Fabiano Amorim is a Data Platform MVP since 2011 that loves to conquer complex, challenging problems—especially ones that others aren’t able to solve. He first became interested in technology when his older brother would bring him to his work meetings at the age of 14. With over a decade of experience, Fabiano is well known in the database community for his performance tuning abilities. When he isn’t working, he loves to read and spend time with his family.
Because of its many roles, tempdb is the source of performance issues in SQL Server, and there are recommended configuration changes to mitigate this. In this article, Fabiano Amorim demonstrates another issue with tempdb performance that you probably didn’t know about. … Read more
It is always bad news if your SQL queries are having to use the SORT operator. It is worse news if you get a warning that sort operations are spilling onto TempDB. If you have a busy, slow TempDB, then the effect on performance can be awful. You should check your query plans to try to eliminate SORTs and never leave a SORT warning unheeded. Fabiano Amorim shows the range of ways of getting information on what is going on with a query that is doing a SORT and when requests are made for memory.… Read more
Imagine it. You've been asked to fix a dire performance problem with a SQL Server database. You find a severe case of 'Cache Bloat' due to ad-hoc queries, but you can't fix the code itself. What should you do? Specify forced parameterization? Perhaps a better idea would be to use guide plans.… Read more
Normally, the query Optimiser won't consider 'bushy' plans, where both operands to a join operator could be intermediate results from other joins. This means that it won't produce good query plans for some types of query. Hints, by themselves won't do it. More powerful magic is required.… Read more
SQL Server's Query optimiser judges the best query plan from the data in the relevant tables and the server's hardware. How, then, can you investigate the query plans being generated for slow-running queries on a customer's production server when you can neither access the server, nor recreate the database from a backup?… Read more
Sometimes, you have to test out alternative indexing strategies, but the task of creating the candidate indexes would just take too long. Is there another way? Well, yes, why not use the same method the DTA (Database Tuning Advisor) uses, and take the tedium out of the job.… Read more
Prefetching can make a surprising difference to SQL Server query execution times where there is a high incidence of waiting for disk i/o operations, but the benefits come at a cost. Mostly, the Query Optimizer gets it right, but occasionally there are queries that would benefit from tuning. … Read more
A SQL expression may look elegant on the page but it is only valuable if its performance is good. Do window functions run quicker than their conventional equivalent code? Fabiano gives a definitive answer.… Read more
Fabiano continues his introduction to SQL Server's implementation of the window functions by giving a history of what got implemented and when, and explaining the concept of the 'Frame' in a window function, with plenty of examples.… Read more
When SQL Server introduced Window Functions in SQL Server 2005, it was done in a rather tentative way, with only a handful of functions being introduced. This was frustrating, as they remove the last excuse for cursor-based operations by providing aggregations over a partition of the result set, and imposing an ordered sequence over a partition. Now, with SQL Server 2012, we are soon to enjoy a full range of Window Functions. They are going to make for some much simpler SQL queries.… Read more
Fabiano Amorim has taken the time to really drill into the behavior of a small set of execution plan operators in an effort to explain the optimizer's behavior. He's explored why things happen, how you can change them, positively or negatively, and he's done it all in an approachable style.… Read more
It comes as rather a shock to find out that one of the commonest circumstances in an OLTP database, an ascending primary key with most querying on the latest records, can throw the judgement of the Query Optimiser to the extent that perfomance nose-dives. Fabiano once again puts on snorkel and goggles to explore the murky depths of execution plans to find out why. … Read more
Fabiano was asked a couple of questions about SQL Server Distribution Statistics. Having given an answer based on his current knowledge, he then decided to find out for himself whether what he'd said was right, and started an epic journey of exploration into Distribution Statistics and the way that the Query Optimiser uses them.… Read more
'Split, Sort & Collapse' is, happily, not a description of the intrepid Fabiano after his epic series of articles about the ShowPlan operators. With renewed stamina, Fabiano continues his mission to describe all the major operators by explaining the Trivial Plan and the power of unique indices.
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Once, when disk space was at a premium, DBAs fought hard to keep the size of their database down. Now there seems less motivation to 'fight the flab' of a database. Fabiano Amorim was watching television recently when the subject matter, cosmetic surgery, gave him the theme and inspiration for this guide to keeping your database fit and trim.
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When Fabiano agreed to undertake the epic task of describing each showplan operator, none of us quite predicted the interesting ways that the series helps to understand how the query optimiser works. With the Merge Interval, Fabiano comes up with some insights about the way that the Query optimiser handles overlapping ranges efficiently… Read more
Did you ever wonder how and why your indexes affect the performance of joins? Once you've read Fabiano's unforgettable explanation, you'll learn to love the MERGE operator, and plan your indexes so as to allow the Query Optimiser to use it.
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Fabiano introduces another ShowPlan operator that is used to build a query plan, or perform an operation specified in the DML. Once again, Fabiano demonstrates why it is important to be aware of these operators when getting queries to perform well.… Read more
Fabiano continues his mission to explain the Query Optimiser in practical terms, describing, one week at a time, all the major Showplan Operators used by SQL Server's Query Optimiser to build the Query Plan. He discusses the Stream Aggregate function and shows how easy it is to get performance gains in GROUP BY clauses by choosing the right index.… Read more
The Row Count Spool operator is a simple component in an execution plan that can make an enormous difference to SQL query plans that would otherwise read a table on every row of the inner input to a nested loop. As this is a common type of query, it illustrates the power that a knowledge of your showplan operators can give you.… Read more