Chapter 20. A Grand Performance: Designing a Database That Performs Well

This, and the chapter that follows, are probably the toughest chapters in the book from my perspective as the author, but not for the normal reasons. Usually, the issue is how to relate complex information in a manner that's easy to understand. As we're getting near the end of the book, I hope that I've succeeded there — even if there is still more to come. At this point, you should, from prior experience and the topics covered in this book, have a solid foundation in everything we're going to discuss in this chapter. That means I'm relatively free to get to the nitty-gritty and not worry quite as much about confusion.

Why then would this be a tough chapter for me to write? Well, because deciding exactly what to put into this and the sibling chapter that follows is difficult. You see, this isn't a book on performance tuning — that can easily be a book unto itself. It is, however, a book about making you successful in your experience developing with SQL Server. Having a well-performing system is critical to that success. The problem lies in a line from Bob Seger: "What to leave in, what to leave out." What can we focus on here that's going to get you the most bang for your buck?

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about performance tuning is that you are never going to know everything there is to know about it. If you're the average SQL developer, you're going to be lucky if you know 20 percent of what ...

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