Tuning databases can be fun if built into the predeployment time allocated to building a system. Tuning ceases to be fun when it's undertaken on a production system, overseen by an unhappy customer with crushing time constraints. Unfortunately, the latter scenario tends to be the more common. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Performance Tuning Technical Reference
provides database administrators and (to a lesser degree) developers with the information they need to extract maximum performance from Microsoft SQL Server 2000. This book favors optimization of SQL Server that can be done via the administrative interface rather than in application code.
Most of database tuning has to do with sacrificing one aspect of performance (say, disk storage capacity) for the improvement of another (like the execution speed of a particular kind of query). The authors of this book--they're a team of consultants from a Texas company that specializes in database tuning, as well as from Microsoft--take care to explain the tradeoffs involved in various tuning decisions. Choose one option, they say, and performance metric A will improve at the expense of metric B. Having explained the design considerations for various tuning strategies, they walk their readers through how to do the tuning they're talking about. Instructions aren't for the clueless, but they're fully adequate for SQL Server users who know their way around the interface generally. --David Wall
Topics covered: How to make databases served by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 run as fast and as efficiently as possible by tweaking the way it runs. Emphasis is placed on read/write operations (including SQL Server's way of interacting with RAID arrays), performance monitors, and settings for processor, disk, and RAM usage. There's also a lot of information on capacity planning and system sizing.
About the Author
Edward Whalen is an expert in database performance, administration, and backup recovery solutions.