a greater impact on application performance than application design. A poorly designed application will perform badly on the best hardware, and throwing more hardware at a bad design will often result in little application performance improvement.

Spend your up-front resources on sound application design principles and an exhaustive and representative QA process. For instance, during the design and development phases, developers should keep a close eye on the bottlenecks and address the most significant problem areas. During QA, the application should be load-tested using products like Segue Software Inc.'s SilkCentral, Mercury Interactive Corp.'s LoadRunner or even Microsoft Visual Studio's Application Center Test to see how the application performs under representative load and stress.

Spec your SQL Server hardware needs


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 studied 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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