VII.2.4. Taking Advice from the Database Engine Tuning Advisor

The chapter begins with an explanation of the Windows Task Manager and the Windows System Monitor — performance utilities that allow you to check SQL Server's responsiveness. In this section, we turn your attention to a group of SQL Server-specific utilities, beginning with the Database Engine Tuning Advisor.

Given their busy schedules, database administrators often don't have the time to explore fully all the performance ramifications for the databases under their control. This results in well-administered (yet unnecessarily sluggish) database and application performance. This is where the Database Engine Tuning Advisor comes into the picture — it harnesses the power of a sophisticated rules engine that delivers customized performance recommendations based on your database structures and predicted workloads. In fact, you can even include an exact, real-world series of Transact-SQL statements for this utility to evaluate. This realism takes out much of the guesswork of administering and tuning your SQL Server instance, especially with regard to important decisions involving indexes, indexed views, and partitioning. This results in more predictable, optimal responsiveness. Here's how to launch and use this extremely capable technology.

For the purposes of this example (and the others yet to come in this chapter), we're continuing with the database introduced in Book II, Chapter 6. To refresh your memory, this sample ...

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