5 Signs SQL Server Is Bottlenecking Your Entire Organization

As technology progresses, certain negative undertones permeate the space. We’ve all been burned by a crashing program that wipes out a day’s work, or a slow to respond device that increases frustration with every passing second of inactivity. Often times people lament “that’s technology for you!” before moving on to the next task and chalking that failure up to some elusive blip in the system.

And it’s true, it does happen. Sometimes technology just fails, and as an IT professional, I know more than anyone that some days, the “turn it off and back on again” method can be the simplest solution to the problem.

But what if it’s not that simple? And what if those recurrent issues are not only frustrating you but are also having a negative impact on your business and the people you work with? And what if turning it on and off again doesn’t offer any real solution to this problem because, for the most part, it doesn’t.

Then you might be having an SQL Server optimization issue.

Many of your core business applications run on SQL servers, and that requires high performance. Knowing nothing is perfect, it’s good to consider the root cause of those frequent and increasing technology blunders, and to address them before they start to address you (in the form of an angry CEO). Here are 5 ways SQL might be the bottleneck you’re experiencing in your application performance:

1 – Users complain of slowdowns at certain points of the day: like a traffic jam, too much activity on your SQL server can slow things down to a glacial pace. If you frequently hear staff members complain that they are unable to perform their duties effectively due to slow or unresponsive business applications, it’s worth investigating the set-up of your SQL server environment.

2 – You’ve developed multiple applications without considering SQL capacity: it happens over the course of time, an application here, and application there. And before you know it, you’ve got an excess of application development projects all vying for the attention of one slow SQL server. Each application is pulling and trying to run within its own silo, and no one has stopped to consider whether or not the current SQL environment can even support that many processes. It may well not.

3 – Applications freeze and crash more frequently than the cows go “moo”: intermittent outages are bound to happen. As I mentioned above, we’ve all been burned by a crashing program. However, this should never be an ongoing or recurrent issue. If running reports or using your applications for routine processes is causing frequent freezing or crashing, it could be SQL’s fault. Sometimes a simple adjustment is all that’s required, but the issue is causing widespread panic across the organization. Don’t believe me? Just ask your CFO what would happen if you couldn’t run your AR and AP reports in a timely manner.

4 – You have a single SQL server hosting everything: kind of like an awkward party, hosting your analytics, integrations, reporting services and database environments on a single SQL server is bound to fall flat. Depending on the size and initial set-up (and if that set-up has been reviewed since it was initially done), your SQL server only has the capacity to handle and process so much. By loading all your services to one area, you’re creating a situation where the server is overtaxed and performance is affected.

5 – You’ve changed SQL without actually modifying it: it happens, you get busy, priorities shift and sometimes you forget to cross an i or dot a t and before you know it, you look like a doll…I mean a dolt. That can happen when multiple people are touching an environment, and changes or even upgrades are made to your SQL server without the configuration being modified. And it’s not just upgrades, virtualization or migration to a different virtual host or platform can also create these issues.

Poorly performing applications aren’t acceptable to anyone, least of all your management team. Optimizing your SQL server(s) is a great place to start when you’re trying to troubleshoot the root cause, and often times a few simple tweaks can make the difference between a Ford Pinto and a Lamborghini when it comes to speed and agility.

Rand Group has extensive experience in application optimization, as well as SQL server optimization. We can help you investigate the issues, taking into account all the ways your business is being impacted, and deliver a resolution that will have your SQL environment running as smooth as that lambo. Call us today, we can help.

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Lorenzo Fife

Insight written by Lorenzo Fife

Director, Infrastructure Services at Rand Group

Lorenzo Fife has over 12 years’ experience helping organizations plan and manage their technology platforms to leverage them for success. He has helped several organizations grow exponentially through the application of better IT strategies, infrastructure planning, and performance optimization. He has also enabled companies to significantly reduce overall IT expenditures while improving management, end-user, and client side satisfaction.

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