Chapter 9

Troubleshooting Methodology and Practices


  • Methodology for troubleshooting
  • Ten steps to troubleshooting success
  • An approach to working on complex issues with teams


The code downloads for this chapter are found at on the Download Code tab. The code is in the Chapter 9 download and individually named according to the names throughout the chapter.


SQL Server is a complex product, often tightly integrated with mid-tier and end-user applications. Problems can be many and varied, and the scope of a database administrator (DBA) is broad, covering storage, servers, networking, applications, and meeting business requirements. DBAs often find themselves supporting third-party and in-house-developed applications with varying levels of maturity and robustness. There are no fixed requirements for Transact-SQL development, and application developers often overlook the performance and scalability of code they write. This chapter provides DBAs with guidance based on mature patterns for troubleshooting complex issues and complements the technical aspects of this book.

This chapter focuses on a data-driven methodology for troubleshooting SQL Server problems, consisting of the following three steps (the data collection and analysis may require multiple iterations until the problem’s cause is identified):

1. Define the problem.
2. Iterate through:
  • Data collection ...

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