Top 6 Great Practices to Improve the SQL Query Performance

MS SQL is one of the most popular relational database management systems with unique features and benefits. However, just like any other functional system, significantly as advanced as the SQL system, numerous practices can enhance the performance of the system, including improving the query performance of the SQL system. 

For companies utilizing the benefits, MS SQL Server is extremely important for the storage and management of the company’s data. In the business industry, time is equivalent to money. Therefore, companies that rely on the information system for their functionality should access important information as fast as possible. This information is frequently acquired from databases through queries. This is why you need to optimize the SQL query performance. 

Here are the top 6 excellent practices you need to consider to improve the MS SQL Query performance. Continue reading the article to know more. 

Tune Queries 

One of the best features of the SQL system is that you can easily learn how to use the language and implement the creating commands. However, keep in mind that the functionality of different databases is different. Even though two queries might seem similar, they could vary regarding the execution time. They can also appear different as per their structure. This is a debatable topic of the SQL. Therefore, it’s best to contact SQL professionals to structure your queries. Remember that SQL Server is prone to crashes. Therefore, make sure you take proper steps to quickly recover your system from crashes and other problems. 

Apart from the query structure, you also need to follow some additional guidelines to define the requirements of your business:

  • Determine the appropriate stakeholders. 
  • Ask relevant questions to create reasonable query requirements. 
  • Focus on the outcomes of the company. 
  • Develop specific requirements and confirm your decision with the stakeholders. 

Add Memory 

Adding memory is a great practice to improve the SQL Server query performance. This is because the SQL system utilizes memory in numerous ways. These include:

  • Plan cache, where you store the query plans for re-use. 
  • The buffer cache. 
  • Matching and storing data. This process will be done in the memory. 
  • Buffer fool that store recently written-to pages. 

Remember that some SQL queries consume a lot of memory for sorts, joins, and other operations. These operations require memory. Therefore, the more data you query and aggregate, the more memory each query will consume. 

Perform Index Maintenance 

Indexes are the primary resource to the SQL Server database performance. However, the downside is that the database indexes deteriorate eventually. 

Most of this performance degradation comes from something that the administrators are familiar with: fragmentation. Fragmentation on the storage drives implies that the data is stored non-contiguously. Therefore, the system will need to search through millions of fragments to retrieve the data. This situation is similar to the database index. 

There are primarily two types of database fragmentation you need to know:

  • Internal Fragmentation: This occurs when the admin develops two or more data pages, neither of which is completed. The performance will face damages as the SQL Server needs to cache the pages, including allocated yet empty space. 
  • External Fragmentation: This means that the page of SQL Server is out of order. 

The pages are in sequential form when an index is created. Additionally, the rows are also sequential as per the pages. As the data is added and manipulated, new pages are added, and previous pages are split. This causes index fragmentation. 

Add Extra Flash Drives or Spindles 

Just like increasing the memory, enhancing the storage capacity is also essential. Even though Solid State Drive is the most expensive option, it’s beneficial. The SSD will undoubtedly benefit the system as there are no moving parts. As per Kingston, SSD is faster than HDD. However, if you’re considering a less expensive option, you need to choose spindles. Both these options are highly effective at reducing the latency time. However, they won’t help you remove the extra I/O due to the index fragmentation. The spindles or flash drives cannot solve the primary cause of the I/O inefficiencies. 

Optimize the Subsystem of I/O

Optimizing the subsystem of I/O is essential while maximizing the performance of SQL Server. When you configure a new server or while modifying or adding the disk configuration of the previous system, determining the I/O subsystem capacity before deploying the SQL Server system is undoubtedly a beneficial practice. 

These are three essential metrics when it comes to measuring the performance of I/O. 

  • Latency: Known as the time the I/O takes to complete the process. 
  • The I/O operations per second: This is related to the latency directly. 
  • Sequential throughput: This is the rate through which you can transfer any data. 

You can use different I/O tools to determine the performance of the SQL Server. This way, you can ensure that the SQL system is tuned especially for the SQL Server before the deployment process. 


Improving the SQL Query performance is undoubtedly great. However, make sure you complete the process without any mistakes. The SQL System might face crashes due to some common mistakes. 

Tech Magzine Pure


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